Making a suit on commission

At the beginning of the year, a friend asked me I’d do a suit for a work colleague. She was struggling to find something that would fit her well and was appropriate for her new job.  I was like, I don’t know, depends what is she after? And exposed a huge list of reasons why this could or could not be a good idea. Then I thought, well I could give it a go since it would be a good experience to have.

I was actually planning to share this with you when I made my own version of the same suit. Yes, I was so pleased with my idea combined with my friends’ choice for the pattern that I wanted one for myself as well. However, it will take me much more time to actually get there, and I wanted to share with you my impressions about this before I forgot what was it like.

IMG_1417She decided that she liked the jacket from NewLook #6035  view A (I got my pattern with Sew Magazine issue 75) and the Manhattan skirt from Capital Chic


It’s been interesting: getting the measurements for someone else, and thinking as I was doing this what changes I need to make to the patterns to get a good fit for her (this meant shortening the pattern between bust and shoulder by 1.23 cm and add 5cm between the waist and hip).

Because she chose a navy blue fabric (from Abakhan), I managed to  convince her that it would be too boring and adding piping in the princess seams will make the suit a bit more interesting, without making it stand out (it did mean more work for me, but I think it was totally worth it). IMG_0636With this project I took extra care, and constructed most of the garments after with I asked her to come for a fitting to make sure they fitted her well. Indeed sounds so posh, I also used thread to trace hems. IMG_1676IMG_1677This is how it looked before we were ready for a fitting. Not impressive , I know. IMG_0630(1) When I decided the size for the skirt I forgot, like a mad woman, that the Manhattan skirt does not have much ease in the waist. So the skirt I made the first time was a bit to tight on her. Luckily, I am very good as minimising fabric wastage and managed to cut another skirt using one size bigger.

Following are some pictures of the jacket and the skirt. IMG_1664IMG_1665IMG_1667IMG_1669IMG_1673IMG_1660IMG_1661It’s been an interesting experience for sure. I’ve learnt a lot of things. I also realised that if I am making stuff for others I seem to remember all the good sewing habits, I tend to ignore when I am making something for me. Which is good in a way! Now, I just need to  apply all those skills to all my projects. But I am a bit to impatient for that. IMG_0831This is the finished suit. My friend was pleased with it. I hope she gets to wear it a lot.

As I made two skirts, I adjusted the second one to fit me. This meant taking it on the side seams and shortening it. So, now I have yet another Manhattan skirt. This brings the total to four skirts. So, by far, this is my favourite pattern for making a skirt. IMG_1811IMG_1814



  1. This is very sharp looking! I have that pattern in my “collection.” But I have a ton of patterns and will most likely never get to them all. It is nice to see this made up. I especially like the white piping – it takes it from a black suit to a very stylish black suit!

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