back to Bilboback to bilbo

Bilbo's Vest

I've been working on the first mockup for the pattern. The waistcoat looks at first glance to be a shawl collar. But it isn't. It's actually a standard notch collar - but rounded out like a shawl. What a pain. Ever try to find a vest pattern with a notch collar? Ok, I did actually find some... but the lapels always ended at the shoulder seam, and I don't know the collar shape well enough to extend it. First I thought I'd work off a shawl collar vest (had that) and adapt for the 2-pieces. What a disaster. I just couldn't quite wrap my brain around what I needed to do. So I ended up taking an old Simplicity pattern for Music Man jackets (Simplicity 9686) since it was a plain jacket with no darts and had a standard notched collar.  I mocked up the front, back and collar (no sleeves - it's a vest!), chopped it short and began to tweak. Ok, I also enlarged it because it only goes to XL and I'm a XXL. And I think I have more hips than Ian Holme. I have now taken in the armscye to where my shoulder point is,  widened the front panel into a double breasted vest instead of the single breasted jacket, raised up the neck of the vest so the lapels start much higher, and added fabric so that it makes the shape of a shawl collar but keeps the 2 piece notched aspect. Too many pins, it's now time to make mock #2. Then I can start on the fitting issues.

mockup #1
Here is Mockup #1.  As you can see the CF needed to be pulled out for a double breasted jacket, and the collar needed some shaping. The shoulders have only been folded under to about my shoulder point but the armscye hasn't been cut for it, so there is a huge fold/dart coming down. Also, it seems I chopped the jacket too short and it needs lengthening. I think it's time to make Mock #2 and see how the adjustments work. Might also see if I can add a bit of hip width.

So I cut a clean front and reused the back (cut a new collar as well). I'm runing low on that ugly plaid, so I used an old pillow case for the new fronts (hey, just the right size!). I still have the shoulders just folded under, but I was able to expand the front panels a bit and taper the side seam to allow for more stomack. Took care of a lot of the folds! I'll be curious to see, as soon as I get a chance, how different it will be on me when I have um, less 'frontage' than the dress form. I think that will make a big difference in those gather pulls as well. I did lengthen the new fronts, and it's just about the right level: mid hip. Just have to remember to add hem allowance. I think this one is ready to be fitted on me.

mock#3Looks like Mockup# is ready to be made up for the pattern.  Ok, a few teeny tweaks got done the next day: the hemline was leveled, the armscye was lowered a tad to cut out some buckling and the side seam was taken in a smidge. very minor. I told you I could take care of the 'frontage' issue (abdominal binders from the medical supply store really flatten you a lot. kinda warm, too). LOL! well, you can tell I'm a girl: look at which side I automatically overlapped. Well that will certainly be fixed before I put the buttons on.

    Naw. I've decided I don't like the large armscyes. They really should be tighter in... so I'll have to put in some darts. I think the darts will look better than gaping armholes. So.... on to mock#3 <sigh>

I really wish the wig was a little longer, but it may have to do anyway. It's the "Peter" style from Actually I think I've found a wig, I'm waiting for it to come in. I found it through my local dance/costume store! It's more of a loose perm style that comes in grey. It's a good grey, and it's longer curls, but it's hard to get them to stretch out. It sorta goes between something from Annie and a short perm. <sigh>
"evensong" button
I know the buttons should be a filigree cloverleaf shape, which I haven't found. But these seem to give the right impression - and I can't resist that their design name is "Evensong"!
nearly done!
Cool! almost finished. Actually I did a few more mockup versions and changes. Finally got things worked out. Now all it needs is buttonholes and it's done. It's got functional pockets (what a pain in the patoot!), I've got it overlapped to the right side... while trying to fuss the final shaping on the collar (something just didn't look right) I kept hearing Tim Gunn from Project Runway in my head: "make it work!"  so I did.

doesn't it look grand on top of civvies!