Sewing: double breast vest

IMG_8103.jpgI just finished this vest that I started a week or more ago, learning how to make welted pockets. I am not yet good at welted pockets, as can be seen here with these dark blue lines across the darts to the left and right of the third pair of buttons from the top.

There’s a few lessons to be learned here, of course.  Every pattern has its challenges. It’s important to recognize that when a pattern like Butterick B6339 says that it’s for advanced sewers rather than beginners, they’re not kidding.  I found this particular project challenging in a number of ways.  First, it’s really meant to be made in gabardine or wool or some sort of suiting fabric.  The lining really should be lining fabric instead of quilting fabric.  It’s really true that you should avoid heavy fabrics for the collars of coats and vests — because they won’t lie flat or allow themselves to be pressed properly, which prevents the garment from developing that certain crispness that you’d like a semi-formal garment like a waistcoat to have.  All of these things are serious learning experiences for me — because I’ve started making clothes in order to learn costuming skills, but it’s also clear that clothes which are way too “out there” are not always fun for people to wear in their ordinary day-to-day lives. They also want garments that are well-made from beautiful materials.

So there’s a balance to be struck between creating clothes that prove that I know how to work with the materials, and not trying to make too many clothes that are too far outside the norms of what people wear.  I’ll have to do more thinking on that, but that’s clearly a long-range issue to be thinking about.

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