In planning my winter wardrobe I chose this 1960s pattern, thinking a suit with a waist coat would make a nice change. I planned the waist coat in yellow (or red). Then I found a remnant in light grey cashmere that I thought would be perfect for a dry run, or making a toile as we say. With a French accent.
I don’t find making tailored items in calico particularly helpful, although that may have been a good idea in this case. This particular fabric is beautiful and soft but it is a little heavy and coat-like.
This means all the facings had to be pounded, and even then they were rather springy, and in the picture below you can see the front facing. The pattern proposes top stitching which would have helped keep the facing flat; drawn in, in black, on the pattern envelope in the days before Photoshop. The nap on the fabric and the overall simple look meant I desisted. It is interfaced with cotton Organdie which is my preferred shaping fabric. And lined with a small piece of light pink habotai silk left-over. The buttons are vintage dark brown leather buttons I got on Clitheroe market, in an exchange for a donation to a children’s hospice charity. They are not a matching set, but close enough. I really appreciate that someone took these buttons off a garment before disposing of it.
Design and alterations
I lengthened the pattern, but made a familiar mistake. I should have added at least some of the length (say 1″) above the bust. This can be seen with the dart being too low for me. So there is some bunching at the waist as it is a little bit too long there. In the final version I will change where I add the extra length. You can also see that the easing of the side piece is not satisfactory. The welts are not as crisp as I would like. The waist coat is designed to fit closely, which I like. But obviously when you want a close fit, the process of fitting the garment needs to be impeccable, which unfortunately this is not.
The problem is worse at the back. The garment is a little too long. You can also see that the fabric is quite resistant to pressing. There is also a line down the middle of the back. This is due to the fabric being a remnant and being folded too long. I did try some gentle sponging but I think it will need dry cleaning to get the dusty stain out.
So far not a project I am entirely happy with. I like the pattern, even the pointed hem which I was worried about, and the welt pockets. I think the colour is nice too. But the fabric was inappropriate and it means I will not buy cashmere coating again (for a jacket or waistcoat). With a few corrections this pattern can become a good fit. The neckline and shoulders fit beautifully. It also struck me that I could design a fitted sleeve, or even knit a pair, to turn this pattern into a jacket. Definitely something to work on, and I will wear it for work, probably over a long sleeved T shirt or shirt.