Costumes and Performances by Tab Kimpton

The Path to Princedom part 3- Fantastic Waistcoat!

Longest tutorial ever- The full construction of a heavily embroidered and beaded georgian waistcoat, 68 pictures of glory.




First I cut my pattern out of lining



Checked the fit, then proceeded with the real fabric.Waistcoat17

Calculated the collar size and made up a pattern for it too.



This was a cheap bit of fake raw silk I had knocking about. Personal cosplays= money corner cutting. This was then all interfaced on the back so it could take the embroidery. I marked the pattern out with one of the blue erasing pens.




I measured the width of the chest, and a lot of calculating and faffing about I had an overlapping design that fit in an embroidery hoop while allowing enough seam allowance in the middle.


Everything is carefully laid out, then let the embroidery BEGIN

Waistcoat4 Waistcoat5


Embroidery is slowly added over time, being careful to line it up properly. I make this look easy, it isn’t.



SURPRISE, embroidery machine catches some fabric underneath itself and I make a massive hole in the fabric cutting it free. I don’t have any more fabric and this costume is for me, so quick fix time!



I iron some fabric under the hole and pray that the embroidery will hide it. Wheeeeeee


More measuring and calculating patterns! The bottom has to be split in two due to hoop size.




Some careful measuring later.








Scary placement time.



Success! And the hole is almost completely hidden, thank you cosplay gods. Waistcoat15 Waistcoat18


I make up a small 2 shaped pattern to go all over the body of the waistcoat. Each one gets a blue dot and carefully centred over it. This was me sitting by my machine for several hours.


Time for some pocket flaps! Each one of these took 30 minutes for my machine to do.



Ironing and adding some canvas backing.

Waistcoat23 Waistcoat24

Design and make up the collar pattern in 2 parts.


Waistcoat19 Waistcoat25 Waistcoat26

I want a pretty back so I measure out and sew two flap parts and design another pattern to make the holes.



All the pieces laid out.



I’m out of the faux silk so I cut some bias out of cotton mull.

Waistcoat29 Waistcoat30


Bias sewn to the back of the pocket flap.


Bias pinned round to the front.


Pearls added and bias sewn down at the same time.



Beautiful flaps!







Welted pocket time! I cut a piece of faux silk about 3cm wider than my desired pocket



Fold it in half and stitch down in pocket position.



Sew pocket flap above.





Cut hole and flip inside.


Cut out a pocket


Pin and sew to one side

Waistcoat49 Waistcoat48


Then the other




Turn other way up and you look like a pocket is forming!

Waistcoat53 Waistcoat54 Waistcoat55 Waistcoat56

Open up each side and sew down the pocket, leaving you with a nice bag.



TADA beautiful pocket. For a better tutorial try over here:


Waistcoat34 Waistcoat35

I sew the corseting to the back.



Then the shoulders together, and repeat for the lining.

Waistcoat38 Waistcoat39


Then sew the armhole.


Waistcoat58 Waistcoat60


Then down the side


Then the back lining

Waistcoat63 Waistcoat62


Then zig zag the front together, making sure it all lines up nicely.


Then added the bias binding from the back and repeated the same beading technique as I did for the pockets.




4+ hours of hand beading later, I have a waistcoat!



Bad selfie is bad, but you get the idea. 21 hours on the waist coat, 40 hours total!

Found this post helpful? Share with others!Share on TumblrShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

5 Responses

  1. Paul

    This would make me cry about 1/4 of the way into the embroidery alone. O.o Holy shit.

    August 7, 2013 at 2:39 am

    • Tab

      Haha, who said there was no crying involved?

      August 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm

  2. Kimmie

    The embroidery looks amazing but it hurts to think of the amount of work that must have gone into it! I wouldn’t worry about the hole, it actually makes the vest more period accurate – piecing is a period technique :)

    August 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    • Tab

      Aw, thank you very much! I wore it this weekend and no one noticed so clearly it looks fine!

      August 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

  3. Pingback: » Prince George Roundup post KhaosKostumes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>