V8739 & V8543: The Vogue Suit

V8739 and V8543 3

It’s so exciting to have this outfit finally finished and wearable! It’s been a long time in the making. I got distracted SO many times! And then it was stinking hot… so the last thing I felt like working on was a winter wool suit. But I eventually got my sewing mojo back and dived into getting it done like another life force had taken me over. 

V8739 and V8543 5

A few weeks before I finished this suit – intended for office wear, obviously, I got a promotion. A big one, too! The ironic thing is that I will now no longer be based in an office, but on site. Which means I’m swapping my carefully crafted office wardrobe for steel capped boots and hi-vis clothing. Hot. (not). It also means I’ll no longer be able to admire this amazing view from my desk at sunrise: (click to enlarge)


But at least I know that when I get to come back into civilisation for a meeting or what not, I’ll have a little something pre-prepared. This also means I’m going to have to be REALLY organised with future fabric/notions shopping as I won’t be able to ‘just pop in’ on my lunch break…


V8739 and V8543 1


The jacket pattern is Vogue 8739 I adore it – it camouflages a bit of a protruding tummy in a very flattering manner! I can see from the photos now that the darts the front are too long though – they should ideally be stopping before they get to the bust point. I’m annoyed I never picked this up! The jacket is supposed to be fully lined… but as I liked the structural seam lines on the back so much, I decided to try and emphasise them with a bit of contrast binding – I really love the finished effect, even if it is in hiding when I’m wearing it! I used the trusty catch-stitch to prevent all of the seam allowances from flopping about the place. 

V8739 Vogue Suit Jacket

The jacket front and sleeves are still both lined, so it’s super easy to wear.  But I won’t ever be doing this particular treatment again… it was tricky! It meant I needed to cover my shoulder pads with the wool so they were camouflaged, and I was at an absolute loss as to how to invisibly include sleeve heads, which it needed – there was quite a bit of dimpling at the shoulder seam on the sleeve side.

V8739 12

The fabric is a gorgeously soft brown wool flecked with orange and grey, from Emma One Sock – and was a dream to work with. Although if I make a work suit in the future I’ll be looking for fabric with some synthetic content – considering how difficult it was to press in place, it’s creased quite a bit from a day of wear! For the lining of both pieces I used a peachy tangerine silk charmeuse from Clegs – I do love a brightly coloured lining! And my love affair with Charmeuse continues – not only is it an amazing fabric to work with, but it feels divine up against your skin.

I was worried that my wool would be a bit too structural to give the softness the peplum required – and I think I was on the money here as it is a wee bit stiff (and not as floppy as I’d hoped). I would recommend anyone else who wants to make this pattern to stick with a more drapey fabric (like the ones recommended on the pattern sleeve!).

V8739 and V8543 2

The skirt is from another co-ordinates wardrobe pattern – Vogue 8543. I love the curved lines on this skirt, and whilst it’s a bit of a fabric hog (for a straight skirt, at least) it was good fun to put together and I love the visual result of all of those curved lines. 

V8739 and V8543 8

When it comes to the skirt – Vogue really needs to kick their editor up the bum for the inordinate number of spelling mistakes, references to incorrect pattern pieces and general confusion caused by the pattern instructions for this number. Oh yes. I won’t even mention the mis-printing of fold lines on the actual pattern pieces. 

V8543 Vogue Skirt Insides
Glorious charmeuse lining and my added fabric facing at the skirt front

I definitely take issue with the fact that there is no facing in this skirt – the lining is simply sewn on at the waistband – not even a whisper of a mention of understitching! Had I not been the wiser, this would be a disaster waiting to happen and I wasn’t going to have my lining ride up. I modified the pattern so it would have a fabric facing at the front which was ditch-stitched down, hopefully avoiding that potential issue.

V8543 Vogue Skirt seam matching

I am super pleased with my seam matching at the side zip though! Wool is such a friendly fabric to work with, so it was easy to baste, push and pull into place before sewing that zip!

V8543 Skirt

My favourite part of this skirt is the kick pleats at the back :) Letting my inner geek out for a moment – I was absolutely fascinated with the pattern pieces for putting this together.

V8739 and V8543 6

They allow for so much leg movement! Although it makes hemming a tad tricky (you need to cut the seam allowance so they will lay flat).

Back to the jacket – I did my usual trick of replacing the sleeves from the Vogue 8739 pattern and replacing them with my favourite sleeves from Vogue 8333. A much better look. You can check back here if you’d like to see the difference! I also drafted my own sleeve heads

V8739 and V8543 7

How do I like it? Very much so. I’m simply LOVING the peplum. It’s a great thing being able to have a suit with a bit of femininity!



  1. It is lovely and feminine! I love the design lines and peplum on the jacket, and even though the skirt is a different pattern, it really goes. Not sure about how steel-capped boots will work though!!

  2. That is unbelievably inspiring and awe-inspiring. What a work of excellence! I can only aspire to this level of dressmaking. I absolutely love the skirt – must make. And the jacket interior leaves me slack jawed. Congratulations on your promotion!

