After an admittedly failed attempt at making a jacket, I decided to give a waistcoat a try. It is, after all, much easier – and I thought that this time I might end up with something wearable.

And so I started with creating a pattern – based mostly on a waistcoat I had made for me by a real tailor. I then cut the fronts from the brown houdstooth linen cloth and fused the lapels and some of the fronts to reinforce the part where the buttonholes would eventually be. Fused, because unlike jackets, waistcoats are usually fused or reinforced with a completely different type of canvas – and I didn’t have this canvas.

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It’s not that big of a deal – after all I left most of the fronts unfused, to preserve some breathability. And a waistcoat lapels are pressed flat (you want them to look okay under a jacket after all), so achieving the 3D roll of the canvassed lapels is not really an issue here.

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There are two pockets, running in parallel to the waistcoat bottom. The back is made of the lining fabric.

The lapels turned out rather huge. They can be trimmed later, and I will do that. I will take some photos of the waistcoat on me first, though. There are two lessons to be learned here: the first is strictly for me, about how the pattern translates to the finished garment. The second, more useful for the readers of this blog, is about proportions and balance. Expect some ramblings on the topic from me in not so distant future.

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Speaking of the lapels – have a look at the gorge line. I made it curve a little, isn’t it nice?

There’s a lot of pick-stiching. I like it, what can I say.

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What I’m particularly proud of are the buttonholes. I used some gimp and silk buttonhole twist to finish them and followed the instructions in Roberto Cabarera’s Classic Tailoring Techniques. I believe they look really nice, and making them turned out to be much more pleasant than I expected.

I’m no tailor, nor do I intend to be one; I will never make garments up to professional standards. I am, however, interested in how the clothes I wear are constructed, how the two-dimentional pattern translates to the three-dimentional shape of an article of clothing. I like exploring those things, and having some hands-on experience makes me understand them more. And appreciate those who actually work in this trade professionally.

About me

Szymon Jeziorko

My name's Szymon Jeziorko. I wear ties and write about it compulsively. More...

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