So it turns out small doesn’t always mean quick and simple… 

Tartan Waistcoat

Being a Scot, I am, of course, partial to a splash of Tartan Fabric (even if that means risking something of a pattern matching headache)! This month’s project used just a whiff of fabric really - with the bulk of the waistcoat being constructed from a navy Lining Fabric. It was my first time using a Vogue Sewing Pattern and I’d say they are less descriptive with their instructions than other brand so probably not the best patterns for beginners, but overall not hugely different in terms of diagrams, and pattern design.

I spread this make project over the whole month. I enthusiastically set off thinking it would be half a dozen pieces, no sweat, whip it up… but no! There were so many pieces for this waistcoat that I had to have 2 weeks’ break after just cutting all the pattern pieces, fabric, linings and interfacings. I was also put off by the mention of welt pockets in step 2… 

I’d never tackled welt pockets before, but thankfully once I got stuck in the instructions mostly made sense. The welts on each pocket don’t quite butt up evenly against each other; instead the top ones seem to overlap the bottom. This is not an altogether unattractive look but I’m sure it’s not quite how it’s meant to have turned out!

The pattern matching was actually not bad at all, since it was just to get the two front pieces lined up with the horizontal lines travelling straight across. The tartan fabric was very light and ‘shifty’ so I’m glad that much of it was interfaced for stability.

After getting the welts done, the rest of the construction was fairly straight forward. Only at the end was a leap of faith required, when sewing the lining to main garment. I couldn’t quite get the geometry clear in my head but when I reached through to pull it all out, it had worked.

I love the Buckle Fastener on the back, it makes me feel like I’m off to a wedding for some energetic ceilidh dancing! 

So what did I learn? Well, definitely that smaller sized garments are NOT easier by default. I may try a waistcoat again down the line, but I think to offset the painfulness of all the cutting I will keep my eye distracted with some whacky colours. I do like the idea of an entire waistcoat collection ranging from the classic right up to the crazy!

Next month I’m going to be doing some pattern alterations to create a menswear version of a certain iconic women’s piece… there will be jersey, there will be leather, and there will be lots and lots of colours!

Until then, happy sewing!