Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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Waistcoat Sew-Along: Day 5 – Cut out your fabric

It’s time to cut out our fabric!  Here are my materials for the two Belvedere Waistcoats that I will be making.  I’m creating Variation 1 without any alterations for my Granddad to wear on a cruise next Fall.  It will look so nice with his navy blue suit!Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-1

I’ll be using this 100% wool suiting remnant that I bought from my favorite sewing store in Victoria, B.C. – The Makehouse.  I think the soft grey with white pinstripes will pair perfectly with the materials from our Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit.

The second waistcoat (that I will be sewing is for myself) will be Variation 2 paired with many of the the customisation that we discussed this week!  This remnant is a very thick wool which I also purchased from The Makehouse.  I will be trying out a few tailoring techniques using the new tailoring supplies that we have in our shop: striped Bemberg lining, wool canvas stabilizer and hair canvas.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-2

I’ve photographed a number of tips as I cut out Variation 1:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-11

Tip #1: Make sure that your pattern grainline is perfectly aligned to the grainline of your fabric.  Don’t just eyeball it!  Measure from one end of the grainline to the selvedge of your fabric.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-12

Now move your measuring tape to the other end of the grainline to check to see if you have the same measurement.  Adjust your pattern piece until you do!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-13

Tip #2: If you are adding welt pockets to your waistcoat and are working with a striped or patterned material you will need to pattern match your welt pieces.  To do so, I like to cut out the edge of the welt placement markings on the waistcoat Front.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-14

I can see that a white stripe is lined up with the left edge of the window.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-16

Now cut out the corresponding window in the welt pattern piece (this is the side marked “This side closest to centre front.”  I ensured that the right edge of the welt was aligned with a white pin stripe.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-17

After you cut out your welt pieces keep them pinned to the paper pattern piece.  Since most wools do not have an obvious wrong side it can be very easy to lose which direction the welt should go!  I keep my pieces pinned until the moment that I sew them to the waistcoat front.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-4

Tip #3: When working with moderately slippery fabrics such as the paisley acetate lining that I am using for my waistcoat back I like to fold the lining in half with selvedges together (as per usual) and then press the fold VERY crisply.  This makes the two layers of lining far less likely to become misaligned.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-5

Above you can see the layout that I used when cutting a contrast waistcoat back (instead of using the same material that I used for the lining.  I managed to slip the pocket linings on to this piece too and had loads of material to spare.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-7

Tip #4: When working with VERY slippery fabrics like Bemberg lining I find pins to be my best friend.  I pin the pattern piece to the lining material thoroughly and I also pin around the pattern piece.  This second set of pins really helps to prevent the fabric from twisting as you cut.  Many people use rotary cutters to cut slippery fabrics like this but, despite the fact that I bought a huge mat and good blade as part of my required materials at fashion school I have never really got the hang of using them.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-9

When cutting with scissors you may notice that, despite your best efforts, the fabric just refuses to take the shape of the pattern piece!  When cutting a lining it is important to be very accurate.  You can see that I have cut approximately 2 mm too wide on my neckline in the photo above.  Make sure to re-trim any accesses like this or you will likely notice that your lining seems baggy and prone to peeking out at the neckline and armholes.  If anything it is better to cut your lining slightly too small.  Here I have re-trimmed this problem area:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-10

Tip #6:  There is a good chance you will need far less interfacing than our instruction booklet recommends!  We always create our interfacing cutting layouts for 20″ wide interfacing since a number of interfacing brands are actually this narrow.  The cotton interfacing that we include in the Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit and stock by the half metre in our shop is 60″ wide.  I only needed 0.67 m for this size large waistcoat.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-3

I hope you have a nice weekend!  My next post on Monday will be all about interfacing – my Granddad’s waistcoat will be fused as per our instruction booklet and my waistcoat will involve a bit of padstitching.  See you then!

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Waistcoat Sew-Along: Day 4 – Customising Part 2

Let’s continue with our Belvedere Waistcoat customisation today!

I’ve printed and assembled my PDFs, if you haven’t done this already, now is the time!  Check out our PDF assembly tutorial for help with this.

