Sunday, November 18, 2012

Waistcoat 6: Finished

Finished! I like this waistcoat quite a bit. It fits very nicely, high under the arm in the armscye, which will give me good ease of movement. I know I haven't shown myself wearing any of the things I've finished recently, but once I have a whole outfit put together I'll wear everything at once.

This is the first time I've used silk thread for buttonholes. I have to say it's quite nice to work with. The only problem with these buttonholes is that the linen unraveled so easily. I had to do some thick overcast serging with regular thread before moving to the silk twist. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Waistcoat 5: Almost Finished

First of all, here's a picture of what I was talking about in the last post, where the collar is sewn into the shoulder seam. This reduces additional bulk in the back, and keeps the collar from pressing against the back of your neck from the weight of the coat. A little thing, but remember that in Victorian times the coat was never taken off, so it doesn't matter what the back of your waistcoat looked like.

Now some pictures of the waistcoat at this stage. All it needs are buttonholes and buttons. And maybe a back adjustment strap. I was trying to make it fit well enough to not need a strap and buckle, but I think it will work better with it.

Here you can see some chalk marks I drew to make sure I line everything up correctly when putting on the buttons.

The back. I really wanted to make this of the same material as the lining, but as I bought the end of a roll of fabric for the lining I didn't quite have enough. I tried to make it work, even with the stripes running horizontally, but it just wasn't going to happen.

The lining. You can see pleats at the front shoulders in the lining to help keep it from pulling.

Detail of the felling where the lining meets the front facings.

And a detail of where the back lining meets the front. Remember that the front pieces were already lined before I added the back, so the back lining is felled onto the front lining.

I could have just made simple buttons, but I figured that a little extra something was worth it. I decided to do a very simple embroidery - just a few crossed lines tied together where they all cross. I did a circle of stay stitching around the edge of the button because this fabric frays very easily. Without the stitching, the fabric would just all fall apart at the back where I stitched it over the button molds.

A completed button. I sewed a thread shank onto the back of this one, but I'm not sure if I want to keep that, or simply sew the buttons directly onto the waistcoat. We'll see how this one works, or if it stands too far off the fabric.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Waistcoat 4: Collar

This little guy was giving me some problems.

I was initially going to have a full collar on this waistcoat, with a stand and collar, wrapping all the way around the neck. My first draft of it was much too long, as I discovered in my muslin, so then I was waiting until I had completed the waistcoat before drafting the collar.

Since then I learned two things: first of all, how to draft the collar as it would look folded down, on the pattern draft, instead of opened up. That would have been easier than the way I did it, which is just to guess how the revers/lapel would fold down and look, and would have made it easier to judge the notch in the lapel. It would also have allowed me to draft the entire collar as part of the facing which wraps from the inside of the vest to the collar facing. Does that make sense? No? I'll have to find some pictures for a later post.

The second thing I learned is that many waistcoats, unless they have a shawl collar, just ended the collar at the shoulder seam. That is what I will do, so this little bit here is the underside of the collar, with the canvas pad stitched to give it some stiffness, and to create the roll from the stand to the collar. The front (right) will attach to the top of the lapel, and the rear (left) will be seamed into the shoulder seam. The next post will make all of this make sense, I promise.