Steampunk "Sweeney" Waistcoat Tutorial
Full picture tutorial to help you construct this fabulous double-breasted tailored vest “Sweeney” waistcoat. It is fully lined and available in a range of boys & adult sizes from 78cm (30″) chest up to 148cm (58″) chest.
Sorry the pics are not the best but this was done many years ago now but it shows all the steps ….
Click here for the Pocket Welt Tutorial
Before starting to assemble your waistcoat go to the Welt pocket tutorial and make the pockets.
Then come back here and carry on!
Join back pieces together (right sides together) at centre back open and on heavyweight fabrics press open. On medium weight fabrics press seam to one side and topstitch seam down from the right side.
Join lining back pieces together (right sides together) press seam to one side.
Top stitch the seam flat from right side of garment
Join front lining to front facing. The interfacing should have been attached to the front facing on wrong side before joining.
Next construct the back belt.
For belt iron on woven interfacing to wrong side of one half. Then sew Petersham tape as shown for extra strength.
Put belts right sides together and sew around three sides leaving short edge open.. Clip corners and trim seam allowance then turn through. I also sew a narrow Rigiline (sew through plastic bone) to the ends to stop it wrinkling when laced up.
Top stitch the belt to finish.
Mark for eyelets, punch holes. Seal cut holes with fraycheck and set eyelets.
Lay belt onto front piece at the side seams. Baste into place.
Sew interfacing to one side of collar. The collar in picture has a back inside – this is to show which is inside, usually the collar is same fabric both sides. Join collar along top edge. Open up and topstitch close to seam on inside collar.
Join collar at side seams, right sides together, trim corners and turn through. Sew raw edge closed and mark centre with small chalk mark.
For the waistcoat back lining. Fuse interfacing to the back neck facing. Mark centre of facing and align with centre back of lining.
Align facing with shoulder and sew facing to back lining. Ease to fit.
Top stitch back neck facing to lay flat. Press seam towards lining.
Join waistcoat front lining to back lining at shoulder seams.
Join waistcoat front lining to one side seam from underarm to hem. At the other side only join the top inch or so and leave a wide gap then join bottom couple of inches. This is to turn through the waistcoat at the end.
Join main waistcoat front to back at shoulder seams.
Join waistcoat front to waistcoat back at underarm seams.
Align collar at centre back and pin. Sew collar to neck edge. Check it is symmetrical by folding lapels together.
Pin and join the main waistcoat to lining at top edge, the collar will be sandwiched in the middle. Make sure shoulder seams are open on both lining and main fabric.
Sew through all thickness’s to enclose collar. Clip curved seams carefully.
Open up to right side and topstitch the collar through back neck facing and collar seam but not main waistcoat. This is more important on very thick fabrics. Only topstitch through the length of collar, not to end of lapels.
Turn back to wrong side and continue to join main waistcoat to waistcoat lining around lapels and along bottom hem. Clip seams and corners.
Now to join the arm holes. This is always the stage that people find the hardest the first time.
If it’s too confusing then go through the process and hand stitch the sleeve opening part way to test you have got it before machine sewing. when doing this for the first time turn waistcoat through to make sure you are doing correct then turn back to wrong side and machine sew.
Grab hold of the ends of shoulder seams. Picture shows the main part of waistcoat on right and lining to left. Pull the open arm hole ends of the shoulder seams away from each other. old the shoulder seam of lining in one hand and the shoulder seam of main waistcoat in the other.
Keep hold and making a circular movement turn the open ends towards each other. You need to make the right side of each seam touch each other and pin. It starts to feel bunched up and tangled –this is quite correct!
Start sewing in one direction easing the raw edges together. You may find it gets harder to keep feeding the raw edges and when it gets too tight stop.
Go back to the shoulder seam where you started and sew raw edges from other direction. When you have sewn all way around the waistcoat will look like its in a knot.
It will look something like this from wrong side. Carefully clip seams every inch or two. Repeat for other arm hole.
Turn waistcoat through the gap left in lining underarm seam.
It should all start to lay flat. Poke lapel corners out and check all seams are smooth and not pulling. If there is any pulling on seams you need to clip more.
If any wrinkles turn back to wrong side and correct.
If required topstitch the collar through all thickness’s from right side.
Showing the topstitching of collar
Fold the inner open lining underarm seam and sew closed.
Press carefully keeping a linen or cotton cloth between waistcoat and iron.
Mark front left for button holes and sew. I like to make a cardboard template for marking my button holes from the positions on pattern. Apply fray check before cutting buttonholes open. lay the waistcoat overlapped as it will be finished and mark for buttons, hand sew buttons on and Finished.