Wool Flannel, Out of Season

As I think I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, I like to shop at estate sales. Even if I don’t find anything at all to buy (which happens pretty frequently), the voyeur aspect makes the whole trip worth it. My husband and I have (occasionally lengthy) discussions about what went on in the house.

I month or so ago, I saw an ad on estatesales.net with some very promising photos. There appeared to be a well-stocked SEWING ROOM in the house. I tried not to get too excited beforehand, because I’ve seen crafting spaces in these ads before, but when I arrived, the actual stuff was all crap from Michaels not to my taste. So, I got there, and it was pretty much Shangra-La. Hundreds of spools of different varieties of silk thread. Really high-quality fabrics on rolls. Interfacings. Strange things that I have never seen before, like invisible zippers with metal teeth, and silk petersham. I bought a whole bunch of stuff, including fabrics, thinking they were really high-quality. A burn test revealed that the vast majority of the fabrics were what I thought they were. Only 2 out of 12 of the fabrics that I bought thinking they were silk were actually polyester.

This suit is almost entirely made from my estate sale haul. The wool flannel, silk lining, silk topstitching thread, and even the fusible all came from this unknown crafter’s estate sale. The buttons were a gift from Carolyn. I like buttons that are in 2 sizes, with bigger ones for the front opening and smaller ones for the cuffs. The undercollar is made from necktie silk, from a tie that I bought at the thrift shop.

I put a bit of effort into the buttonholes. I made the lapel buttonhole using a technique I read about on the made by hand blog. It took a couple of tries, but I think I got it almost right.

My three tries for the lapel buttonhole.  The top 2 are my practice runs, and the bottom one is the one on the suit.

My three tries for the lapel buttonhole. The top 2 are my practice runs, and the bottom one is the one on the suit.

back lining

back lining

cuff buttons and buttonholes

cuff buttons and buttonholes

back view

back view



undercollar made with necktie silk

undercollar made with necktie silk


front detail

front detail





  1. Posted August 7, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous! It’s always a pleasure to see your work.

  2. Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love those curved pockets! How neat.

  3. Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yeooow! You amaze me.

  4. Posted August 7, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very beautiful! Every detail is well thought out and perfect! Your story reminded me of a friend who went to an Estate sale where she found shelf after shelf of fabrics on bolts! She was in heaven! Until she saw the moth holes and moths. Worse yet there were holes chewed in the fabric… And mice! She left quickly!

  5. Posted August 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really blown away by this.

  6. Mem
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    lovely , did you make the stripes on your skirt by hand or on the machine ? The top stitching looks beautiful.

    • Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I did them on the machine, with the thick red silk thread in the bobbin.

  7. Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Terrific suit! What a marvellous find the estate sale was.I especially like the curved welts.

  8. Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great hand sewing ! Love the pockets. Great make all around as usual!

  9. Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    I want to sew like you when I grow up. Your suit is amazing and the detail on it is beyond words. You are so crazy talented.

  10. Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hello, Only recently discovered your blog. This suit is incredibly beautiful! Love the buttonholes, the topstitching, the lining, and that fabulous undercollar. Did I forget anything? What an accomplished sewist you are.

  11. Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous suit, I love the red details.

  12. Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is just stunning! You inspire us all to better quality work.

  13. Laurie Myer
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    You did an Amazing job on this–well done!

  14. Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very beautiful! I love the curved pockets and the red thread.

  15. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    wow that is fantastic, I love the pockets. and estate sales, I have found some unbelievable things at them. Have to read between the lines on the ads but perseverance pays off – just in muslin savings.

  16. Posted August 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a stunning suit, such beautiful work.

  17. Ann_B
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The whole suit is beautiful, but the attention to the smallest details on the jacket…divine. I hope you enjoy it every time you wear it.

  18. Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous suit. I love those beautiful, curved welt pockets.

  19. Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a great find! And you have really done the materials justice. Beautiful.

  20. Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    The jacket is stunning. And knowing about all the estate findings including in its construction brings a different level of appreciation on top of the awe-inspiring fascination with your work.

  21. marysiap
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing the making of this suit; I love the shape and style of the jacket.

    I too follow Made by Hand, and especially enjoyed learning how to work the buttonholes, especially the asola lucida buttonhole that you show on your lapel. Its great when you master a new technique isn’t it.

    Adore your clever use of the silk tie for the under collar. Beautiful bespoke suit!

  22. marysiap
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing this lovely project with us. What a beautiful bespoke suit, I especially love the clever use of the silk tie to form the undercollar, and you have mastered the now famous asola lucida buttonhole……………thank Goodness for Jeffery Diduch for teaching us on his blog. Don’t you think that fine, handworked buttonholes make all the difference. Fabulous job by the way.

  23. marysiap
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi again Claudine,

    I meant to ask, as many have mentioned the beautifully shaped pockets, is the pattern your own design or a purchased pattern? Could you tell us more about the making of those gorgeous pockets??

    I am rather new to your blog and am so pleased that I have found you.

    Thanks again.

    • Posted August 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The jacket is based on a Burdastyle pattern, but I made so many changes to it that it probably would not help to tell you which one. The pockets were not part of the original pattern.

      To make the pockets, I drew the curved pocket slash on my paper pattern piece. Then I took a piece of tracing paper and overlaid the slash so I could draw a shaped welt that would fit properly. Then I constructed the pocket in a similar way to a straight welt pocket.

  24. Posted August 13, 2015 at 4:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Fabulous work from a marvellous find. I’ve never been to an estate sale but now I want to go to one. As long as there are no moths or mice!

  25. Posted August 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a find and what fabulous techniques you used to make it more modern…Outstanding work…always a learning moment to read your blog and see such amazing work!

  26. Grant
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine- looking to see if you are still using the Singer 107W1? Looking to see if you can assist with bobbin thread install.


    • Posted August 17, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have not used that machine in quite a while, but as far as I know, it still works. I could take a photo of the bobbin insertion if that would help.

  27. Posted August 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This turned out beautiful!

  28. Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I discovered your work by Pinterest & it’s very interesting and a good inspiration for me ! Thank U a lot !
    Thanks thanks thanks !
    Love from France (sorry for my poor english … )

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: