Friday, 21 April 2017

Red Wool Waistcoat

I finished this a few weeks ago and am rather late posting it. It's made from the same re-used coat fabric as that awful fur trimmed waistcoat I did a few years ago. The biggest coat bits left were a tad too small, and I had to piece the side corners on.
It's interfaced along the front with heavy cotton twill. (The hair canvas I have is quite flimsy and wouldn't have made a difference on this fabric.) The edge around the front is folded in and sewn down.

The wool is thick and felted enough that I didn't feel the need to turn the edge in around the pocket hole.

The pockets and lining are both cotton quilting prints, and I can't remember where either of them came from. The back is a thick textured cotton from an old curtain.
The buttons are plastic, and aren't even trying to look like metal, but at least the star design on them looks suitable for the 18th century.
They're nice buttons at a distance.
The main construction seams are machine sewn, and the lining is hand sewn in.

The buttonholes are hand done too, as the wool is too thick to fit under the buttonhole foot.

It fits pretty well, since I actually mocked up my pattern this time...

 Though I'm late posting it here, I finished this in time for the March HSM challenge.

What the item is: A red wool waistcoat.
The Challenge, and how this item fulfills it: #3, The Great Outdoors. My waistcoat is good for cold weather, and the outdoors was quite cold when I made this, though it's warming up now.
Material: Red wool from a secondhand coat, quilting cotton for the lining, heavy rough cotton of some sort for the back.
Pattern: My own.
Year: 1770's-1780's
Notions: 12 plastic buttons, heavy cotton twill to interface the fronts, thread.
How historically accurate is it? The materials aren't accurate, but the pattern is, and I think the construction is overall fairly accurate. The look isn't too far off, but the wool is MUCH too thick for a waistcoat, and the buttons are obviously not metal when you look at them up close.
Hours to complete: Maybe about 25 or 30? I had a time sheet, but kept forgetting to update it.
First worn: March 28th, 2017
Total cost: $3.60 (the buttons were the only thing I bought, and they were quite cheap)
I made a small squid with some of the scraps, but there are still so many left. So many coat bits.
I've been using Small Squid Friend as a sleeve roll, because my sleeve board needs a new cover and I've been putting off making one. I should do that soon...


  1. Your waistcoat turned out nicely. I'm amazed at how thrifty a sewer you are to come up with such great results every time.

    1. Thank you, but I don't think I come up with great results every time. The waistcoat with the dinosaur lining doesn't fit well at all :(

  2. You've really nailed the fit, and your waistcoat has beautiful 18th century lines. The buttons might not be historically accurate, but the design is very reminiscent of decorative thread buttons from the period, so they work very well.

    Also, Small Squid Friend is just the best!

    1. Thanks! Small Squid Friend is very awkward as a sleeve roll, but perhaps I will make a proper one out of the rest of the wool scraps.

  3. I love this, and the fit looks very good. That line from neck to shoulder where the back fabric meets the front looks perfect - not that any gentleman of the period would be caught wandering around in his shirtsleeves for anyone to see. ;)

    The hand sewn buttonholes really add to the period feel, even if you did only do it because the fabric wouldn't fit in the machine

    1. Thank you! I prefer to do hand sewn buttonholes for most of my stuff anyways, unless the fabric is too low quality to make it worthwhile.

  4. Did not see small squid friend. How did I miss them?