Friday, April 8, 2011

19th century waistcoat continued

I love making waistcoats- I don't know what it is about them that I enjoy so much, but I really like cutting and making them. I guess they are so less complicated than jackets but that doesn't mean they are all simple, or simplistic in their cutting.

I thought you might like to see the waistcoat that I showed you earlier, now made up.

It has been in to a fitting, and there are a couple of very minor tweaks to do and then it can be finished.
Monique who is new to my team this year made this one- her first waistcoat for me- she has been on a dressmaking team for the past few years and wanted to move into tailoring so she has and I think she did a good job.
So details for those interested:
If you look at the photo under the lapel, you will see that I cut the underlapel and collar in one piece but I seamed the "collar " to the lapel on the topside- I barely had enough fabric to cut this waistcoat out, let alone try to match the patterns, so I treated the undercollar like a large shawl collar (which it really is, just a different shape), but from the outside it looks like a separate seamed on collar.
It has the full accentuated chest shape of the period which I like but doesn't stand too far away from the actor wearing it.
The extra bulk of the waistcoat collar does take up some room under the coat, especially through the neckline.

The coat collar can be tricky in these coats because the bulk of the waistcoat naturally pushes the coat collar away from the neck, but we want it to come toward the body not away, so it requires a bit of control on the roll line of the coat collar to keep it short and a fair bit of stretching on the outside edge to get it to splay on the shoulders.
This one gets a velvet top collar which will probably require a two piece collar pattern as we don't want a seam at the CB as many period coats did.
So I'll be back to the drafting table.......


  1. I just love this waistcoat and would like a waistcoat circa 1833 as shown in this link with its wonderful scarlet second waistcoat effect:-
    What are the specifications for the fabric that you would recommend?

    1. A beautiful painting! as for fabrics, that is personal prefernce and budget. It looks like a brocade, likely silk. The red inner "waistcoat" or slip vest I believe derived from actually wearing two waistcoats, but I could be wrong.
      That could be another silk or a fine wool.
      If you are interested, I will be offering a custom made patterns in the fall.

  2. Terri, do you ever make these to sell??

  3. I have not made these to sell.
    I very occasionally take on commisions, and sometimes make custom patterns for people but I don't generally make anything without an end sale.