Okay, let’s get our rulers out and dig in…

Change the shape of the hem

waistcoat with straight hem

 

While most waistcoats feature angle points at centre front, you are not limited to this conventional shape!  It is very easy to alter your Belvedere to feature a straight hem or to have round points.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-1

To adjust our hem we will be working with the Front, Front Facing and Front Lining pieces.  For small adjustments to the points you likely won’t need to make changes to the lining piece but for larger adjustments, such as a removing the angle to create a straight hem, you will need to adjust this third piece.

First I’ll show you how to create rounded points:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-2

Always begin pattern adjustments by drawing in your seam lines. We will be making the changes to the seam lines and then will add seam allowances back on.  The seam allowances included in this pattern are 5/8″.  I just measured in 5/8″ from the paper edge at various points and then connected the dots.  Above you can see the Front and below you can see the Facing and Lining.  I only added the seam lines to the relevant area that we are going to be working on.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-3

Grab a French curve ruler or find a curved object (a cup, egg cup or small bowl for instance) and use it to draw the shape that you would like.  If you can’t find something to trace along you can try drawing your curve freehand!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-4

Begin by marking the curve on the Front and then mark the same curve on the Facing so that they will match perfectly when you sew them together.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-5

Since our curve was small enough that it intersected with the original seamline before reaching the right hand edge of the facing we do not need to make changes to the lining.  If you draw a long gradual curve you would need to continue it on to the lining piece.

Now let’s add our seam allowances back on!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-6

Measure out 5/8″ from your new seamline at various points and mark with dots.  Connect all of the dots.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-7

Now you can trim off the pointed tip along your seam allowance  and you’re ready to use your customised pattern!

To make a larger change to the hem such as removing the point entirely so that the hem extends in a straight line across the front begin by once again drawing in your seamlines…this time along the entire hem and up the side seam and centre front.

You can see in the photo below that I did not extend my seamline up centre front very far…this ended up being a mistake as you will see very soon! I’ve included it in this post so you can see how easy it is to accidentally switch to using the edge of the pattern piece and not the seamline…its actually a lot more fool proof to just fully cut off your seam allowances entirely when working with a pattern.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-8

Use a ruler to draw your new hem angle.  Position the ruler so it begins at the bottom of the side seam (the seam line, not the edge of the paper).  You can still create a slight angle as I have done or you can make your line completely horizontal by making sure it is at a right angle to the grainline.

You can shape the centre front corner so that it is pointed or rounded.  I’m showing you how to do a rounded corner here.  Begin by extending the centre front so that it no longer angles to the right.  You will need to glue or tape your pattern piece to another piece of paper for this extension.

Now watch out, here is where I make my seam allowance mistake!  Can you see what I’m doing wrong in the photo below?

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-9

I’ve extended the straight line downwards using the pattern piece edge rather than the seamline!  Now, when I go to draw my curved corner with my french ruler I am drawing it from the seamline to the outside edge.  If I were to sew the hem like this the curve would be a different shape from the one I am drawing.  Don’t worry, I will fix this in a moment!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-10

Now it is time to add in our seam allowances.  You can see my corrected seamline in the photo below (the yellow line) and my added seam allowance (the green line).

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-13

We are ready to transfer these changes to the lining and facing!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-12

Place the lining on top of your altered waistcoat front and trace the alteration.  If you can’t see your line through the paper you could cut off the extra paper and place the front on top of the lining so that the armholes and side seams match.  Then cut off the lining where it extends below the front pattern piece.

Repeat this process for the facing:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-11

Now let’s change up the shape of the neckline using the same techniques!

Change the height and shape of the neckline

seven button waistcoat

If you would like to raise the neckline and add another button to your waistcoat, here is how to go about doing this.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-14

We will be using the Front and Front Facing pieces.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-15

Draw in your seamlines along the entire neckline and shoulder seam.  Position a large sheet of paper underneath your pattern piece and tape or glue it in place.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-16

Use a ruler to extend the centre front (no need to measure right now, just draw a line 5 or so inches long so you have lots of room to work).

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-17

Measure the distance between the existing button markings (2 1/4″).

