A first (x2!) suit

My son is a second grader this year, and as tradition dictates, this is when the kiddos have their first communion. Knowing that I couldn’t afford to buy a new suit for him (taxes suck!), and that I had a pinstripe wool that’s either black or a dark navy (I’m still not sure) in my stash from a long ago failed project, I figured I could probably sew one up. I even had a Burda suit pattern in my stash. Add in that I had some leftover lining from my coat project a couple of years ago, and it seemed like it was meant to be.

EXCEPT.

It wasn’t. Holy cow. Burda magazine patterns might be drafted amazingly well (no dispute on that), but their “directions” and tracing layouts leave MUCH to be desired. For the sake of brevity, here’s a list of my issues (and they were many!)

  1. After spending probably at least an hour tracing out the pattern pieces from the maze of lines (of course the suit was the green set of lines–the hardest to see, IMO), I realized that I had forgotten to add the seam allowances, so I had to add them as I cut. Since so much of the suit is interfaced forgetting the seam allowances didn’t actually end up being the end of the world.
  2. My interfacing wasn’t sticking. Turns out, while it had always adhered in 8 seconds on other fabrics, I needed a full 15 seconds and some water misted on the pieces to get full adhesion with the wool. Many thanks to my Twitter/Instagram peeps for helping me with that when I was in full-blown panic mode.
  3. Um, the Burda instructions are terrible. Just terrible. Also, I’m pretty sure they tell you to cut the back lining pieces without the facings–which I learned that you absolutely should NOT do!! CUT THE FACINGS!!
  4. Because I cut the lining without the vent facings, I set myself up for a whole host of issues And if I’d been less freaking out because “OMG, I’ve screwed up and I onlyΒ  have a week to finish and …!” then I would have just cut out some facings with seam allowances and stitched them on. I was NOT that clear headed at the time.
  5. Also, I learned that you are supposed to have a notch thing on the center front of the jacket–as this was my first ever jacket (and I don’t even own another pattern to compare pieces)–I was unaware of the existence of a notch thing. I just very carefully blended my seam and hem allowances together. Don’t do that. Use the notch thing, or in the case of this pattern, MAKE the notch thing yourself.
  6. LOTS of handsewing and fray check.
  7. LOTS OF HANDSEWING. Oh, and LOTS OF FRAY CHECK.
  8. Did I mention lots of handsewing and fray check?
  9. Otherwise the jacket went together beautifully, and if it’s not your first ever jacket, or if you have a pattern with a better set of instructions handy, I’d recommend it. My first ever notched collar went in without a hitch the very first time.

I had hoped to bag the lining using the technique I used on my coat, but the Pattern~Scissors~Cloth blog is gone now, and she had the technique I knew with the pictures that made it possible for me to wrap my mind around it. Since I couldn’t use that tute, I just kind of winged it. (Likely would’ve had to anyway given my mistake on the vent/hem notch.) I ended up handstitching the sleeves because I couldn’t remember how to do them (again, losing that whole site was a major loss to the sewing community–she had so much awesome information on there) and I handstitched the whole bottom hem of the jacket up and around the vent and everything. That probably doubled all the handstitching I’ve ever done inΒ  my whole life to that point. Well, that might be an exaggeration. Maybe.

So anyway, I’m sure you’re all desperate to see the pictures of this monstrosity, right? I aim to please. The question is, bad pics first or good pics first? πŸ˜‰

Good it is then. πŸ˜‰

All right, I’m sure the curiosity is killing you, so here’s the bad…

All in all, while I still feel like it was a miserable failure because it’s not nearly perfect enough for my perfectionist self, Irish looked very handsome on his special day. (You’ll note I didn’t make matching slacks–sometimes you just gotta know when to quit.) And who knows, maybe he’ll even manage another wear or two before I pick the buttons off and throw it in the trash. I may leave it to the professionals when Scotch gets to his first communion though… πŸ˜‰

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