My Suit Dress Fully Evolved – Finally! – Part 5

Can it really be that May will arrive in a few days? If that is true, then I am only about 2 months behind in my sewing schedule. But who’s keeping track? I’m happy that I have plowed through to finish my wool suit dress, even though it will immediately go into my cedar closet for safe storage until next Fall.

When I fell off the edge of the world after Part 4 (only figuratively, thank goodness!), I was starting on the sheath dress. I had decided to add a collar to it, so that I could use that fourth vintage button (I had already used three on the jacket itself). Matching the windowpane plaid on the collar section took some special attention, as this photo shows:

Collared sheath I underlined the collar with the lining fabric, and I made a working bound buttonhole instead of just sewing the button in place. Anything to make it more involved, right?

Detail of the button on the collar.

Detail of the button on the collar.

Lining the collar with silk charmeuse reduced bulk and helps it lay flat.

Lining the collar with silk charmeuse reduced bulk and helps it lay flat.

From that point on, it was a straightforward sheath dress. I love a sheath dress. I think it is such a flattering silhouette, and very feminine. As far as I am concerned, one can never have too many sheath dresses (just as one can never have too many shoes). Speaking of shoes, I decided this outfit needed complementary shoes! What do you think?

collared sheath

I wear a lot of red and blue, so I expect these shoes to serve me well!

I wear a lot of red and blue, so I expect these shoes to serve me well!

It turns out that even a simple sheath can take a lot of time to make when one is using couture techniques: underlining of silk organza; interior seams catch-stitched; hand-picked zipper; instead of facings, neck and armholes finished with lining-abutted edges, then pick-stitched for stability. The silk charmeuse lining in the dress matches the jacket lining and is an extravagance, I will admit. But it feels heavenly, and adds a fluidity to the dress which is a good match for the butter-soft cashmere wool fashion fabric.

Suit dress

Shown with the jacket unbuttoned.

Shown with the jacket unbuttoned.

Suit dress

A close-up look...

A close-up look…

... and another one.

… and another one.

And a partial back view.

And a partial back view.

I am happy I added the collar to the dress, as that extra detail seems to help the dress stand on its own if/when I take the jacket off. Framing the face is always a good fashion decision, and I think the collar helps in that regard.

Just the dress!

Just the dress!

Suit dress

So happy this is finished!

So happy this is finished!

I consider finishing this outfit a major accomplishment!  So what’s next? Something easy or something more complex? Those questions to be answered soon, with this caveat: it will most definitely be something for Spring/Summer!



Navy blue Cashmere fashion fabric:  Britex Fabrics, San Francisco, CA

Silk charmeuse lining fabric:  Britex Fabrics

Buttons:  vintage Ultra Kraft, ca. 1950s

Shoes: Ferragamo

Patterns:  Jacket: vintage Jo Mattli Vogue Designer pattern; Dress: vintage Vogue blouse pattern combined with new Butterick dress pattern


Filed under Buttons - choosing the right ones, couture construction, Dressmaker suits, Shoes to make an outfit complete, Suit dresses, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue Designer patterns, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s, woolens

31 responses to “My Suit Dress Fully Evolved – Finally! – Part 5

  1. A luxurious couture outfit in cashmere and silk. I would love to slip on your dress with its gorgeous collar with bound button detail. I bet it feels fantastic!

  2. Peggy

    A stunning and clearly well-made outfit!

  3. Mary Lynn

    The dress and jacket are beautiful! And… the Ferragamos are perfect!

  4. Tricia

    Very classy and elegant! Beautiful detail.

  5. I love your pattern matching and attention to detail. Hope it comes out of storage in early fall and gets a lot of wear till the weather turns hot — navy is a great, multi-season color — and you earned a pretty lining just for your own pleasure!

  6. Beautiful outfit, head to toe! You are so right about the collar framing the face, it’s a lovely use of that extra button. Your suit is a work of art, from the catch stitched insides to the perfect plaid matching on the outside!

  7. Cissie

    Perfection, as usual! Love the addition of the collar on your dress!

  8. Glorious! Love the collar on your dress too.

  9. The collar detail is wonderful! And fabulous plaid matching for the entire outfit! It just makes the obsessive print matcher in me happy. =)

    I make everything extra complicated too! Currently, I’m obsessively matching a gingham dress for myself (from a vintage pattern I bought from The Vintage Traveler). Before that, I matched the print on a ’40s style dress so well, you can’t see the cool seam lines – so I have to make another one in a solid color to show off the seams. (Eventually, I will get around to blogging…)

  10. Great job on this whole project! And the shoes are great too! Enjoy 🙂

  11. Amazing matching, the lines flow from the jacket to the dress. I love the collar, although the dress has a very up to date look, the collar is such a vintage detail. Beautiful job.

  12. Love it! Definitely a great accomplishment.

    • Thank you so much – it feels like an accomplishment, but that’s one of the joys of sewing, I think. I like working toward a finished product that I can hopefully be happy with!

  13. Bernice

    What a gorgeous dress and jacket! I’ve enjoyed following your progress and seeing the outcome. Very inspiring. Thank you.

  14. Marguerite

    Wow! Gorgeous from tip to toe…literally! I’m having a flashback to the “ladies that lunch”,Jackie O and that gang, stepping out from LaGrenouille in NYC circa 1969! You did a wonderful job and are an inspiration to me. Lately I have put aside my rather complicated protects in favor of the jiffy ones and although it may be practical, it leaves me a bit sad for the days I took on something similar to what you accomplished here. So I just may start in on something soon!

    • Your comment, Marguerite, makes me feel wonderful! Thank you! I’ll feel even more wonderful if you do tackle one of those more complicated projects and tell me all about it!

  15. Very pretty and so well made! I love the collar on the dress!

  16. John

    I’m fascinated by the high form of sewing you use. You may not be aware of this, but you’re part of the slow revolution and a subversive with your impeccably made, above fashion, creations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.