Looking dapper

The promise of a waist coat.

It all started with the GBSB. G.watched enough of episode 2, to decide that he would like a waistcoat. So in March for his birthday I gave him a promise  of a waistcoat. He could choose the fabric and I would make it. Ok, actually in reality he wouldn’t get to choose the fabric, but his opinion would be considered. Maybe.

Every month or so since, he’s tentatively inquired where his waistcoat is on my sewing priority list. But I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, and without the pattern I didn’t want to go fabric shopping quite yet… and.. and… and… Somehow we got to now. August. If I wait just a few more months I could give him the waistcoat for Christmas.


The project however gained some momentum at the beginning of June. And it began with the buttons. While in Scotland, on holiday,  by Loch Tay as we were about to walk up into the mountains for several days we chanced upon a Horn Craft shop. It might be called Lawers Horn Craft (there’s some great pictures on this persons blog). Anyway they had everything from goblets to cutlery to shaving brushes to buttons. And as soon as G. saw the buttons he wanted them for his waistcoat. Fair enough they are pretty damn cool buttons, each one slightly different. They have character and I like things with character.

So now that I had five buttons I just needed to find a pattern. Before I found the pattern however I found the fabric. Which I admit I bought partly for him and his waistcoat, but also for me (exploiting a loop hole in the fabric ban) for my Victoria Blazer. It is a cotton/linen blend in a nice warm chocolaty brown which I think looks lovely behind the buttons. Buttons – tick. Fabric – tick. Pattern?

Technical drawingIt took me ages to find the right pattern and even now I am not 100% sure about it – I wobble day in and day out. But I haven’t found anything better. And G. may start hiding my sewing things if I work on anything but his waistcoat.  New Look 6839 version B with welt pockets.

But finding the right lining continued to plague me. I couldn’t find what I wanted and I didn’t know what I wanted. But then one day I was talking to the lovely Portia from the makery. I was telling her about the waistcoat and my inability to find the right lining. What she said she had just the right thing for me. A few days later she sent me a photo of the fabric which is perfect. I couldn’t have articulated that that I what I wanted, but having seen it now, it is perfect.  A few weeks later is showed up  at my door step. Thank-you Portia!

Now it was time to actually get to work. G. is a big lad and as this is a ‘unisex’ pattern I thought the XL looked like it might be a bit snug on him. So I decided to add 5/8″ to the side seams just to be sure and on the hem.

It came together fairly well and quite quickly. Other than increasing the side seam allowance, which in the end probably wasn’t necessary the only change I made was on the lining to turn the darts into dart tucks. I’m not terribly great with linings, no matter how much work I put into them they never seam to exactly match up. But in this instance it turned out pretty dam well!

The only irksome thing about the pattern is the pockets. I cant remember having made welt pockets before and I was a little aggrieved to discover how useless they are. Next time I shall contrive to make something half usable. But for now, G. is looking pretty dapper in his new waist coat.




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