Author: James Williams

The Under Collar

Next we’ll install the under collar onto the waistcoat forepart. Lay the collar on top of the forepart, right sides together, and ensure that the proper, shallower edge of the collar is next to the neck line.

Align the bottom of the collar so that the 3/8″ seam allowance meets the edge of the forepart.

You can use a ruler here to make sure you get the correct position.

Begin basting the under collar to the forepart, beginning at the bottom of the collar. Try to keep a neutral tension between the two pieces – the collar will naturally want to fall into the correct position as you baste, though it may take a few tries before you get the hang of it.

Here’s the under collar after basting. If you look closely, I did take slightly smaller basting stitches in areas where the curve deepens, for example near the shoulder at the top of the collar, and anywhere I could feel the tension between the two pieces needing the extra support.

Here you can see the tension that is naturally built into the under collar seam, due to the opposing curves of each piece. This will help the collar and neck line stay closer to the body.

One last look at the bottom point of the collar before sewing. It’s so important to get this alignment just right.

Sew the undercollar to the forepart from the top of the shoulder the shoulder to the bottom of the collar, using a 3/8″ seam allowance. I recommend sewing with the underside of the forepart facing up, opposite from what is shown.

You can see some of the excess fabric from the under collar in this photo. While it works just fine as shown, you’ll have to manipulate the fullness with your fingers as you sew, whereas if the under collar was underneath, the presser foot would help distribute this excess.

And continue sewing right to the edge at the bottom of the collar, ensuring the pieces are still properly aligned.

Here’s the undercollar after being sewn.

The bottom of the collar showing the alignment of the two pieces in relation to the seam line.

And shown here is the top of the collar at the shoulder. Ignore the little mark I had made there – made a mistake with overthinking things and ended my stitching there instead of at the very edge of the shoulder.


Press the collar and seams up away from the forepart, beginning from the wrong side. Definitely use a tailor’s ham here due to the curved nature of the seam.

Turn the forepart over and press from the right side as well. I didn’t use any steam here because it wasn’t necessary, but also because the steam can cause the polished cotton to lose its special finish.

Here’s the forepart so far after attaching the under collar.

The Darts

I like to transfer the darts to the remaining side of the forepart by just tracing them with the original pattern, rather than using the tailor’s tacks. It seems to be a little more accurate, and quicker as well.

Fold each of the darts in half, aligning the sides as closely as you can. Shown here is the neck dart.

Baste the dart closed, keeping about 1/4″ away from the lines.

Do the same with the rest of the darts if you’re putting them in. Here’s my waist dart going in (again not recommended unless you have the proper figure).

To check my alignment, I like to stick the needle directly through the dart and see how close it is to the opposite line. Then I’ll adjust accordingly.

Continue basting. It’s easier to get both sides to line up, the closer you get to the end of the dart.

For any darts that take a strain, such as the waist darts or perhaps a dart in the armscye (not covered in this course), I like to reinforce them with a piece of linen to strengthen the area. I left them out of the neck dart so as to facilitate the roll of the collar and because it doesn’t take much stress.

Take a square of linen, about 1″ to 1 1/2″ square, and fold and press it in half.

Place the linen firmly against the dart, so that the end of the dart falls in the middle of the linen.

Baste the linen piece in place through all layers.

Now redraw the line at the tip of the dart over the linen as necessary using a sharp pencil (should take my own advice). Just line a ruler up with the rest of the dart and redraw.

Starting at the edge of the dart, begin sewing on the outside of the chalk line towards the tip.

As you get near the tip, adjust your sewing machine to take smaller stitches, to firm up the area.

The idea is to pretty much sew right off the edge of the fabric, after tapering out very slightly at the tip.

Leave the threads long after sewing so that you can tie them off by hand, rather than trying to back stitch with the sewing machine on such a narrow area.

Here you can see how the stitching gets smaller as it approaches the tip of the darts.

Now trim the linen on each side down to about 1/4″.


Pressing the darts is fairly straightforward. Begin by pressing the dart along its length while it is still folded in half. Don’t press beyond the tip though or you’ll begin creasing the waistcoat itself.

Using a tailor’s ham, press the dart over to one side or the other, from the wrong side. Here for the neck dart I’m pressing the dart downwards so that it won’t be fighting gravity the entire time.

Then turn to the right side and press the dart again along its length. Pay particular attention to the tip of the dart and get it smoothed out as nicely as possible.

The waist dart is a little trickier since it’s more of a compound shape. Press the dart while folded in half.

Then press the lower portion of the dart to one side, being sure it’s fully opened underneath.

Then readjust the dart over the tailor’s ham and press the remaining bit of dart in the same direction.

Flip over and press from the right side.

Here’s the forepart so far after installing both darts.

