Waistcoat Project

This is the first in a series of posts about my latest project, a fancy steampunk inspired coat. The pattern is loosely based on a Simplicity pattern, 2172, that I have been slowly altering as I go along. Here are a few sketches to show the basic idea for the coat.
The Simplicity pattern I'm using; all the new pattern pieces made moving everything to an empty tin box necessary.

This is my first sketch when I had simple dreams of adding a hood and maybe changing the neckline.

This is a much later sketch showing how I've chopped off the patterned skirt in favor of a pleated and much more dramatic one. This also shows the fancier detachable sleeve option. I honestly don't know how many sleeves I will make.

The plan at first was to do the pattern with a few small touches thrown in to make it my own. Adding a removable hood and changing the neckline slightly were quickly followed with making detachable sleeves, and adding a high collar in the back. The pockets became more subtle without the giant flaps.

The sleeve flanges disappeared, and after making a muslin to adjust the fit, (for which I have many photos that will be unloaded in the next post) the entire bottom half was literally cut off the coat.

The voluminous pleats that replaced the simple skirt were drafted and redrafted, and currently the muslin for that will serve as my new pattern. Making a new pattern piece as I have been doing for every other section would take an excessive amount of paper and effort.

I added trim to my mental plan in the beginning, this has evolved into a fantastic beaded lace along the bottom edge of the waistcoat. If you need a mental picture of my pleated madness. This requires a staggering 4 yards of trim to accomplish.

The fabrics I've chosen:

A magnificent chenille brocade for the exterior fabric in black and gold, this was the hardest to find and most expensive portion of the project. I needed 6 yards! I used Simplicity's estimate and added an extra yard for the hood.

The main lining fabric is a soft gold polyester satin with a crushed texture. This I got as a 12 yard lot so it eliminated the need for guessing yardage, and provided a ready made supply of fabric for my muslin fitting and pattern making needs.

A memorial day sale at Joanne's provided the fake fur that will line the hood. It was leaning towards black or maybe a fancy timberwolf colored fur in the beginning stages, but the white adds an elegant contrast against all the black. I bought a yard, and after cutting out the pieces I needed for this project, used a portion to make a fabulous cat bed.

The detachable parts are going to be held in place with hidden snap buttons, and the corset style lacing on the back of the coat will use metal D rings that will be riveted to the coat in place of the fabric loops in the Simplicity pattern.

The top four pieces of hardware are for the snaps, and the bottom three are the D ring components. And my upholstery/coat weight thread in matching black.

There are still a few smaller details that I'm working out. I've already ordered some pretty laces and I'll add them to this post once they're delivered.


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