The Pattern Stash - Sarah Webb's Regency Inspired Jemima Waistcoat
You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!
When I heard about Fabworks’ new pattern range, The Pattern Stash, I had to chuckle to myself; I already have a HUGE pattern collection, as you can see. However, I can’t resist having a look at what is new out there!
I was taught to sew at boarding school 50 years ago and have made a lot of waistcoats in a variety of styles, so I was intrigued by the uniquely fitted shape of the Jemima Waistcoat and the quirky features like the lapels and pockets.
When watching Harlots and Bridgerton on TV, I loved watching all the historical costumes like the waistcoats and frock coats. The Jemima Waistcoat seemed like the perfect pattern for creating my own regency inspired garment.
The Jemima Waistcoat Springtime Sewing Kit gave me some good ideas for fabric combinations. I already had the Blueberry Twill from Fabworks, which is such a gorgeous colour and a great weight for spring. For the contrasting pockets, I chose some stripey cotton fabric and could not resist including some SOS fabric for the lining. I chose Galapagos Dream as I love the quirky print and stunning colours.
I quickly realised the design was going to be too big for the sculpted panels of the Jemima Waistcoat, but as a fabric addict, I already had the perfect project in mind for it! (I made a dress which you can see on my Instagram page @sarahjw70). I would recommend a smaller design from the SOS collection to suit this project.
As it is a new range of sewing patterns, I decided to make a calico toile. Making a toile (practice garment) is a good way of testing the fit of a sewing pattern. This gave me the chance to pin and draw on the garment as well as make notes of anything I might need to change in the fit. It was also the perfect opportunity to play with the stripe placement of my fabric. The pattern is versatile and customisable; there are so many options for fabric placement and design!
A bit of advice from Chloe: if you ever make a toile – always use a fabric which is of a similar weight and handle to the fabric you are going to use for the final piece. That way the garment will behave as expected from your toile! Better yet, use a cheaper alternative to your fabric and make a wearable toile!
As I am 5’4” I decided to shorten the length of the waistcoat’s body, however this made the pockets look too big. The solution was to turn down the top of the pocket, following the direction of the fabric’s stripe, creating a lovely shape and flattering effect.
I am really impressed with the quality of the pattern. The instructions and illustrations were clear, detailed and easy to follow. The tips for construction were helpful AND I learned something new! I have never put a lining in this way; it is so much better than leaving the shoulders open. It is easier to get back into if there are any tweaks to be made - thanks for the lesson, Chloe!
I like making a whole outfit to wear to show off my new creations, so with remnants of three shirting fabrics (all from Fabworks of course), I made a shirt and some trousers in the Blueberry Twill to complete the regency look. I’m thrilled with my new outfit.
For now, I’m going to enjoy wearing my Springtime Jemima Waistcoat but I’m sure I’ll be making a winter version too!
I can’t help but wonder what the next pattern from The Pattern Stash is going to be?!