Cutting and Tacking

It’s time to final begin cutting and constructing the waistcoat! Lay your forepart pattern piece on the doubled fabric, aligning the grain lines with the edge of the fabric. I use a quilting ruler to aid in this. Ideally you’d have your pattern laid out closer to the edge to save fabric – I was concentrating on taking photographs and it completely slipped my mind.

Trace around the entirety of the pattern with a sharp piece of tailor’s chalk, as well as the darts. I weigh down the pattern with whatever I have handy, in this case my quilting ruler, but scissors and other objects work well too.

It’s a good idea to transfer the roll line and center front line to the fabric. I did so by aligning the ruler with the lines, and marking each end, just off the edge of the pattern.

Marking the top end of the center front.

Then it’s a simple matter of connecting the two marks after you remove the pattern to get the line in place.

Also be sure to mark the positions of the buttons, buttonholes, and ends of each pocket before you remove the pattern.

It’s a little hard to see, but here’s my pattern all marked out on the fabric, with the darts, roll line, center front, buttons, buttonholes, and pocket ends all marked out.

Begin cutting out the forepart. For best accuracy, keep your scissors on the table as you cut, perpendicular to the table, and cut to the inside of the chalk lines. Since the chalk line has a small width to it, cutting on the outside would give you a slightly-too-large waistcoat.

To transfer the markings to the lower piece, it’s a good idea to use tailor’s tacks, which also make the marks more durable for construction. For the roll line, center front line and pockets use the following method. Take a doubled over piece of basting thread and make about 1/4″ running stitches, two or three inches apart, along the straight lines. If you make the stitches closer together, keep a little slack in the thread.

For the buttons, buttonholes, ends of the pockets, and any other points, mark them by taking two stitches in place with the doubled basting thread, forming a loop. Be sure to keep the loop open about an inch, and the ends slightly longer than that.

On the tailor’s tacks formed by the running stitch only, clip the threads between each stitch. The looped tacks are not cut open.

Carefully open the two layers of fabric, revealing the stitches on the inside. Don’t pull them too open or the threads may come out. Snip the threads at each tailor’s tack as you get to them, working your way across the entire forepart.

This leaves you with semi-permanent markings that will be of great use during construction.

Constructing a Toile

With the pattern finalized as best you can, it’s time to prepare a muslin toile for the first fitting. The toile is important not only to help with the fitting, but to work out any errors in the pattern you may have introduced and get you more familiar with the construction process.

Begin by laying out all of the pieces, being sure to align the grain lines, and trace around each with some sharp tailor’s chalk. You can weigh the pattern pieces down to keep them from moving.

Also be sure to mark the roll lines on the front and collar pieces. Then cut out each of the pieces, keeping to the inside of the chalk lines. As you get to the darts, do not cut them out, rather, leave them in and cut across the bottom edge of each.

Here are the two front pieces all cut out. I marked the darts and roll lines on the wrong side, then flipped over to the right side to mark the pockets, button positions, and center front line.

The Darts

Any darts are closed in the same manner. Grasp the fabric and fold the dart in half along the middle, aligning the chalk marks as best you can.

And pin the dart closed.

If you’re putting in a front waist dart, the same method is used, though it can be slightly more tricky to get everything aligned.

Here are both of my darts pinned and ready to sew.

Sew the darts, following along the outer edge of the chalk line. I like to start at the outside and work my way towards the point.

As you get to the point, gently taper the stitching into the fold, ending just as you reach the edge.

Press the darts to one side or the other (just be consistent).

I like to press the neck dart downwards to make it a little easier to press over the roll line later. You’ll notice that the roll line is no longer straight, thanks to the dart, and this is something we’ll address later on as well.

Here’s one of my waistcoat fronts after sewing the darts.

If you put in a front dart, that will mess up the pocket lines as well, so feel free to redraw them if you want.

Attaching the Collar

Lay the collar on top of the waistcoat front, right sides together. Be sure the collar edge with the roll line is laid alongside the neck seam underneath.

Align the bottom of the collar so that the 3/8″ seam allowance is aligned with the edge of the waistcoat front and pin in place.

Continue pinning the collar to the waistcoat front, working your way up the neck. Distribute the fabric as necessary as you go.

Do keep the pins away from the seam allowances. As you get to the top, you should have about three inches of collar (roughly) extending beyond the shoulder.

Turn the waistcoat over and mark a point along the neck seam 1/2″ below the shoulder to indicate where the stitch line stops.

Sew the collar on from the bottom edge through to the point you marked using a 3/8″ seam allowance. I like to keep the collar on the underside while sewing, as it seems to help distribute the fabric more evenly.

Press the collar seam over towards the collar, using a tailor’s ham to support the curved areas.

Here’s the completed collar.

Side Seam

Construction gets a little easier from here on out. Lay the back piece on to the front of the waistcoat, right sides together, aligning the side seams.

Pin the side seam.

And sew the seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Press the side seam open.

The Shoulders

Align the back and front shoulder seams, right sides together.

Fold the collar extension out of the way so that it doesn’t get caught in the stitching.

