Arlen's Handmade Suit: Part 1 - Fabric + Supplies

Arlen's Handmade Suit: Part 1 - Fabric + Supplies

None of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are simply links to the various supplies and fabrics I have picked up for Arlen’s suit!

For those who have been following me for quite some time on social media, you will know that I started Arlen’s suit a LONG time ago. 53 weeks to be exact. Most of those weeks, the suit has been rolled up in a bag hidden away so that I don’t have to fully face my complete terror at actually crafting it. 

But with our wedding fast approaching (we officially set a date after a lot of back and forth and back and forth), it’s time to face all my fears and dive right into this project, full force! Just like with my wedding dress, I am hoping that by sticking to a regularly scheduled blog post with my updates, I will actually find the time and energy to sit down and work on this suit, little by little, until it is 100% done. My goal is to have both of our wedding garments completed at least one month prior to our actual wedding date, which leaves me with a little over 2 months of time -EEEP!

For today, I just wanted to share with you all the fabric and supplies I will be using to complete this beast of a project!

First off, let’s look at the fabric. After chatting with a really wonderful human on IG (I cannot remember who this particular person was, but they were incredible and gave me SO much information!) about the different types of wool best suited for the suit I wanted to make Arlen, coupled with our climate and the longevity of having a suit made in a particular weight of fabric, I chose to buy a Super 120 Grey Merino Wool.

I purchased a 3.5 m cut from Etsy. At the time, this was all that was available. I may need to purchase a bit more as I am pretty certain I do not have enough to also sew a set of pants - oops! Maybe I can make a miracle happen…? Doubtful as Arlen is a rather tall man. 

I am working with a unisex pattern for the jacket. I have to say that finding a simple, modern, men’s jacket pattern felt like an incredibly difficult task. Same with the pants, which I actually haven’t picked out a pattern for…. I guess I should get on that, too!

After loads of research, I also came back with needing a few more items. Along with a lack of patterns available commercially for the home sewist to make a tailored suit, there was a surprising lack of information out there to actually PUT said suit together. I honestly had the hardest time trying to find information on the inner workings of a jacket. 

I wound up snagging a digital copy of Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket  which has helped me loads! Seriously, it is the best single purchase I made last year. It shows different ways to structure the inside of a jacket, including a fully, handsewn custom way, a fully iron-on interfaced way, and a hybrid of the two. Of course, I chose the most difficult of the three: the fully handsewn, custom route. With this route, I needed to pick up a few more items before I could begin the journey to sewing Arlen’s final jacket. Those items included (all of which I purchased from Bias Bespoke Supply Co.):

Hymo Hair Canvas, used to provide structure to the front jacket and properly shape the lapels. 

Horsetail Hair Interlining, used to add structure to the upper chest area of the suit jacket.

Soft Domette Fabric, honestly I am not sure why I purchased this fabric - I think perhaps to be an interlining between the suit and the lining of the suit itself?

I also have some twill tape for various areas of the jacket and pants, muslin fabric to be used as a soft interfacing for the back of the jacket, wool batting scraps for small shoulder pads, and a yummy Bemberg rayon lining from Topstitch Studio and Lounge.

Lastly, I picked up a tailors point press clapper as recommended by Heather of Closet Core Patterns for the Jasika Blazer. 

And I believe that is it! Whew, quite a few items were needed for just the jacket portion of Arlen’s suit. Honestly, it felt super overwhelming to search for all of the necessary supplies especially since none of the resources I was referencing were consistent in what was needed. I hope that by putting together this list and blog series, I am able to help anyone who might be diving into the world of suit making as well. Fingers crossed that my own adventures turn out alright!

Next on the docket I will be going through Part 2 - Jacket Toile + Fitting. This actually happened a while ago, but I thought I’d document what changes I made to the pattern prior to cutting into the beautiful fabrics I purchased :)

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