How To Sew An Easy Reversible Waistcoat 26

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Sew Your Own Reversible Waistcoat


How to sew your own reversible waistcoat free tutorial sewing bee fabrics


I wanted to make a waistcoat that was simple, would work for any size, and would have the "wow factor" for a wedding. So, that's why I came up with the idea to sew a simple reversible waistcoat, so there could be a formal side for the ceremony and a fun side for the evening do... plus it was easy to make matching daddy and son versions as no bought pattern was needed. Here's how I made them.


What You Will Need:

Cotton - length will depend on the size you are making, fabric width and whether you are pattern matching your pieces.


Buttons (I used self cover buttons to match)

A shirt in the size you want your waistcoat to roughly be

How To Make It:

First, lay your shirt out. trace around the back section and 1 front section, ignoring the collar and sleeve. I tend to use wrapping paper to draw around (then I can use masking tape to join the pieces together to check I have things where I want them).

From the pieces you have drawn around, you want the back piece to stop higher than a shirt, so measure from the base of the neck to the length you want - probably just passed the trouser waistband, and trim your paper accordingly. At the front, waistcoats I think look best with the more traditional pointed shape at the bottom, so start the same length as your shortened back piece then curve down into a point then diagonally up to the centre line. Change the neck line into a V shape then add a seam allowance all the way around (I added 1/4 inch).

Then that's your pattern ready.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to draft your own pattern

Cut out 2 front pieces and 1 back piece in 2 different fabrics. For my children's waistcoat I left it at that, but for my adult waistcoat I added an extra layer of cotton in the centre so that it had a bit more body but was stiff soft and breathable. You may want to add interfacing if you'd prefer a stiffer centre, or interfacing just to the buttonhole area to reinforce it there and help the button holes look sharp and keep their shape.

To start off, I first attached the shoulder pieces of the front and back pattern pieces. However, if you prefer,you can skip this step, and hand sew the shoulder seams instead Of turning under the arm holes. 


Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics attaching front and back pattern pieces

This made 2 little raw edged waistcoats. If you are adding an extra layer, just attach it to the back of one of your fabrics. You may want to stitch them together first to stop the pieces moving around so they sew as if they are a single piece of fabric. Since it's reversible, it doesn't matter which fabric you add it to the back of.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics lining and outer layers

Next, I joined the 2 waistcoat pieces together. I placed them right sides together and pinned the edges. I sewed all the way around except the arm holes and a small gap at the bottom at the back for turning it right side out again. 

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics pinning lining and outer layers
Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics leaving gap for turning

I then turned the waistcoat right side out through the bottom hole then top stitched all the way around the edges that I had just joined.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics top stitching

I tucked the raw edges under for the arm holes, held it in place with lots of pins then top stitched around. I started and finished at the armpit so that any slight alignment issues would be hidden under there. 

If you prefer to do the shoulder seams last instead, then now would be the time to join them.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics turning under arm hole
Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics pinning armhole

Lastly was the buttons. When doing buttons I prefer to put in the button holes first then sew the buttons after as I find it easier to adjust the positioning if I haven't quite got the spacing as equal as I thought. I added buttonholes as normal on one side of the waistcoat.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to add buttonholes
Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to open up buttonhole

I wanted my buttons to blend in so I used self cover buttons and matched the material to cover them with. For the toddler waistcoat I only did 1 set of buttons because I didn't want to add unnecessary bulk or confuse the poor lad as to why he can only do up half his buttons at any time, but for the adult version I made buttons in both fabrics. I sewed them back to back on both sides of the waistcoat. That meant that whichever way around it was worn, there would be 1 functional set of buttons and 1 set of buttons hidden on the inside.

Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics making your own buttons
Waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics sewing on buttons pattern matching

Once the buttons are on, your DIY waistcoat is ready to go! I bet you didn't think it would be as easy as that to sew a reversible waistcoat.

sew for boys how to sew your own waistcoat free sewing tutorial sewing bee fabrics
sew your own diy waistcoat free pattern tutorial mens sewing bee fabrics
formal boys or mens waistcoat tutorial sewing bee fabrics free tutorial
How to sew your own waistcoat free pattern boys mens sewing bee fabrics

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment.

Happy Sewing!


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