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-18

Add a new button marking 2 1/4″ above the top button.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-19

Use a french curve ruler (or freehand) to replicate the curves of the neckline.  You can choose to keep them the same as the existing neckline or you can alter them to suit the style you would like (more v-shaped or more scooped).

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-20

Taper your new neckline so that it meets the original one before the shoulder seamline.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-21

Add your seam allowance back on:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-22

And now transfer your changes to the Facing so that it matches the shape of your new neckline.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-24

And voila, you are ready to sew a seven button waistcoat!

 

Add a collar

Shawl collar waistcoat 2

Last, but certainly not least, I’ll show you just how easy it is to add a shawl collar to the Belvedere – I’ve done this change to the pattern free hand (using only my measuring tape and a pen) to show you that you don’t even need to have fancy rulers to do this.

The shawl collar we are drafting will look like this:

shawl collar waistcoat 3

Notice that it does not extend around the back of the neck making it easy to draft, super easy to sew, and comfortable to wear under a suit jacket.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-25

We will be working with the Front and Facing pieces.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-26

Begin by drawing in the neckline seamline.  You might like to draw the shoulder seamline as well.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-27

Now sketch in your finished collar shape beginning just above the top button and curving up the the shoulder seam.  This sketch is not actually part of your revised pattern piece, it is just a way to help you visualise the finished collar shape.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-28

When you are happy with the shape of your collar, you can use this handy technique to mirror it so that it is positioned correctly on your pattern piece.  Measure from the seamline to the edge of your collar sketch.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-29

Next, measure the same distance out from your seamline to find the position of the actual collar edge.  Do this at various points the entire length of the collar and then connect the dots.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-30

The top edge of the collar will be sewn in to the shoulder seam so it needs to match the angle of the shoulder seam when the collar is folded as it will be when the waistcoat is finished.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-31

Sorry for my messy sketching lines!  Without the aid of a ruler they don’t look very smooth…if yours are a bit wobbly too just keep smoothing them out until you are happy with how they look.  And remember we have nice large 5/8″ seam allowances to work with so if you can cut and sew straighter than you can draw you will be able to hide any wobbles within your allowances!

Let’s add those allowances back on:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-32

And finally, we must add what will actually be the visible side of the collar to the Facing pattern piece:

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Sewalong-33

I can’t wait to sew one of my waistcoats using this shawl collar design!

If you would like to try a different collar style, here is a couple of tutorials for you to check out:

 


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Waistcoat Sew-Along: Day 3 – Customising

They’re here: Two of the Belvedere Waistcoat add-ons that you have been waiting for!  I have added two free downloads to our shop featuring adjustable belts and patch pocket styles.

I had been planning to cut out our fabric today and to share several tutorials (as I mentioned in Monday’s post) but I’ve bitten off considerably more than I can chew so I’m going to share these add ons in smaller segments.  The cinching belts and pockets are available today and I will continue with some photo tutorials tomorrow.  I hope that this slightly slower approach will work for you!  It will certainly work better for me (I’m a tad square eyed from staring at the computer for so long over the last three days).

Add a cinching belt

In our Belt Add-on download you will find a classic narrow belt that can be cinched using belt hardware and a rugged alternative featuring wide tabs that would look great on a casual canvas waistcoat.  Would you like to add one of these to your waistcoat?  I will be adding one of each to the two waistcoats I am making for this sew along!

We’ve also added gorgeous gun metal finish narrow waistcoat belt hardware to the shop that will suit a formal waistcoat with a silky Bemberg or acetate back beautifully.  This hardware is 3/4″ wide which is narrower than the 1″ cinching belt that I’ve included in the pattern.  This width has purposely been chosen so that your lining material will be gathered by the hardware when it is threaded through the slots.  The bulk added by the gathering helps the slippery fabric grip so that the cinched waistcoat will hold in place when tightened.  I also think the gathered lining material looks very elegant!

If you are sewing your cinching belt from a bulkier fabric such as wool or canvas I would recommend finding a different style of hardware that is 1″ wide and features a locking mechanism (such as serrated teeth).  I have been on the lookout for this style of hardware to add to the shop and will let you know if I manage to find some!

