Oliver + S

fabric suggestions for menswear vest

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    I have a really nice piece of fine cotton shirting in a traditional plaid I bought in England several years ago. I think it would make a lovely pair of Christmas vests for the boys. In my mind, these would have a traditional menswear look, so I picture a lining type fabric for the back and the lining, right? Isn’t that how vests are made for men? So do I want like silk or Bemberg rayon? or something else?

    Also, maybe the back ties should be fastened with something other than buttons? Wouldn’t little D rings be more traditional? I don’t spend a lot of time with mens suiting, clearly. 🙂

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    Profile photo of with love Heidiwith love Heidi @with love Heidi

    I personally deviate from the lining fabric as the back outside fabric, I like to repeat the main fabric on the back as well. If I were making it to go under a well fitted suit jacket I might use a lining type fabric on the outer back to cut down on bulk or if I don’t have enough of the main fabric but otherwise I prefer the both the front and back to be the main fabric. Not sure about the D rings, would they be uncomfortable?

    The plaid sounds lovely.

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    Profile photo of roundtheworldgirlroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl

    I have only made this vest once, but I might actually be inclined to use the shirting for the lining and the back, and then something a tiny bit sturdier for the front. That is what I did for mine and although, like you, I had originally thought of doing a slippery lining fabric for the back, I do really like how it turned out.

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    Profile photo of TamaraTamara @justsewit

    D rings would be great and very authentic.

    I used a contrast cotton for the back Noah’s vest. I love the idea of a silky looking fabric.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    I thought about the back and front fabric matching at first too. Truth be told, I’m trying to save enough of it to make a skirt or dress or at least the accents for a dress for Kitty for next year. I mean how cute would it be if they all three matched for Christmas? (Last year’s Fairy Tale dress still fits her and it was so special – can we say Liberty with a red satin sash?- she’ll be wearing it again!)

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    I think a slippery back and little buckle would give the most traditional look, though the idea of shirting-on-shirting is throwing me a bit. Would they have little jackets, or just the shirt and waistcoat? Wool trousers, I assume?

    As I understand it, a shirt is an undergarment, something you wear under your suit, which is the primary garment, and a waistcoat’s function is prevent the exposure of what a tall friend of mine refers to as ‘acres of shirtfront’. So that’s why a waistcoat has a slippery back (for ease of movement against the back of a jacket) and a front that matches the rest of the suit. I drew a blank when picturing the hardware so I turned again to my knowledgeable friend who says:

    “It varies from waistcoat to waistcoat, but not generally buttons. Often a small belt buckle, either with holes premade or a pair of sharp tines that hold material in place without holes.”

    Isn’t rtwg’s husband a diplomat, or something like that? He’d know, I wager. Anyhow, you have a great eye so what you choose will be tasteful and beautifully made, I’m sure.

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    Profile photo of mkhsmkhs @mkhs

    If they are going to be wearing the vests without jackets, I’d shy away from using a slippery lining for the back– to my eye, it always looks undressed, like something’s missing. I’d use maybe a cotton sateen or lightweight cotton/rayon twill. If the vests will be under jackets, I think Bemberg is perfect.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Nah, I’m not doing jackets. They’d never go for it. They’ll wear plain shirts or simple ones and the plaid well, maybe it’s not technically shirting. It’s finely woven, that’s for sure and I think it would be suitable for a dress and perhaps a tiny bit heavy for a shirt, but possible.

    I know what you mean about looking “undressed.” I suppose that’s why I’m hesitating over lining fabric. I’m having a hard time picturing how men wear vests with out the whole suit. I should do some google image searches.

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