The Belvedere Waistcoat PDF pattern was launched in our shop last night and now it’s time to delve in to the details so you can get to know our newest menswear design!
The Belvedere is a classic fitted waistcoat with a moderately low neckline, angled hem, and long darts on both the front and back. The waistcoat is fully lined and includes a back neckline facing for a high-end finish.
There are two variations included with this pattern:
Variation 1 (modelled by my Dad) features some really nice details such as three welt pockets and small side seam vents. This version was created as a satisfying tailoring challenge. There are tips and suggestions spread throughout the instruction booklet that encourage intermediate sewers to expand their skill set.
Variation 2 (modelled by Matt’s Dad and also seen pictured on my Granddad), is a very minimalist take on a traditional waistcoat.
It includes fewer buttons, no pockets, and no side seam vents. This is an excellent project for a relative novice who would like to push themselves to learn a solid foundation of skills. By the time you are finished sewing the Belvedere you will have learned how to stay stitch, under stitch, sew darts, line a garment, and add buttonholes! You will be ready for all manner of menswear projects.
I wanted to make this pattern suitable for both novice and intermediate sewists because it is rare to find a menswear piece that is so small, quick, and also satisfying to create. It is the perfect canvas to practice basics or to take your time and add all sorts of beautiful details. Also, a waistcoat, depending on fabric choice, can serve so many purposes! So I wanted the one pattern to operate as a solid foundation for menswear sewists to use as a tried and true pattern. I can imagine a new sewist trying out this pattern after sewing perhaps a couple of basic bags and pajama pants. They can then come back to this pattern throughout their entire sewing career, each time increasing the attention to detail, the quality of the fabric they use, and the level of fit achieved. This one pattern can be used to sew a casual layering piece, an elegant tweed classic, something dressy for your groomsmen, or the finishing touch for a three piece suit.
I kept the length quite short and the details quite minimalist so that it is ready to wear with mid to high rise dress trousers and will compliment many outfit styles. Since the rise of your trousers can vary greatly, I’ve included instructions on how to measure and lengthen the pattern pieces to suit any pair of pants. A properly fitted waistcoat should cover the entire trouser waistband…this is not easy to accomplish with a store bought waistcoat but it is exceptionally easy to do when you sew one yourself!
While I talk about fit, you have probably noticed that the waistcoat back is completely devoid of a belt! This minimalism is rarely found in off the rack waistcoats but is common when you order a custom waistcoat from a tailor. You can use the curved centre back seam and long darts to perfectly fit the Belvedere to the person who will wear it. There is no need for a ‘one size fits most’ cinching belt. If you like the extra flare that a belt adds to a waistcoat, don’t worry! I will be releasing a free pattern download quite soon so that you can choose one of two styles to add to your Belvedere.
In fact, I will be releasing a whole menu of free ‘add-ons’ so you can customise the Belvedere to your heart’s content. Please feel free to request a certain pocket or collar style! These interesting details will be offered separately from the base pattern so that you only need to print the elements that you need. I also wanted to avoid over-complicating the pattern and instruction booklet so that it would remain approachable for novice sewists!
We will begin the Waistcoat Sew-along on May 19th and will roll out all sorts of posts on fitting to a variety of body types, altering the Belvedere to match your suit jacket, changing the shape of the hem, adding thoughtful personalized details, and, of course, the nitty gritty of completing the basic waistcoat sewing process.
The sew-along will finish in time for Father’s Day gift giving! Take it from Matt and I…your dad will be VERY honoured to receive a custom sewn waistcoat!
I hope you will join us during our sew-along! It will be very informative for both new and experienced sewists. In the meantime, stay tuned for the release of our Belvedere Kit and all manner of tailoring supplies in the shop!
Thank you to my Granddad, Dad, and Matt’s Dad for being such enthusiastic (and classy!) models. All three of them looked exceptionally elegant in their Belvedere Waistcoats.
And thanks, also, to the White Whale pub for accommodating our rowdy family photoshoot!