Here is an excellent review of various store bought waistcoats and their corresponding cinching belts on the menswear fashion blog Well Dressed Dad.  Read this through before you choose your buckle style so that you can be sure to create a belt that not only looks attractive but also functions as it should!

Add patch pockets

Patch pockets are a great option for casual waistcoats.  You will commonly see these on waistcoats worn without a suit jacket; if you are sewing a formal waistcoat however, I would recommend using welt pockets or no pockets at all.  The pocket shapes included in our download give you two options to choose from that can greatly change your overall look!  Have a look at this inspiring selection of waistcoat photos to view similar pocket styles in action.

Photos from Articles of Style: A Guide to Men’s Vests and Waistcoats

I’ll be back tomorrow with more tutorials!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy playing around with design ideas now that you have these extra pattern pieces in your hands!


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Waistcoat Sew-Along: Day 1 – Supplies

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-10

It’s time to begin our Belvedere Waistcoat sew-along!  During this sew-along I will be completing two waistcoats – one that requires an intermediate level of skill and one suited to beginner menswear sewists.  In addition to following along with the Belvedere instruction booklet we will be trying out a variety of fitting methods and adding some bespoke details to our waistcoats.

Best of all, we will be finished on June 9th which means you will have lots of time to wrap up your waistcoat to give to your Dad on Father’s Day (June 18th)!

Here is our schedule:

Day 1 – May 19: Gathering your supplies (and Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit launch!)

Day 2 – May 22: Choosing a size and thoughts on fitting

Day 3 – May 24: Customizing Part 1 – Belt and Pockets

Day 4 – May 25: Customizing Part 2 – Hem, Neckline, Collar

Day 5 – May 26: Cut out your fabric

Day 6 – May 30: Apply interfacing and sew darts

Day 7 – May 31: Assemble the lining

Day 8 – June 5: Sew the welt pockets (or add patch pockets)

Day 9 – June 7: Finish the waistcoat fronts

Day 10 – June 8: Assemble the waistcoat back

Day 11 – June 9: Add the buttons

Day 12 – June 16: Styling and Belvedere Parade

Ready for all of this?!  Let’s dive in:

Supplies

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-3

A waistcoat can consist of up to three different co-ordinating fashion fabrics: The front, the back and the lining.  Here are my top choices for each:

Image credit: Silk: Neal & Palmer Finest British Bespoke Tailoring Quilted: Articles of Style: Not your Grandma’s Quilt Linen and Tweed: Belvedere Pinterest board

1. The Front: There are very few rules to follow when choosing this fabric!  Depending on the style you are hoping to achieve you can select from a huge variety of fabric types.  Choose a wool suiting for a classic waistcoat to pair with trousers for formal events.  Use a wool tweed for a winter waistcoat that pairs nicely with trousers or jeans.  Or use a canvas fabric (such as the hemp and cotton canvas from our shop (this is what Matt is wearing in these photos!) for a summery waistcoat perfect for weddings.  Other great choices could include linen, silk, textured upholstery fabric, or even a thick and fairly stable knit!  Choose whatever fabric you would like to showcase.  If you are sewing welt pockets on your waistcoat, limit your choice to something that is not too bulky, does not fray exceptionally, and presses well.  If you are skipping pockets, don’t worry about those limitations!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-12

2. The Back: There are several approaches to choosing a waistcoat back fabric – choose a statement fabric, a neutral fabric or the same fabric as your waistcoat front.  If you have opted for a neutral waistcoat front you could add a ‘surprise’ back as I have for Matt’s waistcoat.  Choose a slippery acetate or Bemberg lining material so that it sits nicely under a suit jacket.  If you have used a statement tweed or silk for your waistcoat front, choose a neutral lining material for your vest back that will coordinate nicely with the wearer’s trousers.  If the waistcoat will be worn casually, without a suit jacket, it is common to use the same material as the front instead of lining fabric or you can opt for a contrast fabric that is not slippery since it doesn’t need to sit nicely under a jacket.  For instance, I sewed my Dad a waistcoat with a wool knit front and a cotton canvas back (which I waxed with Otter Wax!).  I didn’t get any great photos of the back – I will do so at a later point and share them with you since I love how rugged the waxed back looks!

