This week...

Firstly, another instalment of Sew Photo Hop on Instagram.  Here are my photos for this week:

Top row: Day 15 - secret corner of shame (or one of mine anyway!); Day 16 - Tiny Vs Big - the smallest and largest buttons in my stash, followed by the smallest and largest sewing machines I own; Day 17 - Proudest Achievement - I made my sister's wedding dress and also my bridesmaids dress and my mum's outfit for my sister's wedding

Bottom row: Day 18 - Sewing Resolution - it's all about the trousers for me!; Day 19 - boldest fabric; Day 20 - Learning and Practicing - some of my students work from the free motion embroidery workshops I teach; Day 21 - Shades of summer - I don't do pale/light colours, so these are shades of summer to me!

After I posted the free motion pictures on Instagram a couple of days ago I had a couple of people ask about a tutorial.  I do have a tutorial on my blog - click on the tab at the top of the page - but I will hopefully be updating it and adding to it in the near future.

The other thing I've been doing this week is experimenting.  Since I did the skirt block pattern drafting course I can't stop drawing/designing outfits I want, and I've had a double breasted waistcoat or jacket on my mind recently. 

I bought this pattern on Etsy, which I think I'm going to use for a winter coat, but in the mean time I've been experimenting with using it for the basis for a waistcoat.  I've always loved waistcoats; I think the fitted shape is quite flattering for my figure and I like the idea of the slightly masculine look softened by a pretty blouse or shirt.

I started by tracing the pattern off to about hip level and making a muslin without any other alterations. 


The uneven hem length was accidental - due to inaccurate measurement of where I stopped tracing - but I really like it.  As you can see, I need more width, particularly in the back, but I expected this as the pattern is actually at least one size too small for me. 

The shoulders will be narrowed and the neckline lowered, probably to just above the second pin down.  I was considering lowering it to the third pin, but I think I'll go higher which should give me the option to wear the top buttons unfastened and folded back to create a mock lapel type look.

Some sketches of the options I'm considering.  So far option 1 for both front and back are the front runners.

I'm undecided whether to lengthen the centre back panel to match the sides - I quite like it shorter, but I'm not sure if it accentuates my bum too much.  Bear in mind, the finished waistcoat will be dark grey and will probably be worn with a matching skirt or trousers, dark skinny jeans or black trousers or skirt.

I was also thinking about adding an accent to the front with either one button or one button hole a different colour to the rest, kind of like these examples:

Kaiser Chief's Ricky Wilson wears a lot of waistcoats.  I love the contrast of the green top button on this one... and the contrast buttonholes.

Of course, Sherlock is known for the red buttonhole on his amazing overcoat.

I think I'll leave the final decision on contrast buttons or buttonholes until nearer the end... although I was thinking of doing bound buttonholes, so I'd have to do that at the start.  Not sure yet. 

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on my design (?!) process.


  1. Fantasy boyfriends! Now that is an interesting topic of conversation. I won't be much help with your deliberations on your waistcoat design as I am too much the traditionalist. I like my waistcoats with v necklines and straight hems. Mismatched buttons, coloured buttonholes and perhaps a contrast fabric back is as far as I go. For your waistcoat, I prefer front 1 and back 2.

    1. Ha ha, yes! ;-) Thanks for your input on the waistcoat details Jen, all opinions gratefully received as I'm still deliberating myself.

  2. so cool to see your Instagram photo challenge all in once place, looks so fun! And your winter coat are awesome- totally a brilliant idea.

    1. Thanks Julie. The Instagram challenge really is fun, it's the first time I've taken part in one.


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