Men’s Cotton Herringbone Suit

Navy Twill Suit from Mood

I’ve been wanting to make a warm-weather suit since the spring, but this month I finally hunkered down and made it!

I found an elegant pants-weight navy cotton twill at Mood Fabrics that fit the bill perfectly: it’s lightweight but sturdy enough for tailoring.  The cotton has a herringbone weave that sets it apart from standard diagonal twill fabric.  (You can see Mood’s selection of cotton twill fabrics here.)



The suit has a poly half lining (drawn from my stash) and minimal interfacing to keep things casual and lightweight.


I picked up my genuine horn buttons at Mood too. (Check out their excellent selection of classic horn buttons here.)


For the jacket I used a vintage men’s jacket pattern from 1969, Simplicity 8368.  The pants are a variation on in-print Kwik Sew 3504.

simplicity 8368

I am going to get a lot of use out of this suit: it’s a classic I can wear as long as the weather permits.  I can also pair the jacket with other pants.






Making a suit requires quite a bit of hand sewing.  In addition to the lining, there are hems and cuffs and shoulder pads which must be finished or inserted by hand.  Hand sewing is time-consuming and not my strength (nor pleasure), but I am getting better at it.


Now that it’s finished, I am delighted to have a lightweight suit option in my wardobe.

Anybody else out there wearing suits this summer?

Thanks for reading!




  • Christy
    July 15, 2014

    Lovely work. Looks immaculately fitted. You look great!

  • HJ
    July 15, 2014

    It looks fantastic! Beautifully fitted.

  • True Bias
    July 15, 2014

    are you kidding me? i am so impressed! Amazing.

  • Wendy
    July 15, 2014

    Wow! What a great job, it looks perfect on you!

  • Serenity
    July 15, 2014

    That is a good looking suit. I never really give any thought to men’s clothing but it stands to reason that they would need summer suiting options… outside of seersucker too. Well done

  • amanda
    July 15, 2014

    love the suit – looks fabulous on you

  • Karen
    July 15, 2014


  • I’m in Portland, Oregon and wish more men wore suits like this. Your suit fits amazingly! It looks like you were born into a family that have been tailors for generations.

  • Michael McClelland
    July 15, 2014

    Excellent! Making a suit is absolutely my goal. Given your superb skill set, did you find making the jacket difficult? You mention a lot of handsewing (something I also avoid), but I’ve been very intimidated with all of the “inners” of a suit jacket. You’ve inspired me to attempt that last hurdle.

  • oonaballoona
    July 15, 2014


    and those sandals.

    i’m pretty sure i don’t like you anymore.

  • Kristina
    July 15, 2014

    Looks great. Congratulations on a versatile and easy to wear, and good looking ensemble!

  • Erica B.
    July 15, 2014

    Great tailoring Peter!

  • Beth Conkwright
    July 15, 2014

    Looks great.

  • Beverly
    July 15, 2014

    You look like one of those chic men on The Sartorialist!! Awesome job!

  • JetSetSewing
    July 15, 2014

    Looks great and fits perfectly!

  • Clio
    July 15, 2014

    I love how you mixed a classy outside with a very fun and whimsical inside. Beautiful. And they style and fit suits you to a tee!

  • Pam
    July 15, 2014

    Defining dapper! I love the different stylings. The interior welt pocket is the coup de grace.

    • Pam
      July 15, 2014

      Of course, I mean coup d’eclat. 😉

  • piakdy
    July 15, 2014

    Oooh you dapper gent you! Get thee onto the Satorialist pronto. Fabulously fashionable representative of the home sewing community. Great work!

  • Manju
    July 15, 2014

    Love. Especially with the brown shoes. Congrats on another beautifully tailored project that you will get lots of wear out of.

  • carolyn roemer
    July 15, 2014

    I think I can safely say I appreciate what it takes to make a man’s suit. I’ve done 2. And that is all I will ever do! Yours looks very well fitted , great color for travel as well as not too warm. If you did all the work in a month and had a day time job too, you are truly amazing.

  • Gloria Williams
    July 15, 2014


  • Sebastian
    July 15, 2014

    Well done!

    The only thing is that the trousers seem about two inches too short… If you stand up straight, the hem is supposed to just touch the top line of the soles of your dress shoe.


  • Suzanne
    July 15, 2014

    Michael deserves an award for that one pic of you buttoning up while looking at your reflection. What a great pic, and what a great suit!

  • Pammy
    July 16, 2014

    I think the name for this is ‘debonair’. Did you do the inside stuff like Rory Duffy from the vimeo stuff? Can you do a blog on that sort of thing? I know you have done little bits and pieces from your course, but…please?
    P (long-time lurker)

  • Peter
    July 16, 2014

    Thanks, everyone!

  • Lori
    July 16, 2014

    Oh, Peter, your suit is stunning and such impressive workmanship.

    • Cheyanna
      August 11, 2014

      Deep thinking – adds a new dieonsimn to it all.

  • Carol
    July 16, 2014

    Mens tailoring is the hardest, us women have a few more bumps and curves to obscure anything less than perfect.
    You have produced a extremely professional fit and finish.
    I often look at your work/passion, and give it a personal critique; and I have to exclaim . . . BRAVO, very well done. 🙂

  • Amy
    July 16, 2014

    You are a sewing machine! I can’t believe how many suits and other labor intense garments you’ve made this summer. You look fabulous in this suit by the way!

  • Cennetta
    July 17, 2014

    Excellent craftsmanship! I love the details of this summer suit. The inside looks as nice as the outside. As a matter of fact, I plan to make a marine blue twill jacket soon. I agree Mood has a very nice selection of twill fabrics to choose from. BTW- you look great in your new suit!

  • Jill
    July 18, 2014

    Wow! Now you’re talking! Tailoring is my favorite kind of sewing after taking the 8hour blazer Palmer Pletsch class in the early 80s. So naturally I love seeing someone really get into it. You did fabulous work on this suit. Nothing looks as polished as a suit on man or woman in my opinion! Think Cary Grant and Bianca Jagger for starters.

  • rachel
    July 19, 2014

    You look SO SHARP!!!! Great job, Peter!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    July 19, 2014

    OMG that’s amazing – you made a suit! You look very ‘together’ and I love the entire look.

  • Sarah Gunn
    July 20, 2014

    What a great suit, Peter! Congratulations 🙂

  • Ginger
    July 21, 2014

    This is ridiculously gorgeous! Love it!

  • Roberta
    July 23, 2014

    Fits like a glove and looks very expensive. All the hard work was worth it!

  • Meg the Grand
    August 1, 2014

    Very dapper! Well done with all the tailoring details – your hard work is evident in how great this turned out!

  • Fiona
    August 2, 2014

    Wow Peter, you knock my socks off every time. That’s some serious sewing skill you have there. I absolutely love the flashes of colour and print inside! Wonderful