Saturday, July 17, 2010

Simplicity 4911 – so close to being finished that it is not funny

Many moons ago I purchased a whole bunch of vintage patterns from the wonderful Miss Helene's Vintage Sewing Shoppe, one of which was Simplicity 4911.

Checking it out on the Vintage Patterns wiki, I was chuffed to see that the picture online is the exact copy that I purchased from Miss Helene’s – except somewhere along the way a few more pieces have sadly fallen off the envelope. You can’t tell from the picture below, but I’ve matched crease marks and tear lines and it is definitely the same one. I feel like I own a celebrity pattern… :0)

Here’s the pattern envelope today – well, after I scanned it, printed it and made it a whole new working envelope. The original is now tucked safely away to protect her from further damage.


Yep… I did draw their shoes back in. If you are wearing a gorgeous suit like that, you cannot go around without shoes… or indeed feet. It’s not proper. Miss Pink Ruffle is one day going to end up with a gorgeous green pair to match her bag and hat.

But I digress. This suit has been a long time in the making. I have made outfits from vintage patterns before – posts will be forthcoming about those at some point – but Simplicity 4911, your maker’s name denies the truth.

The skirt waistband gave me the yips so I ripped it out and made my own.

The collar of the jacket – I cannot even begin to recall the number of times I sewed, ripped, re-sewed, re-ripped, re-flippin’-sewed that thing. It was like the pattern did not allow enough material for the undercollar to meet!

I ended up inserting a weird little triangle of fabric because no matter what I did, it would not come right. I had two of my sewing friends even have a half-hearted poke at it and walk away scratching their heads.

And here’s a picture…


As you can see, the base of that triangle is not an insignificant amount. I don’t know what went wrong, but after having this jacket sit defiantly on my dressmaker’s dummy for a couple of months, I was thankful to get out of it with a weird triangle on the underside of the collar, instead of my usual “ball it up into a ball and piff it into the corner” solution. Very happy.

But, I’ve stalled again. Maybe it’s because it’s so cold here in Melbourne right now. Maybe it’s because it’s all handsewing left. Maybe it’s because I’m just not in the mood… or maybe because the times I’ve tried it on it just hasn’t lived up to my expectations and I don’t want another blah outfit in my wardrobe taking up space.

Ridiculous, I know. I just need to put my excuses aside, sew three buttons, rip open the buttonholes and decide how I’m going to finish the cuffs (again, the Simplicity instructions left me cold there so I’ve made up my own strange variation which I’ve got to decide how to finish) and I’m done!

Get on with it, I say! But not tonight… I’ve got a housewarming party to go to… :0)

Oh… here’s the jacket. The skirt is currently hanging in my wardrobe and I have worn it out a few times. I’m counting that piece as a definite win.


It looks a bit wonky and lopsided, but it doesn’t have its ubiquitous shoulder pads in… when the weather isn’t cold enough to freeze my mouse hand I’ll put the whole outfit on and take a picture… but that is definitely not tonight.


  1. Looking forward to seeing a photo of the finished jacket - I wish I could say I knew the answer to the collar problem but I sewed a collar on upside down on Saturday and wondered why it looked funny. Good luck!

  2. Thanks Penny-Rose.
    I think the universe is trying to tell me to finish this jacket. I went back to another half finished project this afternoon and my sewing machine has decided that it's going to be sewing a gigantic knot around the bobbin from now on.
    I guess its handsewing for me until I get it serviced... which means finishing this jacket! :0)