My friend Eileen had a dreadful problem with the plumbing in her house, which necessitated her going though and emptying all her closets and storage areas. While going through her fabric cache, she came across something that she decided to give to me. When she handed me the unassuming shopping bag at a rehearsal one night I confess that I didn't look at the contents too closely. "Some silk for you" she said. I did notice, however, that it was a lovely shade of forest green, which made me think of my godson, who is obsessed with the color.
His mother and I discussed various possibilities, and she suggested a vest. He has outgrown the little tuxedo jacket that she got him a few years ago, and the kid does have occasions to dress up. Through his parents, our Gaelic society, and his school he is surrounded with musicians, actors, and performance production professionals.
The idea for this dress-up vest was what inspired me to take on my previous project, the Boy's Tweed Vest. I made that one first since tweed is a little more forgiving and I wanted the practice.
Garment Designer 2.5 to draft the pattern. It's an awesome piece of software, I must note! To use it you do have to already be familiar with garment construction, since all you get is a pattern and you have to figure out how to put it together yourself. I decided to have notched lapels and welt pockets in contrasting black silk. The lining is simple black Kona cotton.
When I went to start cutting the pieces out and took the silk out of the shopping bag my jaw hit the floor. It was at least four yards of 60" wide medium weight dupioni. Absolutely gorgeous. At least $100 worth of fabric. Thanks, Eileen!
The vest came together smoothly and easily in one long evening, I'm pleased to say. He looks like a movie star in it too.
So, now that I've made lapels, lined a shell, and made welt pockets, there's only one construction element in a man's suit jacket that i haven't made - a two-piece sleeve. I'm really looking forward to the first time I make a three-piece suit, dress shirt, and tie for myself.
Then, and only then, a tailor will I be.