Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Sequined Black & Blue Sleeved Waistcoat

Photo by Seamus Lee Hayes.

I have finished another project! I'm trying to tackle my Unfinished Things pile and I'm actually getting stuff done!
My sketch, which looks better in person because the scan doesn't capture the silvery ink.
I started this thing about a year and a half ago, back when I was far more prone to making bad fabric choices. I have a LOT of complaints about it, but it still looks nice.
Terribly washed out photo of the sequins.
And an excellent view of the not at all lined up sleeve-end.
I based the pattern off sleeved early to mid 18th century waistcoats, even though this thing isn't remotely historically accurate. That's okay though, it's not meant to be.
I cut the front & back out of black silk dupioni, which I have a lot of. I did most of the construction a year ago, and the interfacing is synthetic and rather terrible. As far as I can remember I was trying to get rid of some of my not very nice materials, which explains the lining and pockets...

Yellow cotton sateen pockets. Ick. Why.
At least they're out of sight.
I did most of the sewing by machine.
Pocket flaps sewn up and the top edges hand stitched closed.
I have a jar of various sequins, which I sorted through to get all the dark blue ones. I also found some black ones, and a bunch of dark, shimmery, not any one colour in particular ones.
All the sequins are hand stitched on with a black seed bead in the middle. I put 2 stitches with a single thread through each bead.

The lining is awful. Originally the sleeves were lined in the same sateen I used for the pocket bags, but when I picked this up and started working on it again I ripped them out and replaced them with silver-grey bemberg. The rest is lined in plain weave cotton, and I have no clue why I put the dark blue sections on the bottom edge when they should be on the edge by the neckhole where the lining is more likely to actually show.
No. That is not how to do a facing.
I cut the back in 2 sections so there would be a waist seam, and in that waist seam I caught a rectangle of black cotton mesh. I also tacked a square of mesh to each side of the centre back slit.
All of this is the part that was sewn over a year ago.
When I tried it on a few weeks ago I realized the crap choice of lining made the back tails ride up, and I was in a hurry to get this done for an event so I sewed 4 big washers to the corners to weigh them down. Someday I might put a good lining in the rest of the waistcoat.
Ugly, but it's on the inside and it keeps it from bunching up.
The sleeves are a blue dupioni that I screen printed with silver octopi a few years ago. I think my reasoning for the weird sleeves and the mesh tail was that none of it would show when this is worn under a coat, which makes sense. I don't know why I didn't measure the black things I stuck on the ends of the sleeves though.
I think the right pocket is a tiny bit higher than the left one.
I put the sequins on after most of the construction was done, but I had to open up the hem to sew the ones on the bottom edge without going through the pocket.
It's a bit of a pain to button up with all the sequins in the way, but I like it. I think it'll look nice under a coat once I make one of the right silhouette.
The left sleeve end is lined up, but not the right one. Boo.

I wore it to the Fredericton Gender Minorities second annual Pride Prom (where I was helping set up and chaperon) but I don't have any pictures from there yet.
Edit: I forgot to mention cuff buttons! Most of the extant waistcoats have them, but I neglected to add them to mine. I probably will eventually though.


  1. This is seriously so cool! I love it!

  2. I love it! I especially love the octopuses. Nice embellishing doodles on your sketch too!