November – December 2004
This is Laughing Moon’s vest pattern from “Men’s Frock Coat with Vests.” Aaron picked out the paisley silk the summer before. I had cut all of it out, and then realized that I was in way over my head. Despite the pattern’s excellent instructions, I had no idea how to assemble it. So, I signed up for a tailoring class in the fall! Near the end of the semester, I dug out the pattern and found that it now made sense, so decided to sew it as a secret Christmas present. It was already cut out, so I just threw it together without any fittings, and hoped for the best. It turned out a bit snug across the back, but luckily he can still wear it. One thing to note about the vest pattern: it calls for hair canvas interfacing. At the time, I didn’t know that this stuff actually comes in different weights. So I picked up the first I found, which was very heavy. It would have been perfect for a jacket, but was probably a bit too sturdy for the vest. I also forgot to preshrink it, so it puckered after a wash! But I’m still very proud of my welt pockets.
A year later we found this antique topper in a local hat shop. The silk stock & ascot, and collars are all sewn from Laughing Moon’s “Men’s Victorian Shirts.” As for replacing the modern wool tailcoat, well, I might try to tackle that one day.