Another Wednesday, another waistcoat! As the waistcoat evolution goes forward, I am pleased to present another creation from my home workshop. This one is the third variant, this time with some added ruggedness through the use of raw denim for the back piece. Raw denim being the fabric du jour when it comes to being a bit beardy and manly. Adding a bit of the vintage and workwear vibe as well. I have a fair inkling of what will sell!
Let’s cover the basics first though. What we have here is a variation of the classic basic waistcoat, front and back pieces, lining, pockets and cinch. End of. A dash of variety has been added through using different front and rear fabrics, the front being a decently heavy striped cotton twill (previously seen on the rear of Version 2).
Using narrow stripes in this way does mean taking a bit of care when cutting the fabric, ensuring that the lines end up vertical and that folds and creases end up neat. When done with care though, the result looks very impressive.
The rear this time is a raw 10oz denim. For technical reasons, and denimheadz will cringe now, the fabric has to be washed before cutting. This is due to the tension in the weave and letting it settle properly. The alternative would be a waistcoat that twisted out of shape when washed the first time (as if I’ve ever washed a waistcoat). Still, a very careful wash at a low temp was enough to get the fabric right, and I’d say 99% of the rawness has been retained. Rugged!
The combination of the grey/black twill and true blue denim is very pleasing, and while a full denim waistcoat can be a little on the cowboy side, I think this works well.
Inside, another variant of the flowery cotton lining. Such a nice little surprise to use these fabrics on the inside. This one was first considered a throwaway fabric and used on the Version One trial waistcoat as a sartorial joke. Since then I’ve been bitten by the floral lining bug and each waistcoat is more interiorally extravagant than the previous. Plus it adds a little of that Engineered Garment flavour to it.
As with Version Two, we again have nice big horn buttons, possibly even a little too large. Surprisingly reasonably priced, so no point at all in going for the nasty cheap(er) generic ones. Hand-sewed on, of course, the machine just won’t do this very well. Which really applies for most garments you can buy as well, sooner or later the buttons just come off, usually due to the thread not being tied off properly.
A variant of the rear cinch, previously mentioned in my alarming exposé about the state of waistcoat buckles. Using the contrasting striped twill on the denim rear, with smaller horn buttons and two settings for the adjustment (fine tuning can be done by moving the buttons, a huge job for you, but a tiny job for your mother). An added dash was inserted by turning the stripes 90 degrees. Another creative touch!
Also notice on the rear the signature insert of the front material. I’m so pleased by how this looks that I’m planning to evolve this further. Added dash, but not in a silly way. It’s all about the details.
Not to forget the pockets. Only two this time, and square again, lined up so the stripes match well. Fully lined using the same fabric as the rest of the lining. And sized to hold a smartphone. Might as well make them actually useful, right?
That concludes the presentation of Waistcoat Project Version Three. You’ll no doubt be overcome with delight to hear that Four and Five are already near completion (followers on Instagram will of course be more than aware of this). Pay attention next week for another fine piece of armless attire!