I’ve been watching a lot of CosTube lately, and feeling a strong urge to get into vests I started my search for a plus sized waistcoat pattern. It appears that they aren’t ~à la mode~ right now so the better pattern designers (who have expanded or are expanding their size range) haven’t hopped aboard the waistcoat train yet. There’s a tonne of etsy pdf patterns but they were in such limited size ranges that I didn’t continue much of a search on that platform. Then I remembered Lekala, the site that will produce a pattern to fit your specific measurements. I was rewarded with quite a few waistcoat options and decided on #5954.
Having never used a Lekala pattern before, I was sceptical. I rounded up all my cabbage and eked the pieces out of a polyester tartan suiting and the lining from a gorgeous cotton sateen border print that I’d liberated the border from for a dress. First of all, the instructions are worse than Style Arc, if that is possible. I had fully lined a vest and done welt pockets in the past but I needed refreshers. If I had to rely on those instructions solely, there would be no vest. Just ribbons of fabric, shredded by my desperate hands.
Hot tips for waistcoat success:
In my recent laser cutting order for Fancy Lady Industries I filled up the “dead” spaces with buttons for myself and friends. This was the perfect opportunity to road test them! Honestly, I’m not jazzed by laser cut buttons because the edges are too square and they don’t slip easily in and out of the button hole. I have a fantasy of making moulds of my cool vintage buttons and casting some rad resin button sets!
On this toile I interfaced the entire front outer pieces with woven fusible interfacing. I was hoping it would behave and not bubble but alas… bubbling and misbehaviour. I think I may be lead down the path of non-fusible sew-in interfacing in the future but I’ll have to research how to do it effectively… I think pad stitching may be involved? Surely having the interfacing layer as a kind of interlining doesn’t stabilise the fabric as well as a fusible? I may chase this query down a tailoring rabbit hole.
I am pretty chuffed with the result and I’m now a confirmed waistcoat wearer. This outfit features a blouse based on McCall’s M5640 with an added longer puffy sleeve, and some Arthur pants. Holy shit, I haven’t blogged about the Sew Liberated Arthur pants yet? WOW. I have made three pair and they are bloody delightful.
Back to the waistcoat and upon seeing these photos on my computer display I realise I need to drop the bust dart down 5cm or so. Sometimes I can look at the mirror and a photo and see things entirely differently? I also need to wear my glasses, clearly!
For my second waistcoat I used a remnant of black stretch denim and scooped out the neckline as well as took a few cm off the shoulder. The bust darts remain perky at this stage! The lining is recycled from the skirt of a dress I stuffed up a few years ago. I loved the print so much I couldn’t bear to get rid of it entirely.
I did not interface the entire front pieces this time, instead just the area around the welt pockets for some reinforcement. This vest wanted to be lived-in and casual. I still had an annoying time with the welts because of the stretch in the fabric and not having a sharp piece of chalk to mark the position. I need to find the perfect chalk pencil because I’ve not had any luck in recent years, and unfortunately in the haberdashery departments they’re usually packaged up so you can’t test them. Taking recommendations if you have any, please and thankyou!
Oh dear those dart points are very There, aren’t they?
The culottes are the infamous Winslows, another pattern I haven’t blogged about yet. I am terrible at matching up polka dots, or any other pattern, so I’m not really keen to showcase this particular pair of pants!
I’m very happy with my vests and envision at least one more in a fabric I have sitting in my shopping cart on the Remnant Warehouse’s site. Please remind me to lower that dart though.