Here is my version of a top Winter 2014 trend- a long waistcoat. A waistcoat can be defined as a sleeveless garment covering the top half of a body with a center front opening. My take on this Winter 2014 trend is futuristic and void of any unnecessary bits like closures, top-stitching, darts, etc.
PS- Waistcoat is just a formal way of referring to a vest.
I fell madly in love with this fabric the moment I touched it! It is so extremely soft and warm to the touch. I initially thought of a cropped vest, but one year later it evolved to a long waistcoat. I found this fabric at Fabricana in Richmond in the Interior Delights section which is upstairs. Interior Delights is actually a separate company from Fabricana. Did you know that? Don't be afraid to explore home décor fabrics. Some of my favorite fabric finds are from the home décor section.
I purchased the light grey and dark grey color-ways. I initially used a small portion of the dark grey on a dress for the bodice. I had just enough left-over to create this waistcoat.
Draping/ Pattern Drafting
For those of you who know me, I am not a fan of illustration. I tend to already have the design in my mind and go straight into draping what I in vision. I wanted to keep this garment as fitted, sleek and clean as possible. Meaning clean lines, no darts and no top stitching. I was able to remove the front dart by creating a style line coming from neckline to side seam. I mirrored the same idea on the back, to give the waistcoat a balanced look.
Being able to bring together two different colors in identical fabrics in one garment is what I think really adds to the appeal of this waistcoat. It gives it that futuristic vibe that a lot of my designs already posses.
Sewing the front dark grey piece to the front light grey piece along the style line was a tad tricky. I had to ensure I found the exact pivot point so the front would lay smooth over the bust. I just chalked out the pivot area on the wrong side of the garment prior to sewing.
It was important that the side seams lined up perfectly too. It would be obvious with the contrasting fabric if the style lines did not match up. Pinning this point was essential prior to sewing the side seam.
Inverted Box Pleat
An inverted box pleat was not in my original design, but I felt the garment needed more dark grey too add to the overall interest. A 2" panel was sewn into the center back seam using a French seam finish. Learn How to Sew a French Seam HERE. I wanted the pleat to be a subtle addition to the back, so I sewed down approximately 8 inches from neckline down the back.
Bound Side Seam Finish
I do not believe in leaving raw edges exposed in a garment. I like to take the time to neaten any exposed edges. I applied hand made binding strips to the side seams to create a bound seam finish. Learn How to Sew Bound Seam Finish HERE.
I particularly enjoy garments that are not lined, but only if the seams are neatly finished. I needed to either add a facing to neckline, armhole and center front or just line the garment entirely. I opted for lining the bodice area only. That way I would not add to the weight of complete garment, especially going into spring weather.
The hem of the lining was slip-stitched closed and the neckline was edge-stitched to secure lining to the interior of the garment. Hidden to the eye, I applied tack-stitches to the sides seams and center back at pleat to hold the lining in place.
Keeping with the clean line aesthetic I wanted for this design, I finished the center front corners at the hem with a mitered corner. Learn How to Sew a Mitered Corner HERE.
Top-stitching was not allowed for this garment. To complete the garment, blind slip-stitching was sewn along the center front opening and hem.
This is how I styled my waistcoat. Kept it simple with a Club Monaco blush pink tank, Rachel Roy denim and white Cole Haan leather shoes.
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios