Sewing For Men

You may remember I mentioned a while back, that it is school ball season again.  Well this year's came with two requests.  Not only was I to make Courteney's dress but also a vest for her partner.  Now the dress this year was to be a little less princess and more elegant than last years which on the surface had me breathing a sigh of relief.  The reality of this dress has been a lot of work but I am pleased to report, that it was finished with a month to spare.  More on that later.

The vest was actually light relief comparatively.  The colour and fabric needed to compliment Courteney's dress which was easier said than done.  Do you know how hard it is to find suitable red brocade without too much of an Asian influence and for a young man who is flower averse?  Impossible!  Courteney and I had all but given up all hope of finding anything when under a table at Lincraft I spotted striped table cloth fabic in the perfect shade of red!  So, the fabric sat around for about a month while we schemed and created Courteney's dress.  

Since it was school holiday time a few weeks back and said recipient was available for fittings, I started work.  My pattern, Vogue 8048, starts at size 34, but this young man required a size 32.  I traced off the pattern and sized it down to a 32 before cutting up the muslin for Courteney's dress to make a vest muslin.  I tried it on Callum who had similar measurements while M was away on holiday and was quietly confident of success.  I was correct!

The waistcoat went together pretty quickly.  I used the striped fabric for the font and black satin for both the back and back lining.  For the front facing I used the striped fabric and a small amount of red satin for the front lining.  The only adjustment I made was to run it in slightly under the arms.

The only stumbling block I came across was the covered buttons.  I may be making them the wrong way but my impression is they are useless!  After investing an incredible amount of wasted time on them I eventually gave up.  My mother came to the rescue though with some out of my grandmothers stash.  These buttons have the shank attached to the top and you just gather your fabric and force the back on with a cotton reel.  Hallelujah.....success!

Tonight was ball night and I  got to see the final product worn. The fit is perfect.  I won't embarrass him too much in case he reads this! I will just say he looks really handsome smart in his waistcoat and leave it at that!   

Now you might be wondering where the promised photograph of M wearing his waistcoat is!  Well the photo I have also includes Courteney.  I will post it tomorrow when I write about the all important dress!


  1. Now you have us hanging out for tomorrow's post!

    I have not had a lot of luck with covered buttons either.

    1. Aren't they horrible things! Bring back the retro ones I say!


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