Blue Retro Ensemble

Simple suits with complications.

Let me start from the beginning. This was a project I joined for a sew-along organized by Burda Style Russia on Instagram. I had only 4 weeks to complete it before International Women’s Day (8 March). Since it is practically winter in Ottawa, my love and I decided on a warm ensemble out of light-weight blue jacketing and printed satin polyester for lining (from Fabricville). The pattern came from 09/2009 Burda Style magazine, models 126 & 127.


The start was slow, with all the pattern copying, addition of seam allowances, cutting out, and the rest. It took me a whole evening to cut out pattern pieces from fabric. A whole evening to interface pattern pieces with 3 different kind of interfacing. Surprisingly, though, the sewing went along smooth.

Come buttons and buttonholes, I was in a time-crunch already and took a seeming shortcut – omit the buttonholes and use sew-on snaps. Little did I know that this laborious process will help save the garment in a short few days.


Here comes the complications part. The suit was ready. My lovely Maya had a perfect opportunity to wear it to the office. The night before we spent some time styling the outfit and selecting accessories. In the morning, Maya downed the suit and then… 2 fateful blotches landed on the jacket’s collar. Disappointingly, the outfit was hastily substituted. I tried removing the stains to no avail. The result in the picture is application of peroxide, which bleached the fabric as well. I was devastated. I had only 2 days left before the end of the sew-along.

That day I took the decision to re-cut the collar. It was a good opportunity to improve on my sewing skills as well. This time I sewed the top collar with 5-7mm ease on all sides to allow it to fold under at the edges and prevent the collar from flipping up when worn. The trouble was that I had to remove half of snaps and buttons and unpick the lining at the jacket’s hem. And, following the pattern’s instructions, I reduced the seam allowance at the neck after I sewed the first collar. So now I had very little and uneven seam allowance to work with.

2 frantic nights of sewing brought this project to completion. And a successful one. Maya was pleased with the result and excited to wear the ensemble at the next opportunity. Meanwhile, here are the pictures taken on International Women’s Day, March 8th.