Well, after harassing everyone I know, I opted for the aubergine wool above. Why?
- The jacket I'm going to make is in a structured 40s-style and it has a peplum. Of the wools above, both having very high-quality, the aubergine has less drape, which will hold structure better. Don't fight your pattern, I say.
- The aubergine wool also has a softer hand.
- Having said this, two elements of the aubergine do concern me slightly (though not enough to prevent me from buying it): it's fairly thick (though not as thick as coating) and it has practically no give. I know, I know. Two bullets up I suggest that less drape is good. Here I am saying that a (corollary) lack of give may be undesirable. What I'm getting at is, I rarely do FBAs. Partly that's because, for whatever reason, the narrowness of my frame usually counterbalances the need for extra room in the chest. Also, I generally sew with fabrics that have a little bit of give - even the woven ones, or I sew the bodice on the bias. I will make a muslin - and I'm prepared to FBA as required, but I'd prefer not to. I hope that the fabric tension doesn't throw me from one camp into the other. Side note: Something tells me that the jacket is cut generously in the bust - just looking at its fit on Gertie (a woman with a gorgeous, small-busted figure). To close the loop on fabric thickness: I am intending to wear it for three-seasons but thickness can mess with drape and drape, on a curvy frame, is everything. I'm going to have to be careful. Here's hoping my intuition will pay off.
- The lilac wool, while confection-y sweet, might be a bit hard to take from head-to-toe, especially as I'm making this to wear professionally.
Now, on the topic of lining, I could not decide. Here are the two, insanely beautiful options I considered:
You should know that the jacquard lining is not as soft as the cerise. It will not drape as supple-y (sp?) on the inside of the jacket - even though, it too is Bemberg (I think). While I think it's gorgeous, I may want the smoothest interior possible, and that cerise is like buttah.
Finally, here are the buttons options - plastic, vintage dead stock, all:
You know I'm not one to demure on the topic of what something costs. I always want to know that detail - so allow me to overshare with you.
Would I prefer that these buttons were metal or glass? Um, yes. But the cerise ones will be perfect with the cerise lining. If I go with the jacquard, I'll need to reconsider whether to use the white pearl or the lilac ones.
- The wool was $32.00/ metre (the least expensive fabric I was considering - most were in the 40-45 dollar range). I bought 3.25m - 2 for the jacket and 1.25 for a pencil skirt. Note that, as I shorten everything, I generally don't use more than 1m for a skirt and, I suspect, I'll use about 1.75m on the jacket.
- Buttons were under 15 bucks, and I bought 15 of them.
- Lining was $8.50 / metre. I got 2 yards of each kind. I don't intend to line the skirt (I don't like lining, in general) but, if I do decide to, both of these linings are regular stock at the store.
- Thread, shoulder pads, interfacing (of numerous varieties), silk organza etc. came in at about 50 bucks, all in.
Overall estimated cost to make this hand-tailored suit: $225.00.
I like to think I'm saving $600.00 - as the cost of a decent, RTW suit is approximately $850.00 (regular price).
A propos of suits and their cost: Once I spend a hundred hours on this, it will be unaffordable, regardless of what it looks like. $800 bucks for a tailored item - even an RTW one - is not unreasonable. So much time and skill, so many fine materials go into these garments. They should cost.
I've worn my Theory suit twice now. Even though the pants are not ideal in some ways (boringly complicated to get into - my issues aren't observable), I feel like a million bucks in it - and it shows. You can't put a price on the professionalism bestowed by a beautifully-fitting, tailored garment. Remember that.
So, what do you think of my options? Cerise lining or jacquard? Which buttons? Have you tailored a jacket and how long did it take? How much did it cost? Let's talk!