Belvedere Waistcoat-4

3. The Lining: Select a good quality slippery lining material that will not catch on the wearer’s shirt.  My favorite is Bemberg (a type of rayon lining) but acetate or silk lining will do nicely as well!  While it is important to choose a strong lining fabric when sewing a suit jacket, there are very few pressure points for a waistcoat lining (because there are no sleeves) so delicate silk linings are an option.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-6

Okay, now that our fabric choices have been made, let’s talk about structure and notions!

The entire Belvedere Waistcoat front is interfaced to create a beautifully crisp garment.  The idea behind interfacing is to attach a crisp and stable fabric to your main fashion fabric to change the way that your fashion fabric behaves.  For example, wool suiting tends to sag and stretch out over time; when you attach a fabric that is not prone to stretching out you will prevent your wool from looking limp, worn and sad after years of wear!  Another example is silk – it is usually thin and without much body.  A waistcoat front made of one layer of thin silk dupioni would likely ripple and cave when the wearer moves.  It may also be quite weak and rip at the buttonholes.  Adding a stronger and stiffer interfacing to the back of the silk would add more body and strength to the silk.

Because you will be interfacing a large area of fabric, it is important to pick a good quality stabiliser that suits your fabric choice and also your skill level.  Here are some great pairings:

Wool fashion fabric: Use a wool canvas or hair canvas sew in stabiliser if you are proficient at padstitching (No idea what padstitching is? I will be covering this later in the sew-along!).  Choose a medium to heavy weight fusible such as cotton interfacing if you would prefer an easier solution.  Fusible interfacing has glue dots on one side that are melted to your fashion fabric with the heat from an iron.  Test the fusible on a scrap of wool to make sure that the glue adheres to your wool.

ivory-silk-organza

Silk Organza: A very light weight but stable fabric.  Image from Gala Fabrics.

Silk fashion fabric: Sew in silk organza by basting it to the seam allowances.  Or, choose a light weight fusible but be sure to test the glue on a scrap of silk to make sure that the glue doesn’t soak through or create the appearance of visible dots on the right side of the fine silk.

Canvas fashion fabric: Most medium weight fusible interfacing will pair nicely with canvas.  Make sure to pre-shrink both your canvas and your interfacing because cotton canvas, in particular, is prone to shrinking!  Even if you don’t plan to machine wash your finished waistcoat, it is a good idea to pre-shrink fabrics because they could still shrink without washing.  For example, you will be doing LOTS of pressing while sewing your waistcoat with a hot and steamy iron.  This will shrink your canvas if it has not been pre-shrunk.  Pre-shrinking fabric could include washing and drying it (sometimes several times until it stops shrinking) or thoroughly steaming it with an iron.

 

bubbled interfacing

Bubbling occurs when fusible interfacing is no longer bonded to the main fabric.  Image from Tolemans 1hr Drycleaning.

 

 

Linen fashion fabric: Linen is notorious for refusing to remain fused to fusible interfacings.  The end result is the appearance of ‘bubbles’ where the interfacing and linen have detached.  I would recommend using a sew-in medium weight interfacing when working with linen.  Baste the interfacing in place within the seam allowances.

 


 

Lastly, it’s time to choose your buttons!  There are many styles you could select for your waistcoat buttons but generally I would suggest choosing ones that are between 1/2″ to 5/8″ in diameter.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-9

The ones pictured on Matt’s waistcoat are 5/8″ and are quite low profile making them a nice neutral choice.

I find that the more thick and textured your waistcoat fabric is, the more likely the waistcoat is to suit bulky or unusual buttons.  Harris Tweed waistcoats, for example, often feature quite large braided leather buttons.


 

Now that I’ve overwhelmed you with all of my thoughts on material choices, let me simplify things by introducing the brand new Belvedere Waistcoat Sewing Supplies Kit!

