And for those few of you who might be thinking it, no, a Christmas Suit is nothing like a Birthday Suit.
Made entirely from scraps and left-over fabric, this suit took me several years to make. It was put aside often for many, many other projects. I started it on the antique treadle machine I bought when Mr. Trizzle was around. He hated the noise my electric machine makes so I bought the only super-quiet kind of machine I know, leg-powered. The jacket was made pretty much entirely on the treadle, but by the time I got to the skirt, I was back to the electric.
By October, I realized the suit was almost finished and decided, by-golly, this would be my Christmas Eve outfit this year. And it was.
It’s a Butterick Retro Pattern from 1936. The skirt sits at the waist and is mid-shin length. It’s fitted, but not super-fitted, so there’s room to move in it and it doesn’t pull at the hips. The jacket is tailored at the waist and hits just above the hips on me. It has a large collar and rather high neckline. And the whole suit has lots of hand-stitching detail.
I used grey wool left from Mr. Trizzle’s Barristers Ball suit (I had bought a lot of extra in case I messed it up really bad) for the outside of the suit. This fabric frays a lot so I went through a bottle plus of fray-check and reinforced every seam with stitch-on black seam binding. The lining of the skirt is tan silk left from a pair of under-trousers I made for Mr. Trizzle. It’s trimmed with hand-stitched rows in a nice, light grey button-hole twist thread.
But the really fun part is the jacket lining. One lower sleeve is part of an old skirt that Mommy got rid of after it got to stretched out. The other lower sleeve was a very badly done skirt I made many years ago for Munchkinhead out of scraps from a dress Mommy made for Alfred. The upper sleeves are black suit lining from a zoot suit I started for my college boyfriend and never finished. The center back is part of an old worn and torn vest Mommy made as part of a three-piece suit for Daddy. The side-fronts are suede cloth left from the gloves I made for my Jessica Rabbit costume. And the side-backs are pieces from an old pair of Mr. Trizzle’s boxers that no longer fit.
Inside-out jacket, front.
Inside-out jacket, back.
After finally finishing the suit, I figured I’d wear it for Christmas and it’d wind up sitting in the closet with my other homemade suits. But, it turns out it’s one of my favorite suits. It fits well; I love the style; and it works great for leaving my trench coat at home. I often treat the suit jacket as an outer jacket and look nice and professional in the skirt and a pretty blouse.