A Simple Denim Waistcoat

#40102 Waistcoat Pattern

For no particular reason, I wanted to make Graham a waistcoat. So I did.

At first I tried the pattern from Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear, but it’s quite the wrong shape for him. That has darting at the front. Graham needs it at the back, as most men seem to.

Green pattern as in Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear (I think). Black pattern as for Graham. Slash illustrates tummy room added. 🙂

So I copied his jacket pattern, drew a waistcoat shape over it, and took it in at the side seams, making sure that there was enough tummy room. (He’s not fat, he’s just a little soft about the middle).

Using #40101 as a block

I looked at other waistcoat patterns to model on and I didn’t think any of the classic ones would match his body type. I considered a more casual silhouette but ended up just drafting it without the front darts and adding a bit of tummy room.

I made a toile out of the jacket toile (saving fabric) and it was pretty good. Then I got impatient and cut the real one out of a remnant of stretch denim and some gold lining fabric I had, both from The Shire. I fused the whole thing (except lining, obviously) to give it some body as it was fairly thin “denim”.

It went quite well, until I realised (most of the way through) that I didn’t know how to finish lining a waistcoat. So, emotional, I scoured the Internet and read and reread Fashion Incubator until I understood it.

How to sew a waistcoat

It’s actually very simple when you don’t spend the whole day frustrating yourself carefully read what to do first.

This is what my Order of Work sheets look like.

Features he likes

He picked the buttons “because they look like car wheels,” and he likes that the pockets are actually useable because on most waistcoats “They’re usually pretty useless.” I think that is because I naturally (and without paying attention to other pictures) put them at a natural angle.

Tips for sewing waistcoats

  • Use the right method
  • Fuse/interface everything except the lining
  • Pull the pocket bags out of the pockets when you sew the buttonholes to avoid getting them caught.
Check out those car wheel-like buttons!
Look how nicely it hugs the back of the neck! There’s a little shaping in the pattern there 😉
A gold paisley lining

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