Ruffled Waistcoat

This project combines 2 things that I have been mulling over for a while, namely ticking and waistcoats, and one thing that’s new, namely a back ruffle insert. I’ve been meaning to make a waistcoat ever since that photo of Kate Moss looking fabulous as always, muddy and wearing a waistcoat at Glastonbury last year.

The fabric for this waistcoat is from the Cloth House on Berwick Street. There are 2 Cloth Houses; the fabric came from the one closer to Oxford Street. The decor there is sort of faux old fashioned. Normally, I’m scornful of any attempt at decor in a fabric shop, but this one is really well-done. Anyway, they have an entire shelf of ticking. Before entering this shop, I had never given any thought whatever to ticking, but obviously they sell a lot of it, if they devote so much space to it. I still don’t know what other people do with ticking, but I made a waistcoat. One nice thing about ticking is that the color palette that the weavers use for it is very limited, so I could pull 3 bolts of natural-and-black off the shelf and they all go together nicely.

The idea for the ruffled back came from the current Mrs Stylebook. I don’t actually own this magazine, but I have purchased it and it is en route. Elizabeth (ejvc to some) has a copy and she let me have a look. I was really taken with a red sleeveless top with a ruffled insert. Cidell put it in one of her posts as well. The photo in the magazine indicates the the insert is floating a bit under the outer fabric, but I could not think of a good way to achieve this effect that would not cause all kinds of problems. I put an underlining in the back of the waistcoat and was thinking of attaching the ruffles to that, but it seems like the outer fabric would go all floppy and fold outward if I did that. I ended up topstitching the ruffle in place.

All the outer edges are topstitched and unfinished. It will be fun to see what they look like after a couple of washes.

I took more photos of the construction that usual, so I hope they are not too much for you.

front view

The pattern came from this book, ISBN4-309-28062-5

It’s the top bit of this dress.

I came up with the shape of the ruffle by pinning tissue to the back and re-shaping it until I got a shape that I like.

Ruffles in progress


This may be a bit avant-garde for some, but I think it will fit nicely into my wardrobe. It may even become my signature piece for this summer.


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