Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The steampunk brocade vest, oh yeah

I've wanted a steampunk wardrobe for almost a year now.  On my very infrequent trips to NYC, I've been collecting the components to make it.  The materials for this vest have been hanging around for months, and I needed a break from the Japanese pattern book.  Deciphering all those diagrams can be exhausting.  To say that I'm thrilled with how this turned out is an understatement.  

If you're interested in making a Halloween costume this isn't your pattern.  This pattern is from Laughing Moon Mercantile  (#109) and can be found all over the web.  There is both a double and single breasted Edwardian frock coat, and 2 vests.  This is vest B which features 2 welt pockets and a shawl collar.  Love! 
If you make this pattern you will definitely want to make a muslin first.  The shoulders were bizarre and required some work.  I also dropped the front of the vest down 1".  The pattern is taken from a historical garment and was intended to be worn with very high waisted pants.  

My fabric is a polyester brocade that was $10 / yd.  This can be found all over the garment district in NYC, and I probably paid too much for it.  It coordinates with a warm brown herringbone wool that I will be making the frock coat with.  It was also a bargain at $10 / yd at the ultimate fabric dive, H&M fabrics on W. 35th St.  
There is a good deal of tailoring involved with this pattern, but the effort is well worth it.  The upper collar is interfaced with hair canvas, and twill tape is hand sewn over the fold line.  It makes for a substantial roll of the collar.  My only issue with the pattern is that the undercollar wants to "fall out".  I solved this by pick stitching the undercollar into the twill tape of the fold line.  Problem solved.  The pattern also calls for topstitching everywhere which I just think looks cheap.  Shawl collars with topstitching are just wrong.  

Little antique brass buttons were the finishing touch.  

The facings really kick the whole thing up a notch.  Do I adore it?  Yes!!!!   Thanks to my amazing daughter Meredith of Oakland, CA for the steampunk brooch.  Now I have something deserving to wear it with.  


  1. That is a fabulous waistcoat. Absolutely loving it!

  2. OOOH it looks so good! I can't wait to see the frock coat! Should I get you some of those weird goggles to complete the look?

  3. Its a bold and beautiful piece. Great fabric.