  3. What a beautiful and flattering suit!! Well done! And nice save on the skirt – I've always secretly suspected that someone's son/daughter/deadbeat bro-in-law is on the editorial staff at Vogue. Nepotism is the only plausible explanation for why some patterns are rife with errors from start to finish. Seriously.Holy cow, do you actually have to be at your desk in time to see the sunrise?? I'd give that up in a heartbeat! Congrats on the promotion! Who says that safety cone orange can't be sexy!?!?

  4. It's stunning and you look amazing in it! You did a beautiful job on it. The inside is as impressive as the outside. I like the salmon colour against the brown. I hope you get some chances to wear it. Congratulations on your promotion! I always preferred jobs where I was not tied to a dek and wasn't forced to doll up anyway.

  5. It looks wonderful. The design lines in the back of both garments are soo flattering and the overall design is so much fun. The jacket and skirt go really well together and I'm totally impressed by the finishing on the inside. Job well done.

  6. Absolutely beautiful work – love that suit and the fabric is gorgeous too. Wool crepe would drape really well too – sorry couldn't help myself. Seriously, you've done an amazing job and that skirt is so elegant – suits you. Congratulations again on your promotion – does this mean no more Monday lunchtime chats while perusing fabrics? And – next time I'm reading the vogue pattern instructions and scratching my head, I'll remember this post – might help me feel better.

  7. Great work – this looks A-MAZING! I am so in love with that skirt and the beautiful lining too! Congratulations on this amazing outfit AND your promotion! :D

  8. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!! I'm a sucker for interesting construction lines and this one is full of them!! :) I especially loved that you highlighted instead of covering them on the inside of the jacket – lovely!! :)Orange silk charmeuse…. could there be a more perfect fabric? I don't think so! :)

  9. Congratulations all round!!! ….:) On the Fabulous Suit and the Promotion! The suit is awesome and I too love the curved seams and the pleats! Adore the peplum! Wondering if you had a little middle age tummy….:) would it hide it or accentuate it?? I am dying to wear a peplum again… Yep was around the last time they were in vogue… Lol! But just not sure if it would be flattering or a disaster… I do like the uneven shape of this one and the drape….:) any thoughts?? Looking forward to seeing your next project…:) and your next Marfy update…:) I have finally plucked up the courage to order a pattern or two…:) and the Catalogue…. with a little shove from you…:) now just can't wait for them to arrive…:) Oh the best part of having to wear a uniform… Ie. your glamerous safety wear… Not…:) is you don't have to think about what to wear everyday….:) just think about the money honey… And the extra fabric you can buy…:)Lou x

  10. Your new suit is simply stunning! Looks so professional and really flattering with the peplum and the front pleats… just gorgeous! And that deep tobacco brown is such a beautiful colour.And congratulations on your promotion!(oh and btw, I don't know if you knew, but you do still have word verification activated… just though I would mention it given your comment on my blog.)

  11. I love it! It looks so flattering on you – and all your details look amazing! I really like the inside of your jacket, it looks great with the bright color along the seams. And the pleats and seams on the skirt look amazing!

  12. Suit = fabulous! Photos = fabulous! Promotion = fabulous! If you're in at work to watch the sun rise I am even more in awe of the time and energy you have for sewing! :o)

  13. BEAUTIFUL! I love everything about this suit! Congratulations on your promotion! I've been eyeing this skirt pattern for some time and really want to make it now! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. i would never have paired those colors the way you did, but seeing them together i can't imagine a combination that could possibly look better! what a wonderful pop of color to top off the great accomplishment of a flattering, well-constructed jacket and skirt. kick pleats for the win!

  15. dang girl! look at you being AWESOME!that's some serious sewing skill in that skirt and jacket. i must try that skirt! i love all the seaming.

  16. ooh.. wool crepe! Indeed it would. I was admiring some of this fabric type just the other day! So many things it could be used for. And yeah, unfortunately it does mean I won't be able to pop in and chat/peruse fabric! :(

  17. That peachy orange is certainly nothing something I would pick to go with the brown either! But it appealed more than grey lining (I like bright lining) and in the end I really liked the result too. Glad you like it!

  18. Hi Melanie! Again, a simply lovely suit. Just a heads up, I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You needn't participate if it's not your thing, but I just wanted to let you know. Details on my blog soon. :)

  19. Beautiful Suit!!!Hey Melanie,I have nominated you for the Liebster Award.Deets on my blog :)http://www.sewmelove.com/2012/03/what-exciting-week-two-blog-awards.htmlxoxo

  20. Thanks Rachel! Although at times frustrating… it really does pay out to take your time and get the sewing spot on! Lets not talk about the sleeve that I reset nearly 4 times – whilst the other one went in perfectly first go!

  21. I can't believe it! I would never think about buying that pattern 'cause I thought it would be a little dull. But the way you put it? My god, you're very talented!Also, congrats on the promotion! I hope you'll like it as much as you like sewing :)

  22. HI there, I missed seeing this on PR, so today your jacket was mentioned in the newsletter. Beautiful, I love a wool suit and I can relate as my work life no longer requires dressing in a tailored manner. But as you say, when you get called for a meeting you will be ready to dress to impress! love the color of the lining. Also your photos are great.

  23. This suit is amazing. The jacket is perfect, the skirt is superb, but you know what's really singing out to me? your shirt! Is it bought or self-made?

  24. I love love love 8543 and yours is gorgeous. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to sell it? (The pattern not the skirt!)

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