I made this set back in late 2014/early 2015, using a strange suedette fabric. I still have a lot B4954_01of that fabric (the reason why will become clear later)

IMG-20150213-WA0010Anyhow, this set consists of a skirt and a jacket, and looks very Governess-y. It makes a fantastic Mary Poppins outift, and I certainly used it for that when we did World Book Day in 2015.

I don’t wear it much.

There are lots of things I wish I had done differently with it.

Right: where to start?

The Pattern

Buttericks never seem to work out as well for me as other patterns. I’m not sure what it is but they always come out big and baggy on me. This one was no exception, and it felt larger than it was meant to be. It wasn’t the hardest pattern to understand, but it certainly wasn’t the easiest either. I remember the explanation of the pleats at the back of the Jacket as being particularly unclear, though I think to be honest that it was mostly ok to follow – nothing too hard but also not exactly the clearest thing in the world to understand.

I have to say though, as far as patterns go, this one comes out a bit meh in every version I’ve ever seen: it just doesnt have any wow factor: it’s blocky and -well… boring. Which works for a governess I guess, but it isn’t exactly the most inspiring thing in the world.

The Lace

The lace on the cuffs and neck is from my grandmother’s stash. And yes, there is simultaneously too much and not enough of it. It looks silly. It’s also just generally over the top: too wide to fit in with the rest, yet not pleated enough to look cool. It’s too strong a lace as well – something finer and more delicate might have given the effect from the picture. Oh well.

The Lining.

Yeah. The lining on this was waaaaaaay too big. It sags out at the bottom and generally feels untidy. I used two different colours of lining, both from my at-that-time-recently-deceased grandmother’s stash. It still irks me that the lining is visible!

The lining felt too baggy. I mean yes, you’ll  get a certain amount of bagginess with sack-lining as opposed to flat lining (especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing like me!) but it really felt wrong. Perhaps I would have preferred this outfit flat lined. To be fair – I didn’t know what that was when i made this, but hey ho. If i did it again I think i’d probably try a flat lining.

The Fabric

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to nominate this suedette as the most evil fabric on the planet.

No. Seriously.

A quick lesson in fabric types folks. Suedette is just any type of fake suede. This stuff if really cheap fake suede. It’s actually a lot like a really cheap corderuoy, only not as stiff. From a distance it looks suedey. Close up it looks more like corderuoy – You can see how it’s put together and it has those distinctive lines on it. It feels gorgeous to stroke. However.


It *hates* sewing machines. Or specifically, it hates MY sewing machine. And my sewing machine hates it. The needles go blunt in seconds. The threads tangle in the machine. the whole thing fills with lint. Gears grind and squeak, the machine starts to knock like its posessed.

I have only full on broken my sewing machine twice, and on both occasions I was sewing with this evil evil material. This outfit was the first of the breakages – it began with the machine struggling, a few slipped stitches here and there, an inability to get the buttonholes done, etc. It ended with the machine making a frightening clunk, flashing errors at me, and a slightly embarrassed me traipsing the machine to the repair shop, and forking out a small fortune.My partner has told me to throw away the rest of the fabric. I can’t bring myself to do it – it feels lovely, but it’s horrible to work with.

Overall Verdict

I actually don’t mind the pattern. The skirt is great and I’ve re-used the skirt pattern on countless occasions as it’s a staple of my steampunk wardrobe. I can’t decide if i like the top: it feels like something is missing from it, and I’ve never really worked out what. Is it that it’s too loose? Is it that it’s a bit blocky for the silhouette it’s trying to show? It’s really hard to tell. Maybe I’ll make it again, but I’m not sure what it would add to my steampunk wardrobe.

Until then, the jacket goes back into the bag of not-quite-unsuccessful but-not-quite-successful dresses.Le sigh