About this time last year I had many plans of things to sew for Christmas. Well, the Girl got her PINK dress and the Boy (just) got his checked shirt but the Man had to wait until after his birthday in March for a wearable yet very purple muslin of his waistcoat. I did start the real thing, but it made it to The Pile and has been languishing there ever since.
Recently the Man (a.k.a. hubby) started dropping hints about waistcoasts. Then he got less subtle. Then he admitted to eyeing them up on the John Lewis website.
So, I burrowed deep into the pile and found a bag of stuff. I opened it with trepidation. I knew I’d started the waistcoat and not got that far, how to work out what was going on. I should point out at this point that this is not a straightfoward make. Hubby chose Burda 7799 view A. For the muslin I had to straighten the bottom of the pattern pieces (he didn’t like the style) and draft a collar piece as it had lapels that were at the front only and sewed into the shoulder seams, which was not approved of. Feedback on the fit is that the real thing has to be lengthened by 2″. Also on the design spec is that all the waistcoat, including the back, has to be in the main fabric (a grey wool), with a lining (green shiny polyester thing) on the inside but a facing of the main grey. Phew. So now you know where the Boy gets his fussy streak from.
Anyway, when I opened the bag I was pleasantly surprised at how organised I’d been. I’d drawn a clear list of what pattern pieces were needed in which fabric and put an order of construction together and done my own little japanese pattern style diagram. Go me. (I tried to scan them in to show you as this post is a little picture heavy, but then I became alarmed at the amount of time I was spending not getting them into the right format and decided I’d rather use that sewing, sorry). Hubby was also there at the time and he was dismayed at the number of pattern pieces, realising it looked complicated. Yes dear, it is complicated, that’s why it’s been languishing on the pile.
Initially I’d cut out the lining fabric and started sewing darts. I got hubby matching the various pocket linings to their pattern pieces while I started cutting out the main fabric, I stuck to the big pieces, the backs, fronts and facings. Then I attached the lining to the facing (hmm, facing is a couple of cm longer but apparently I have a 4cm hem allowance so I’m not worrying at the moment) and made up the lining for him to try on. Result.
Subsequently I have sewn and pressed the darts in the main fabric. This took a while as I was struggling to mark the fabric. But they’re now done. And I have a sinking feeling that I should’ve made the strap/belt things first and sewn them in. Oh well, maybe I can convince him he didn’t want them anyway.
Anyway, I’m aware that this waistcoat make is not perfect, but I keep telling myself it only has to be as good as the muslin and it’ll be better. As in, he wears the muslin, but only really around the house due to it’s extreme purpleness. As the real deal will be grey, if I can keep the same standard of sewing it will instantly be more wearable. Plus it will be 2″ longer. And it will be a heck of a lot more use than it is cluttering up a corner of my dining room (a.k.a. languishing on the pile).
So, now I have to do the welt pockets. Eek. Hence the prevarication of writing this blog piece. I know that the Oliver and S welt tutorial is supposed to be good but it seams to use different shaped pieces. I may do a trial run. Wish me luck. Or recommend me another good tutorial, but bear in mind I may have foolishly cracked on with the sewing in a fit of impatience before waiting to see what pearls of wisdom are offered (that’s what normally happens) so don’t be offended if I seem to disregard you. There’s always next time (I’m thinking, if i crack this pattern, I’m going to make it again if only to justify the effort needed).
Oh and does anyone know, am I supposed to finish the seams? They’re all going to be enclosed as the waistcoat is lined. I think I’m going to leave them but I’m slightly scared they’ll fray. I tried searching for expertise but I keep finding yet more explanations of how to bag out a waistcoat lining (which I understand already, having done it on a self drafted waistcoat for the boy previously). I’m thinking maybe pinking shears, but that means a trip to the shop down the road, which is dangerous….