You want to know what I've been doing! You like me!
And now that Dave's birthday has come and gone, I can show you what I made for him this year.
It started when we went to Steamcon. Dave saw some double-breasted, military-style vests that he thought were pretty sharp. I looked at the serged seams (Yuk! Ptooey!) and the cotton duck canvas they were made from and then the $130 they were asking and told him to save his money. "I can make you one of those."
Can you believe he doubted me? He did! I got the raised eyebrow! That sealed it right there -- I was making him a vest for his birthday.
Folkwear had the exact pattern I wanted, the Belgian Military Chef's Jacket. It was just a matter of leaving the sleeves off.
The problem with commercial patterns, for me, is that I rarely use them. Like, never. All the stuff I've made, I've drafted the patterns for myself, to fit me. I've never made anything fitted for Dave. And I've watched my mom and other people make enough things from patterns to know that the sizing can be really variable.
So I just made the size I thought would fit and did my best to work through the simple but wonky instructions -- which told me to hem the back pieces before attaching the front pieces, which I did because I figured they knew what they were talking about, but next time I'll wait and hem the whole jacket because as you'll see in the pictures, it was off by about an inch -- and hoped for the best.
It turned out acceptably well. There were a few things about it that I will do differently next time, but for a primary effort, I'd say it's not bad at all.
Here it's done except for that bottom hem being all uneven. Thank you, silly directions. I picked out the stitches and evened it out, but of course I didn't get a picture of that. D'oh!
The grey-green wool was a bargain at thrift. I got two yards for three bucks. And the lining was something that's been in my stash for about a year. I have about four yards of it and only paid five dollars. I have tons left, which is great, because I can use it to make more vests!
See those flat-felled seams? Don't they look nice? It's such a pleasure to make clothing that looks as nice on the inside as it does on the outside. Take that, serged seams! (Yuk! Ptooey!) The buttons were the most expensive part of the garment: three cards of buttons at $2.50 each, but I had a coupon for half off, so it was only about five dollars. Oh, and I had to buy a spool of thread. That was three dollars.
Total cost for making Dave a completely lovely double-breasted vest? Twelve bucks. Quite a savings over the $130 he would have paid at Steamcon. And it was higher quality in materials and workmanship. Win!
Too bad it didn't fit.
But now I can amend the pattern so that it will fit, and he said he'd like one in black, so... stay tuned to see how that one turns out -- after the new year, probably.