Of Vests and the Art of Tailoring.

Or at least, attempting the art of tailoring! About three years ago my Dad asked me to make him a couple nicer vests that he could use to spruce up his outfits. There were a couple personal requirements he wanted in his vests which he was having trouble finding in modern, ready to wear. Namely, he needs them long enough to cover items carried on the belt.

I’m finally getting around to making  the first one. It’s a charcoal grey wool that I’m lining with black silk taffeta (the real deal, no polyester here!) and interlining the front with hair canvas. So far, my only tailoring experience has been making two 1860s era vests for my younger brother. I did all the period tailoring details because I’m a stickler for authenticity when possible in my period reproduction sewing. That is the limit to my tailoring knowledge. And the instructions which came with Simplicity 4762 are not at ALL designed for tailoring!

I’m going to try and document my progress. I sense that this will be a steep learning curve for me, so I’m sure many  mistakes will be made, but hopefully if I’m documenting them I can see what went wrong and how to prevent it next time!

Today I cut out the pieces and worked on securing the canvas to the vest fronts. I used fusible interfacing on the pocket welts because I didn’t want the bulk of the hair canvas on them. It always caused me lots of headaches on the period vests I sewed, so since it’s not required here for authenticity’s sake, I took the short cut!




You can see in this picture that my initial sewing was a bit shaky! I wasn’t certain how to get the effect I wanted so it took a bit of trial and error. The idea behind this stitch is to secure the canvas to the fashion fabric, adding stability and body. But, your stitches can’t show through, so you’re just barely catching the fashion fabric on the under side.

The next step is to sew in my pockets. I’ll be doing single flap welt pockets.


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