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit-1

I assembled all of my favourite materials to line, back and stabilise your waistcoat so that the only need to choose your waistcoat front fabric.  The linings in this kit would pair splendidly with wool suiting but also works nicely with canvas (as pictured on Matt), silk or linen.  The interfacing included is my favorite 100% cotton fusible interfacing which will work nicely for wool or canvas materials (as I mentioned above, I wouldn’t recommend a medium weight fusible for silk or linen!).

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-2

The main lining fabric featured in this kit is a delicious high end burgundy Bemberg.  I’ve included enough to line the inside and create the back of the waistcoat.  I’ve also included a paisley acetate lining that you can use to create a show-stopper waistcoat back or keep as a hidden special touch inside your pocket bags.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit-2

You can choose to buy the kit with or without the PDF pattern.  The PDF pattern is offered at a discounted price when purchased with the kit!


 

In addition to the Belvedere kit, the shop includes a great selection of tailoring fabrics.

The burgundy lining materials are both available by the 1/2 m (paisley and solid) and, of course, my favourite cotton fusible interfacing is also available.

There are three new tailoring materials just added yesterday: Two stabilisers (wool and horse hair) and one lining.

I will be testing out my bespoke menswear tailoring skills by padstitching wool canvas to one of the sew-along waistcoats.  I’ve added both wool canvas (left) and hair canvas (middle) to our shop so that you can join me!  I may even use the hair canvas to build up the chest area…we’ll see how ambitious I am!

I’ve also added a second Bemberg lining (right) to our shop!  If you prefer subtle pin stripes over bold burgundy, this is the Bemberg for you.  This striped Bemberg is traditionally used as a suit jacket or coat sleeve lining.  I purchased it from my favourite tailoring supplier (a lovely Italian gentlemen based in Ontario who sells predominantly to bespoke tailors) who proudly told me he is the only supplier of striped Bemberg sleeve lining in Canada.  I was surprised by this statement for several reasons: What is special about striped sleeves?  Why are Bemberg stripes desirable?  After a little bit of Googling I soon discovered that bespoke tailors are often frustrated by how difficult it is to source good quality traditional sleeve lining.  A striped sleeve lining used to be a sign that your suit jacket was traditionally tailored and not mass produced.  It is more cost effective for large scale manufacturers to use one lining material for the sleeves and body of a jacket so the use of contrasting sleeve linings set the bespoke tailor apart from their industrial competition.  In addition to this distinction, sleeve linings must be exceptionally smooth and strong to allow the wearer to slip their jacket on easily and to bend their arm fully without risk of tearing the material.  Using a contrast Bemberg sleeve lining frees the bespoke tailor to use a more delicate lining material (patterned silk, for instance) for the jacket body.

Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat Supplies Kit Sample-7

I hope you learned something today and that you are looking forward to creating your Belvedere Waistcoat!  I’ll leave you with a list of my favourite waistcoat construction resources.

  • A Youtube video by Professor Pincushion which is very approachable for beginners.  Learn everything about sewing a Simplicity vest pattern from reading the pattern envelope to adding easy faux welt pockets.
  • A video class by Gentleman Jim suitable for intermediates.  It costs $24.95 US which might seem pricey compared to free Youtube videos but I found it to be well worth the money!  The pace is easy to follow and Gentleman Jim is so lovely to listen to!  He is full of opinions and tricks for efficient sewing practices which are just as valuable as the waistcoat sewing instruction.  It felt nice to pay directly for all of the work he put in to making the video.
  • A large series of videos suitable for beginner or intermediate sewists detailing EVERY step to create a waistcoat.  This series by The Sewing Guru is lengthy and detail oriented.  I found the pace to be far too slow for my needs but this is a huge advantage if you are new to sewing!  You will have every question answered.
  • A blog post that gives a peek inside the process of fully tailoring a waistcoat.  This post created by Rory Duffy of Handcraft Tailor (who I featured on the blog two weeks ago) is an interesting glimpse into the process but doesn’t fully instruct.  I would recommend avoiding this post if you are fairly new to sewing (it might be overwhelming!) but it is educational and interesting if you are looking to delving in to at least a few of the tailoring techniques that he uses.