My 1940’s Suit
I’ve long since wanted a vintage suit in my wardrobe, somehow stars aligned and I felt compelled to finally make one for my very own.
This pattern I used is McCall’s 5094, a sweet little suit from 1943.
Looking back on my Etsy purchases, I bought this suit back in 2011 – if you can believe it! I bought it because at the time I loved the spring suit look (view B) and knew it would look divine in a swingy rayon.
Instead, I made this up in view A, but I made my sleeves full-length.
I knew that I would get much more wear out of this during the winter in long sleeves than I would in shorter ones. I used a mid-weight wool crepe in a muted blue that I had in my stash. I had intended this wool crepe to be used on a different dress, but oftentimes things get reallocated, and I had enough yardage in this one fabric to make both the top and the skirt.
Besides my normal fitting adjustments on the bodice, one major modification I made was to the skirt. The skirt is a very simple one, rectangles that are simply gathered at the waist – aka a dirndl skirt. I cut out my fabric and basted in the waistband to check the fit with the bodice – it was awful!! The skirt was so full at the waist with all of the gathers it looked like I was wearing a sac and the peplum stuck out at the oddest angle because of it.
I wish I had pictures to show you just how bad it was… Suffice it to say I took at least 6 inches (on the fold!) out of each skirt piece. I nearly reduced the skirt fullness in half and it now looks much closer to the pattern envelope. I could have gotten two skirts out of the original fabric pieces.
It may have been an appropriate skirt if I was using a light weight fabric like a silk crepe de chine or a rayon – but in my wool crepe it was just too puffy-looking.
This is one of my favorite makes of 2015, and really, it holds a place in my top 5 outfits I’ve made, of all time. It’s not a garment that gets frequent use in my wardrobe, but I love it ohh soo much. It’s one of those unique, chic pieces that I can now always turn to when I need something a cut above the rest or for work functions.
I have a propensity to make all sewing projects more complicated than they need to be. I purposefully wanted to keep this suit simple so that I could finish in time for a deadline (a presentation I was giving at work). True to form, one thing led to another and I found myself adding lining to the bodice and making my own shoulder pads.
Felix and I ventured out to the University of Chicago campus for these photos. There’s wonderful architecture down there and I knew it would be a perfect backdrop to pair with this suit.
While the University is extremely close, I haven’t made the time to walk around as much as I should – what with all of our house work and winter upon us. So driving down to scout out cool locations for blog photos is a wonderful excuse for us to see more and more of campus.
I don’t think I addressed it before but my hair – it’s now brown. :D I loved my pink hair and I kept it pink for a full 9 months. But it was so much upkeep I couldn’t handle it anymore and I thought it was time for a change. Do I miss my pink hair – Yes! But I could only wash my hair ONCE a week in order to keep the pink from fading until my next 6 week refresh. And I do love being blonde (my natural hair is an ash blonde) – but I wanted to try something different – and chestnut brown seemed like a nice change of pace.
This is my first time setting my brown hair too.
While nearly ever outfit I think “Gosh this would be even cuter with pink hair” I think the brown looks nice and rich. Perhaps I’ll go blonde again in the summer months, but for now, the dark brown is continuing to grow on me.
Happy Sewing you guys!