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Vests Pt 2. You thought I forgot, didn’t you?

So my handsome husband has been walking around being gorgeous for weeks and I haven’t posted the second part of the vests posts to let you see how great he looks.

And just so you can see the whole look:


Vests Pt. 1

Here is the post I composed before I became horribly sick last week:

If I were a fashion magazine this would be an article called “Vested Interest” and that would be just awful.  As it happens, I am not a fashion magazine I am a lass with a blog and this is a post about some cool vests I made for my husband.  We were over the moon about Boardwalk Empire last fall and every week brought new excitement about what Nucky was going to wear this time.   The menswear was a source of constant amazement and we were always oohing and aahing over something.  After a while my husband said he’d like to have some vests.  Now, to be completely forthcoming here, he’s said this before.  And when he mentioned it before I said something along the lines of, “Oh baby, do you want a vest?  I can make you a vest in an hour.”  Then I never did it.  But it’s a new day and promises will be honored and I have made him not one but four vests.  Yep, four.  I may not be quick but I’m generous.

We went downtown and got him some great menswear fabrics and lining materials.  He picked a lot of bright satin linings in contrasting colors which is just another reason why I  love him.  On a subsequent trip with some friends I found a button store and picked up some great vintage looking buttons.  It was hard to choose because there were so many great buttons.  I was zipping from bin to bin saying “look, LOOK!”

I did all the vests with bagged linings, in which the lining fabric is stitched directly to the menswear fabric right sides together.  Then you turn it inside out and press carefully.  Yes, I have a picture.

This is the vest front stitched.

This is the vest front turned and pressed.  This type of lining is one of those things that I do because of my theater background.  This is the type of thing you do when you have to make 15 vests for a chorus and the show goes up tomorrow.  It’s not lazy, it’s clever, trust me.  It has the added benefit of being cooler to wear because there aren’t lots of extra layers of fabric in the garment.  Since my husband wants to wear these to work and he tends to run a little hot (temperature wise) I thought this construction would be more comfortable for him.

In my next post I will show some pictures of all four vests.

Narrowing a tie

So much can be said about the design influence of Mad Men and in my house it has made itself felt in the menswear area as my husband expresses his dissatisfaction with wide ties.  He has been more interested in neck wear in general lately and all the purchases he has made could have easily been incorporated into the Mad Men aesthetic.

Ken sports a narrow tie on Mad Men

My husband had one wide tie hanging around which he wanted to wear.  It happens to be the tie he wore when we got married and neither of us likes buying things for only one occasion so I offered to narrow it for him and he was delighted.  “Can that be done?” he asked.  Yes it can, and this is what I did.

This is the tie in its original form.

Opening up the back of the tie revealed the lining and batting.

I measured the tie against a tie my husband likes the width of and determined that the offending tie was 1/2″ wider on each side at the widest point.  I marked the new widest point with chalk and used a ruler to mark the cutting line up to the point where the two ties matched in measurement.

Marking the cutting lines

Then I cut the batting and repositioned the fabric over the new silhouette and steamed the fabric lightly with an iron to remove the old crease lines. I trimmed out about 1″ of the tie and lining fabric but that was almost too much and I had to do a bit of finagling to get the back of the tie lined up.  After that I lightly pressed the fabric back into place over the batting.

The fabric pinned back into place.

I sewed up the back with an invisible slipstitch and put the label and the other bit of fabric (the one you stick the back end of the tie through) back in place and the tie was ready to go.  My husband wore it the next day and he loved it.  By the way I am certain there is a name for that bit of fabric you stick the back end of the tie through.  It is probably French and I don’t know what it is and a quick Google search has not answered the question so I will save it for another time.

The finished product.