My Husband's Christmas present, complete!
My husband is a ballroom dance instructor - I call him my very own personal Patrick Swayze.
He has to wear slacks, shirt, and tie to work every night - and this fall he found a vest at Goodwill that he likes to throw in for a change every once in a while. For Christmas, he asked for another vest. I TRIED to be lazy and just buy him one - but all the vests I found were cheap (polyester, mass produced monstrosities) and expensive ($85 for a plain black polyester vest? Weak). So i broke down and made him one.
The striped fabric was a scrap of really lush suit-weight wool, black with grey/silver pinstripes. The lining and back are a high-quality polyester lining. Buttons from Hancock's - I had wanted to use pewter buttons, but didn't think about it in time to order any. We can always switch them out later, if he wants me to.
Although I usually draft my patterns, I ended up using a commercial pattern for this - I didn't have time to draft something nice, and all I have is his chest measurement, so I needed something that worked off of standard sizing. Enter Folkwear 222 - Vintage Vests.
Pattern Description: From Folkwear: "Victorian gentlemen at the end of the 1800s needed a vest or waistcoat to be considered well-dressed, and smart Victorian women often paired vests with walking skirts for street wear. Our vests offer a variety of stylings, including collarless V-neck, bias-cut vest with shawl collar, and short front-darted style. Traditional bow tie, with instructions for tying, is also included."
Pattern Sizing:Misses 6-16; Men's 36-44.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I made view B - the men's bias-cut vest. It looked just like the pattern envelope photo.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! Although I've made a number of Renaissance doublets, this is my first attempt at a Victorian style vest. I had never done welt pockets before - and could not wrap my brain around how the geometry worked. I followed the pattern instructions meticulously, step by step, working on faith that they would work - and they did! All instructions were clear and well written, accompanied by line drawings when necessary.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved working with this pattern. It went together beautifully - there were no grading issues, all the pieces matched up nicely, and the instructions were clear and simple to follow.
Fabric Used: Suitweight wool, polyester back/lining
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! I have a feeling that my husband will be wanting a few more vests...
Conclusion: Overall, this is an excellent pattern. The instructions are clear, the sizing is accurate, and I was able to create a beautiful finished product with little fuss. As with all patterns, it may be necessary to tweak the sizing to fit the wearer. The key to creating a finely tailored garment is, of course, pressing - since the fashion fabric is a soft wool, I made lots of use of my steam iron and tailor's clapper to press all the seams into submission. There are a lot of little pieces and curved pieces in the collar, and it's a bit tedious to clip and press all of those pieces - but it's worth it in the end! Don't scrimp on the pressing.