Thursday, July 9, 2015

Green Silk Waistcoat - Completed!

This past weekend, I pulled out a UFO and completed it! Kenny's green silk waistcoat (which I had started a year ago and whip-stitched him into for the Louisville Jane Austen Festival) has been waiting for the following elements for completion:
- buttonholes (finished those a couple months ago, in the last post!)
- buttons (covered those some time ago, but had to wait for the buttonholes to apply.)
- back gore (we realized when I stitched this onto him for the festival, that I had left zero wiggle room in the girth.)

Last weekend, I really needed to complete something creative to help myself out of a low patch, and this guy was the handiest (and the easiest/most instantly-gratifying) project at hand.

First, I sliced straight up the back, opening a wedge of space for a skinny gore to be inserted. 

Then, I turned under the edges of the vest back, sandwiched the gore (the hem of which I pre-finished) in-between, and then prickstitched the edges together over the gore. I regretted this stitch method as soon as I started working down the second side of the gore, as it got much harder to see my needle on the right side of the fabric for each tiny stitch. 

The exterior appears to be topstitched, the interior appears to be whip-stitched. Construction stitches; the most mundane but most important stitches on a garment. 

Finally, I stitched on my buttons et voila! This baby is finally complete, and well-fitting. (Someday my hand-stitch tension will be perfect and my costumes will be entirely wrinkle-free. Hopefully.) 

The pattern I used for this was by Kannik's Korner, Men's Waistcoats, c. 1790-1815. The pattern had some great historical documentation, and a lovely vocabulary of stitches (always helpful to one new to historical handsewing.) The only part I was uncertain about was the way the internal front edge interfacing/interlining was supposed to whip onto the body fabric - I don't think I could have achieved that invisibly in this fabric. So does one skip that on thin silk waistcoats? Or does one just really get better at their invisible stitching? 

Glad this is finished! Next to complete: the linen tailcoat.