Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Colonial Long Waistcoat

Earlier this month I finished the custom order of the early American waistcoat. The order was from a returning customer, Dan, who is very tall and a very good customer. He bought breeches from me last year and we've been corresponding about another project for a while.

Dan wearing "my" breeches

It's bad, but whenever I send Dan an email my fingers automatically type "Dad" instead of "Dan." Or even worse, once I typed "Dam" instead. But I must have caught all the mistakes because Dan bought and got the waistcoat this June.

Dan's Waistcoat on my Barbie mannikin

 Materials Used

I bought the green wool from a friend who, I'm pretty sure, had bought it in bulk from Heritage Fabric. I've looked at their wool before, but a minimum order is 10 meteres, and that's a lot of money.

The buttons were pewter with star flower design from Jas. Townsend(buying two ten-packs saved us something).

The lining was my favorite, Kaufman Essex natural linen/cotton from

The pattern was the J.P Ryan long waistcoat with the option of sleeves.

Even with money-saving measures like buying the wool at wholesale price from a friend, using a blend for lining, and ordering cheaper buttons, material cost is so crazy high. Usually when I'm making an item for the first time or if the customer is a friend or returning customer, I charge less, so when I list things on Etsy for the greater public it always goes up. But I still think my prices are decent, all things considered!

Welt pocket with flap

The pockets were new to me. It's just a basic welt pocket underneath the flap, but I'd never attached pocket flaps over a welt pocket like this before. According to the instructions they can be added in the welt pocket seam, or topstitched over the welt pocket. I felt that with this wool adding the flap into the seam might be too bulky, so I topstitched them. The concern there is that they might come loose sooner than if they had been in the pocket seam. So anyway, the jury is still out on that one.

All the seams were done by machine, and the welt pockets were by machine. The buttonholes and hemming were by hand. There were three buttons on each pocket, and twelve down the front. Since we got ten-packs there were two extra, so I added them to the back pleats for decoration. I didn't plug them both because I forgot to before I did them hemming, and because it's really hard to sew a plugged button back on. Putting buttons on the back of a coat is just a decorative way to save them for when a button falls off the front, I think.

So there's that! Another order, another garment explored.

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