Waistcoat Project v2, life is full of contrast

Those of you following me on Instagram will already know that version 2 of the Waistcoat Project has been completed and approved. In fact, the comments posted on the sneak photos have been incredibly encouraging and gives me the motivation to continue the project, with yet more variants!

Due to the winter darkness it’s bee a little tricky to take some photos of it in action, hence it’s taken a few days to show it off. Well, that and also wanting to save it for a new round of Waistcoat Wednesday! Waistcoat Wednesday was forced to take a hiatus when I had used up my collection of waistcoats. With my own efforts, and a couple of recent additions, we’re back! If you are a maker of waistcoats and vests and would like to be featured, contact me.


So, in the spirit of Waistcoat Wednesday, where I review waistcoats from my collection, I’ll now present my own creation: Waistcoat Project v2, by the up and coming waistcoat brand provisionally named Armless Attire Engineering (just kidding, I’ve not ordered any labels, yet).


First looks show this to be a quite creative number, with the front in a nice striped linen material in blue and off-while. It is generously appointed with three cheeky contrasting patch-type pockets. The bottom pockets are generously sized to contain a smartphone or a slim wallet, while the top pocket is sized to accept a typical card case. The pockets are nicely lined in the same material as the lining.


The rear is a pinstriped sturdy cotton twill in black and dark grey. A nice contrast to the usual silk backs of traditional waistcoats you would wear with a suit. While I usually prefer the front and rear materials to be the same, I feel this works well on this waistcoat.


The rear cinch is provisionally in the form of two ties, one either side. Given the recent controversy with regards to methods of waistcoat adjustment, this is a basic and liveable method, although not the neatest of cinches. I’m looking at the availability of decent buckles, so will probably redo this at some point. Or leave them like they are, after all, part of this mission is to attempt to come up with some new ideas. Is that even possible, or are we doomed to endlessly remix past efforts?


I added a small triangle of the front material to the lower edge of the rear. Quite a pleasing touch to me at least. Adds a little interest. In fact I’d like to add many more such touches to a later effort. This is cause for discussion here in the Garment Engineering Lab at Well Dressed Mansion though, as my assuredly superior half, aka WDG, is very much in favour of the completely stripped-down and clean look, relying on cut and tailoring for the looks, while I’m ready to go overboard on details, patchwork and creativity.


The lining is a squiggly-printed cotton, providing a contrast to the striped outer. As mentioned previously, the lining is also used to line the three pockets.


Real horn buttons have been used for the 5 front buttons. I prefer the look and utility of more buttons, it evens out the look and ensures the front tightens in a more pleasing way. Surprisingly the buttons weren’t tremendously expensive, which begs the question: Why use crappy generic buttons on a garment you hope to sell at a decent price?

You may be wondering how it fits? Pretty well actually. Given the trial run with Waistcoat v1, I adjusted the pattern a bit before version 2. Basically adding a bit more room for the arms. The sizing of the chest is as spot on as I could get it. I don’t like my waistcoats to be too tight, and while the cinch can take up some slack, it really doesn’t look right to wear one that is too large either. This is a huge advantage of creating your own, you can put a little effort into getting the size just right!


Care was taken to make the pockets line up with the stripes in the linen. This is something that often annoys me on garments I buy. Just taking a little more care when sewing can really give a garment an extra bit of quality.

That concludes the review of version 2,. Version 3 is even better!

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  • Jyrkkäri 17/01/2014 at 12:04

    Looking good!

    Using the lining material on the pockets made me think of the Paul Smith exhibition at London Design Museum I recently visited (http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-smith). It was mentioned that he likes and uses “hidden details” in clothes. They could be e.g. colorful lining on pockets or prints revealed when sleeves rolled etc.

    • Well Dressed Dad 17/01/2014 at 18:11

      Thanks Jyrkkari! The comparison to Paul Smith is very generous indeed 🙂

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  • Sarah 16/06/2014 at 15:22

    Nice fabric choices! Any shopping hints?

    • Well Dressed Dad 16/06/2014 at 15:58

      Hi Sarah,

      unless you live near where I live, sorry, no! I either buy my fabrics in a local (Danish) store, or plunder my girlfriends stockpile of various and vintage fabrics 🙂

  • musicompsci 09/07/2014 at 23:58

    Man I love that waistcoat. I bought a giant jacket made out of nice wool for cheap, so I’m going to give it a go. I have other fabric, I’m going to sew a mock-up out of shittier material first just to try it, but as a computer scientist with very little sewing experience (My grandma sews, and I can sew a straight seam, but I never took an interest) I’m inspired.

    • Well Dressed Dad 10/07/2014 at 07:32

      Best of luck! I’m sure your Grandma is an excellent source of help. I posted another post about good patterns recently. You may find that has an even better suggestion for waistcoats. Let me know how you get on!


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