A good start to the new year… and a slight problem.

On a bright and sunny New Years Day, I decided that now was as good a time as ever to begin this waistcoat (Kwiksew 3662).  So I cleaned off the kitchen table, and set to work tracing the pattern.

As tracing paper I’m currently using an old desktop planner/note-taker thingy that my sister-in-law graciously donated to the cause.  It seems to work alright, but given the relative small size of the paper when compared to the printed pattern, larger pattern pieces require the use of two or three sheets, and the overlap can be a little difficult to trace lines through.  More on the difficulty later…

This is the complete set of traced pattern pieces traced and cut out for the particular version that I wish to make.  It feel it’s worth noting that it’s always a good idea to compare the list of pattern pieces required with the pattern pieces used in the instructions, as sometimes the list misses a piece or two that is required.

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Here I am partway through marking my scrap fabric for the test piece (Toile/Muslin I believe are two ‘proper’ terms for it).

I like to think that I am a fairly resourceful kind of guy, and that I can come up with creative solutions for problems.  The problem this time was that I still don’t have any dedicated pattern weights.  I had a quick think about what I could use as a temporary substitute, and the cans of tomatoes were my solution!  They’re fairly weighty (about 500gm apiece) and are very stable with the flat bottoms on the cans.  Yes I am proud of my epiphany, although I promise that I didn’t jump out of the bath and run naked down the street while shouting ‘Eureka’.

After marking and cutting everything, I forged on ahead with the assembly of the garment.  The single longest part of it was creating the waistcoat pockets in the front fabric, but after re-reading the instructions many times, I finally got my head around it.  Now that I’ve done it once, it will be easier (and the result will be neater) when I do the finished product.  One reason to make up a test piece for a pattern that includes unfamiliar elements.

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Another reason for making test pieces first is visible above.  Somehow there is about a 1″ (2.5cm) discrepancy in the length of the side seams, with resulting effects on the armholes.  Hmm.  What have I done?

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This is what I did.  A little embarrassing, but such an easy mistake to make.  usually after cutting the traced template out I lay it back over the pattern to double-check that I have cut to the correct line.  It would seem that I forgot this step, and thus an out-of-spec template was used to cut material.

What I suspect happened was that the similar colours for the M and XL lines (M is pink, XL is red) caused me to jump from one to the other when tracing through the double thickness of the overlapped paper.  Easy enough mistake to make I guess, but also just as easy to pick up when double checking.

Looks like this weekends sewing time will be starting with unpicking four seams so that I can remove the misshapen pieces from the partly finished test garment, and re-trace using the correct lines.

I’m a bit irritated that I made such a simple mistake, but I’m also relieved that it became apparent while I was using scrap fabric, and not the good stuff.

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