Quickie Project: Eggplant Wool Sleeved Waistcoat
So, next week is an 18th century event at Fort Ward, right down the road (literally, less than 3 miles) from our apartment. The Queen’s Own Loyal Virginia, the loyalist unit that Marc and I belong to, will be in attendance. Seeing as how the temperature is still hovering around freezing and I currently have no appropriate garments with sleeves, I felt that my best bet for getting myself something to wear would be to make use of a pattern that I have already fitted to me: my waistcoat pattern.
While I was laying out the pattern pieces on the gorgeous eggplant-colored wool melton I got from 96 District Fabrics, I decided to see if I could fit in a pair of breeches as well, just for my own amusement. Sure enough, I can. I now know that it takes less than 3 yards to make me a sleeved waistcoat and breeches, and probably only about 3.5yds to make me a full suit (breeches, waistcoat, frock coat). Fabric conservation is one of the few times where I’m actually glad to be as short as I am. Thanks to my height, I am able to save a lot on fabric, and since I initially bought my fabric based on the estimates on the pattern, I have enough material laying around to make myself several suits of clothes!
Now, when I made my waistcoat last time, it ended up being just a smidge too short. This time around we have adjusted for this by adding an inch of length back into the pattern (things like this are why I never permanently alter a pattern). I also will be using the sleeves part of the pattern this time, so those got added as well. I’ve made this pattern once before, so the construction should go rather swiftly, I hope.
Now, the pattern layout that you see above is an exceptionally lazy use of the fabric I have, and was not the final placement of the pattern pieces. I ended up sticking some of the straight edges on the selvedge, which opened up some space in the middle for smaller pieces. I could make even more efficient use of the fabric by doing some piecing, a bit more rearrangement of the larger pieces, or by going against the grain of the fabric, but I really felt that such a thing would be overkill, especially considering how little fabric I have to use already.
I cut out the pieces on Friday, on Saturday I sewed the backs and sleeves together, and today I’m sewing the backs to the fronts, sewing the pockets, and cutting out the lining. Tomorrow (Monday) I’ll be sewing the lining together and likely sewing it to the body of the jacket, then attaching the sleeves. Throughout the week I will need to sew roughly 16-18 buttonholes and make 16-18 dimes into the same number of cloth-covered buttons, and then I’ll finally have a period-appropriate sleeved garment to wear!
In the meantime, Marc has been furiously sewing his Queen’s Rangers jacket, which River, our ever-helpful cat, has been keeping neatly furred for him: