I’m about to start sewing my way through a Butterick pattern, #B6339 — a collection of vests and waistcoats. It’s been suggested to me that this is a common item that men enjoy wearing, and that many men would enjoy having as a unique item to wear on top of otherwise-store-bought clothes.
Which makes a certain amount of sense, when you think about it. A waistcoat or vest that looks like everyone else’s waistcoat or vest, just like your pants, your shirt, your boots or shoes, look like everyone else’s, sounds boring. It looks boring. It feels boring. But a waistcoat that’s different from everyone else’s, that’s unique to you, allows you to have a unique appearance while still retaining a more or less masculine figure regardless of the fabric. So say we all.
The first part of this, though, involves learning to do three things that are sort of tricky: make a doubled dart, as shown here in these two photographs; and then make a slash-pocket, which seems considerably more challenging.
Essentially, I’m going to make these two darts, and then I’m going to gently cut open that line and the triangles at each end, and attach a pocket to that spot. I don’t know how this is done, but I feel like it’s a level-up if I can accomplish it. Why’s that? Currently, I know how to make about four different coats, including the Enlightenment-era coat and vest both with and without a lining — but none of those designs include pockets. Men (and women) crave pockets, and they’re more likely to buy a garment with pockets than without them. Every garment I’ve ever made needs pockets — even the ones where “pockets ruin the lines of the garment.” Even where they’re not historical.
And so, it’s time to work through a pattern where pockets are essential, where they’re included, where they’re challenging, but where they’re also part of the design. Here, that’s true. And so, we begin — because no one wants to walk through life with nowhere to put their personal stuff like a phone, a knife or their keys.