Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back-blogging - Waistcoat in Progress

So... I got so caught up in the mad sewing that had to be done in order to finish for the Jane Austen Festival, that I totally skipped blogging. It had to be one or the other, sewing or blogging, and sewing won out.

However, I tried to take lots of in-progress pictures, so here they are!

The pattern I used was Kannik's Korner's "Man’s Waistcoats, Single-Breasted, Worn by Both Common Working Men and Fashionable Men c. 1790-1815". I really liked this pattern - there was a good bit of documentation, a great little library of stitches, and I personally enjoyed the hand-sewing instructions (although they would take some translation if one wanted to machine-sew the waistcoat).

I made up a mock-up of the smallest size waistcoat, but still had to alter it a bit to fit Kenny. However, I just made all the pieces correspond and didn't run into any other trouble.

I cut three layers to the waistcoat fronts: fabric (silk), interlining(muslin), and lining(muslin). And for the front edge interfacing, I used silk organza.

I cut out all the layers of fabric, and started by turning under the edges of the pocket welt.

I stitched the welt on as instructed, sans lining...

... and then I cut the slit for the welt. 

I forgot to take a photo of the muslin pocket lining in-progress, but I folded all edges and prick-stitched it to the folded edges of the silk pocket welt...

... and then folded up and stitched the pocket into the welt slit. 

Finally, I stitched up the sides of the welt. I stitched-in-the-ditch for good measure, to pin the pocket lining to the body of the waistcoat (it was hanging free and I was afraid the tension of something in the pocket would pull the top edge too much). 

The front edge interfacing. The pattern calls for the interfacing to be stitched directly to the outer fabric, but I had a really hard time finding evidence of that in any extant waistcoats. I'm sure it could be fairly invisible in wool, but silk or cotton? Please let me know if you know of any examples with visible stitching. So, instead, I stitched the interfacing to the interlining only! 

Interfacing stitched in, I moved to the next step. I marked and clipped where the collar ends, and then folded down the front and lower edges on the lining and fabric/interlining. 

Then... I prickstitched. AAAALLL the way around the front and lower edges. I attached the back and shoulders, kept prickstitching until everything was cleanly finished but the collar. Then I popped on the collar, turned under the lining, and whipped it up. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of that! I just stitched a little at a time when I got home from work every evening. 

Those are all the photos I have for now, but I'll take pictures of the waistcoat on Kenny as soon as I have the buttonholes in! In the mad frenzy to finish all pieces of Kenny's coat, I didn't get ANY buttonholes in! Poor feller was stitched into his entire costume. But he was lovely. 

Photo taken in front of the mantelpiece of the Aleksander House Bed & Breakfast in Louisville, KY


  1. The waistcoat turned out beautifully. The photo is just gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully I will be able to muster the stamina to plow through six or eight buttonholes and finish it up shortly.

  2. Abigale, I love your site. And your instructions and pictures for making the waist coat are so interesting and well organized and simplified for those who would like to take a chance and try to do what you did. You two look wonderful in front of my fireplace. If you get a moment, stop by my writer's blog at I haven't posted in weeks, but you might find something there, worthy of your very creative mind, to read.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I will check it out. The internet is a lovely wide place, I love finding new blogs to read.