The Draped jacket & skirt suit

I’m very happy to report that my draped suit (Burda September 2011 #126 and 127) is finally finished! It feels like I’ve been sewing this for f-o-r-e-v-e-r and I am thoroughly sick of it now!

If you recall, it’s a two-part suit, with a draped, collar-less jacket and a pleated pencil skirt:

I’ve been sewing both of the pieces in parallel, so I’ve finished them at the same time. I like a lot of aspects of this suit, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not totally in love with the overall resulting look.

The jacket and skirt together!

Things I really like:

The drape makes for a rather elegant side view, too:

Things I don’t like:

  • The wrinkles everywhere. I didn’t underline or block fuse the suiting as I didn’t want to lose the stretch but it wrinkles on sight!
  • Burda’s method for welt pockets just blows. I’m never straying from the “Couture Sewing Techniques” method again.
  • The sleeve cap looks wrinkly..? I used some of Claire‘s lovely, thin shoulder pads, but no sleeveheads, as I thought it’d be overkill in a suit jacket. Perhaps I was wrong?
  • The intentionally-long sleeves + long hem has the effect that the jacket is way too big on me, even though it’s not! Check out the fit in the back, it’s perfect!).
  • The drape pulls on the snap inside, which exposes some of the facing inside. The only way I could have avoided this, it seems, is to show the snap stitching on the right side. I think a button would be better here.
  • The bubbling at the hem. What the &$%%^*&£^ do I have to do to get a jacket hem where the lining either isn’t a millimetre too short and causes bubbling, or is a millimetre too long and shows at the bottom?? Guh. Yeah, I could rip out two lines of handstitching and redo it, but I could also quit my job and join a travelling trapeze show, too. Neither is likely to happen.

Here’s some more views of my special green and pink lining with the hot pink piping. You can also see the seamed facing on the right side (left in the photos), too.

Since my suiting was thin enough, I could cover both sides of the snap with the fashion fabric…

Also, I hadn’t realised until I saw these photos, but this jacket makes me look pretty, err, “sturdy”. Ok, it adds on a good stone, and I’m at my thinnest I’ve been in ages right now (later this week you can compare this to another photoshoot I took on the same day as these). I’m not sure if that’s to do with the drape, or the long length, or just that I’m not used to seeing myself in jackets (I rarely wear them!), but I think I look much nicer in just the peach silk shell and the skirt on its own….

The skirt on its own!

The skirt is a pretty basic shape, with two inverted pleats on the front, basic darts in the back, and a pretty straight, pencil skirt profile. I was a bit concerned at the thin, rectangular waistband, but it actually turned out fine as it’s only about 1.5cm wide when it’s finished.

I left off the walking slit since I was keeping it at knee-length and the fabric had plenty of stretch for my walking stride.

I reused more of the hot pink stretch satin for the pockets and hem lining here, and you can also see the vintage (1986!) lace hem tape I used as a “pretty for me” detail.

All in all? I’m glad I made this suit, as I’ve been in love with a draped hem jacket almost exactly like this for a good two years now, but I’m not sure how much I’ll actually wear this suit. The drafting is exquisite, but I’m not sure the proportions work for me, and I don’t think my execution was up to my normal standards here. I’ll still wear it for the odd business meeting or presentation, but I think I’m most likely to take the jacket off after introductions and stick to the skirt and a silk blouse for the bulk of my time.

Leave a Reply