A jacket that became a pantsuit
September 13, 2016
by Barbara Emodi


I usually start a project with a pattern in mind, but this time started with the news cycle and a fabric.



In this case I have been watching Hillary Clinton and all her pantsuits and thought to myself that is interesting. Although she and I obviously are having different fall seasons I could see that the concept of a pantsuit could be useful.

I have also been quite taken with the faux suede down at my local Fabricville, here is a link to that fabric here.

Unlike other faux suedes I have sewn in the past this one presses well from the wrong side with a pressing cloth,
takes pins and basting without any marks, and sews beautifully, like any knit, without requiring any special machine feet – although I was careful to use a ballpoint needle.

I actually didn’t start with a pantsuit but with a jacket that I liked so much I went on and made pants to match. Here is the pattern I started with, a long shawl collar, slightly oversized jacket that I plan on wearing casually over jeans and tunics on its own as well as with the eventual pantsuit, McCalls 7339:


It was a nice pattern with the unstructured shape I needed for versatility. I did a few things in construction though that were different than the original pattern specs.

First I did not colour block. I thought the suede on its own would flow better and so I ignored all the sectioning. Secondly, like many patterns that are designed to be easy to sew, it did not have a traditional lining, rather the instructions called for the jacket to be lined right to the edges. I figured that for sure this would cause the sleeves and hems to bind or ride up so I did jump hems on both. A jump hem requires you to hem the garment pieces as you would if the jacket were unlined and then to sew the lining hem by hand to the top of the hem allowance, creating a small fold in the lining hem, or “jump”, that builds in ease and movement between the two. I could also have added a front facing to this jacket and I sort of regret doing that. The lining shows along the front edge when I move and that kind of annoys me, I will definitely make that facing the next time out with this pattern.

Here is the jacket, showing I think, how nice this essentially wash and wear fabric looks:

Once I made the jacket, and realized how easy the fabric was to work with, I decided to make some elastic waist pants to go with it. The fabric is a knit so they are super comfortable. I used a TNT pant pattern I have, very similar to this pants in this pattern from Butterick.

And now for full effect a few shots of the whole ensemble:


So who would have thought? A pantsuit, a new look for me, but something I can see I will wear a lot.