I made a waistcoat! It’s been made for about a week but it turns out that the impulse to wear the newly made thing immediately is way stronger than the impulse to sit down and take photos.

Back with mock belt thing

Back with mock belt thing

The pattern is Lekala 5016, a nice basic waistcoat without lapels. It’s unlined, so I drafted a lining using this jacket lining tutorial and put it in using this one. I couldn’t have done it without the latter. (Protip: you can’t line a waistcoat the same way you line a jacket. Ideally, be aware of this before you start.) The pattern has welt pockets, but I chickened out didn’t like how they broke the front seam lines. Definitely. Yeah.

Lekala are a company that sell industrial pattern-grading software. As a sideline, they offer PDF patterns sized precisely to you – you give them your measurements and the pattern comes graded to them. It’s a futuristic concept, and the most mind-blowing thing (to me) is that it works. I’m used to having to grade at least one size between waist and hip, if not two. Here? Perfect fit, straight out. (Well, not quite – it’s a little big at the hip. This only proves the point, though: I couldn’t quite believe that it could work, and deliberately added a cm or two to the hip measurement I gave the company just in case. I’ll probably take a bit out of the side seam if it gets annoying.) And considering that you get a completely personalised pattern, it’s downright alarming how cheap they are – mostly $1.99 (about £1.40).

I first heard of Lekala through a post by The Amazing Taracat. Check them out! Also check out her blog!



The main fabric is a gorgeously warm woven wool blend. The bit that isn’t wool is a synthetic – acrylic, possibly, to judge from the weird plasticky bits in the ash. The lining is a deep purple synthetic (polyester?) with a little stretch. Both from the Samuel Taylor remnants rack. Net cost, probably less than a tenner.

This was envisioned as a warm layer for the office when it gets freezing but I don’t want to restrict my arms too much. It is warm. So warm. I see more wool in my future.

Spotty buttons!

Spotty buttons!

Buttons raided from my mum’s button stash some months ago. I think they add a nicely idiosyncratic touch to what’s otherwise a very plain garment (you can’t see the bright purple lining at all from the outside). You can also see the topstitching in this photo – the facings were thick enough that understitching just plain didn’t work to hold them inside, so I ended up topstitching the whole thing. It’s pretty neat and not all that visible, so I call that a win.

On the dress form

On the dress form

Dress form made by me! But that is a subject for another post. Angle of the photo is a little odd – the dress form is actually leaning back against the wall in order to make it stay put. (Not shown and not going to be shown: unfortunate lining mishap and hideously messy side seams.) Not all of the odd folds there actually show up on me: the waistcoat is a little loose on the dress form, as I made it to go over other layers and obviously the form isn’t wearing any. It does however still have a mysterious diagonal groove/wrinkle just below the right shoulder, which I can’t trace the origins of. Still, I doubt anyone else has noticed.

I plan to make more. They add a lovely Victorian feel to an outfit, I find.


About Craft (Alchemy)

I make things and make things up.
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5 Responses to Weskit!

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