Soft Suit Combo – the Waistcoat


The waistcoat is the final piece in the combo. This piece came into the plan last. I started to see a lot of these looks and liked the idea. The waistcoat is worn without a top underneath (see more on this later) and the overall look is the epitome of smart/casual. I’ve seen them in lightweight twill and cotton sateen, but linen jumped into my head as the perfect summer outfit.

This pattern is the same 90s set by the designer Tamotsu in their career wardrobe series. I made this set in a very sober lightweight black crepe with the shirt in a beige light voile back in the 90s. I was really looking forward to bringing this pattern out again because I loved that ensemble.

As with the other pieces I have to size up. it went to a 16 so I added on size as I’m currently about size 18. The jacket is lined so I had to fish out a suitable piece of lining. I didn’t have any green or anything that matched this kind of pistachio avocado colour but I did have some standard cream poly satin lining which I used. I did a bit of an FBA to increase the bust and then went ahead.

I had to roll back my plan of sewing all the side seams. The way the waistcoat is constructed, you have to leave the sides open so that the garment can be turned through when you attach the lining.

As I approached the point of joining the shell and lining together I realised that I’d made a mistake. One which could have been avoided had i made a toile. This waistcoat is meant for layering over a blouse and therefore the front and armholes are likely to be lower than I’d intended. Although I graded for the size I did not take into account that I should raise both the centre front and the underarms. I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it without a layer underneath. Oh well, this meant I had to knock up a quick vest top to go underneath. Learning.

I also made another crucial error with this garment. I often have trouble with my left and right. When it came to doing the buttons, I spent ages reminding myself which way round they go. I asked my partner and then I asked Google and both told me left over right for a lady. Well, I managed to get it right on the shacket but on this waistcoat I’ve somehow got turned around and so I have a men’s waistcoat if you pay attention to the buttons. Oh well, I contemplated redoing it and then I imagined the mess I could make unpicking buttonholes and I have decided… To Live With It.

  • sswaitcoat

My finished waistcoat is so cute even with all of its errors, I was so happy with it that I wore it to a friend’s wedding with the rest of the set and not one person called me out for my buttons!

Can you live with a big booboo or do you have to go back to the drawing board?

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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