If you’re wanting to draft your own pattern, there are lots of options available.
You can start with a vintage Victorian waistcoat pattern block, such as the one in The Modern Tailor, Outfitter, and Clothier, volume 1 – altering the pattern accordingly, of course, for your physique and the various details outlined in my velvet waistcoat analysis.
Or, you could go the “theatrical” pattern route like I did, starting with R.I. Davis’ waistcoat pattern block from his book, Men’s Garments: 1830-1900.
Unless you’re a hardcore DIY-type who’s accustomed to using pattern blocks, though, I suggest simply using my Tailors Gone Wild 11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern.
Here’s the sizing chart for the Tailors Gone Wild 11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern:
On the printed pattern, the sizes above correspond to the following cutting lines:
If you’d like some help interpreting all the pattern information and learn some different methods for cutting out your fabric, you may find this free sewing lesson helpful. 🙂
NOTE: On my Tailors Gone Wild waistcoat pattern, all pieces include ⅝” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.
Perhaps the most important element to keep in mind when cutting velvet is the direction of the nap; decide which direction you want it to go on the finished waistcoat, rotate your fabric accordingly, and be sure to cut out all your pattern pieces facing the same direction.
Mark the button and pocket positioning in the manner of your preference; I prefer to make small “tailor’s tacks” using white thread.
Also cut a layer of hair canvas (as well as a layer of cotton flannel, if you’re taking my Kenneth King’s advice) for each front.
Obviously, the purple linen (and presumably the black cotton lining) can be cut from either side and direction.
There’s no “one” single way to make a waistcoat; there are several different waistcoat-making techniques.
The method I demonstrate in this tutorial is basically an adaptation of Cabrera’s from Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear, with a few minor modifications.