1800s embroidered waistcoat

 

2017

Categories: Historical, Embroidery

Our very first project at university studying Costume Construction included the construction of a 1800s male waistcoat. The brief was set around the Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise and the idea was to break down half the waistcoat to look like it had been in an explosion. Our sessions included constructing the waistcoat, screenprinting and embroidery and breaking down after. The brief was also linked to the Arcola Theatre and we had to take sustainability into account for our waistcoats. 

 

As I had no experience in embroidery I really wanted to focus on that. Our silks were donated (sustainability) and I opted for this blue silk. I quickly knew that I wanted a contrasting embroidery so came up with a gold flower pattern. All embroidery was done by hand (apart from the pockets which was a purchased applique to save time). Buttonholes were done by hand and as part of the sustainability I used the weft threads of the silk to do this.

 

As this waistcoat is slightly older the construction could have been improved but I'm still satisfied with my embroidery effort. I therefore didn't break down the waistcoat as much as others as I wanted to try and keep this in tact. The back is made out of a cotton and includes jiggers.