Carefully align the seam allowances and pin both ends of the shoulder seam. This is the armscye side:

And the neck side with the collar folded out of the way.

Sew the shoulder seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance, being sure to keep the collar out of the way.

Press open the shoulder seam using a tailor’s ham.

Here’s the completed half of the waistcoat. Repeat the entire process with the other half if you haven’t been keeping up with it.

Center Back Seam

Align the two halves of the waistcoat along the center back seam and pin.

Mark a point near the bottom of the center back seam just at the point where the curve straightens out to indicate the end of the stitching.

Sew the center back seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance and press open.

Securing the Collar

Lay the waistcoat on the table with the right side of the back facing you. Arrange one side of the collar along the remaining neck edge, make sure it’s neither too too nor too loose. Mark on the edge of the collar the position of the center back seam underneath.

Move that half of the collar out of the way and repeat the process with the other half.

Square across the collar at each of the points.

Now align the two collar halves right sides together along the lines. Ideally, the collar will be perfectly even at the ends, but I must have gathered on the collar slightly differently on one half while pinning it — something to be aware of.

Sew the collar halves together directly along the line.

Trim the excess collar down to 3/8″ from the stitch line.

Press the seam open.

To finish up the collar, pin the collar to the back of the waistcoat, right sides together, aligning the center back seams of each. Then pin along each side as necessary.

Sew the rest of the collar on using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Take care not to catch unwanted parts of the collar under the seam — the tension tends to draw the collar towards the needle here.

Press the collar and seam allowances up towards the top of the waistcoat.

Final Pressing

Begin pressing the roll line at the back of the waistcoat. This is best done by someone else while you’re wearing the waistcoat (not with the iron!), but you can get fairly close just by developing your eye.

Then by putting some gentle tension on the collar and neck seam area, you can get a fairly close idea of where the roll line should be (it was distorted due to the neck dart).

Press the remaining areas of the collar as necessary.

With the toile complete, go ahead and try it on to see how it fits. If you need any help or advice, please post photos from the front, side, and back along with a top down photo of your pattern, so that others can learn from your experience as well.

Trimming the Front Waist

There’s one last little detail to take care of on the pattern before moving on to the toile. The way the pattern is designed, you’ll be left with two little points at the bottom front of the waistcoat if you don’t trim them. The easiest way is to make a quick copy of your waistcoat front pattern, with the center front line drawn on the copy. Then overlap the two, trace the overlapped area, and trim off the excess, giving you a nice clean front.

Here’s what I did in practice. First I copied a small part of the front pattern, basically from dart to dart, to a fresh sheet of paper, and copied the center line as well. You really only need a small section of the front copied, not the entire pattern.

Then I placed the copy on top of the original, carefully aligning the center line, and making sure the edges of the pattern met at the bottom of the center line.

Then trace the new line onto the original pattern.

And trim off the excess section.

Then simply use your altered pattern as usual. I forgot this step and so had to do it after cutting out my waistcoat front.

Seam Allowances

When you’re happy with any alterations, trace each of the pattern pieces onto a fresh sheet of paper. This way you can maintain your original pattern for future use and alterations. Add a 1/4″ or 3/8″ seam allowance around the entire collar – I’m using 3/8″ due to how easily the silk fabric frays. Similar seam allowances are added around the front and back pieces, except for the darts, which are treated a little differently during construction.

Be sure to copy over the pocket and button locations, the center line, roll line, and it’s a good idea to mark the grain line, indicated by the arrows (they’re simply parallel to the original vertical construction line). Then cut out your pattern around the entirety, including cutting out the darts.

Here’s my pattern after tracing, adding the seam allowances, and cutting everything out.

To make marking the various buttonholes and other points a little easier, I punched 1/8″ holes using a hollow hole punch, the type I use for buttonholes.

Here you can see the seam allowances added, the neck dart, and roll line.

Waistcoat Alterations

Before moving on to adding the seam allowances, it’s a good idea to check your pattern as best you can for fit, by applying your own measurements to the pattern as shown, comparing them, and then making the changes as necessary. I also like to compare the lengths of the center back, though that isn’t specifically mentioned in Devere’s manual.


The most common and important alteration is adjusting the width of the waistcoat around the waist. If your waist is only slightly smaller than your chest measurement, an inch or two, I’d highly recommend removing the front dart. If your waist is larger than your waist, you’ll need to add some material to the front and back side seams as shown. This is such a common alteration that I actually add material to the back side seam, by making the side seam vertical, for most of the waistcoats that I make. Any excess material in the back will be taken up by the back buckle.

It’s possible, for very corpulent figures, that material will need to be added to the front of the waistcoat. This is obviously very complex, thanks to the pattern, so I’ll update this section after I work out the best way to do so. If you are making a waistcoat for such a figure, please let me know so I can help you out.

The second, less common alteration is to adjust the back balance. These days, with people staring at their phones or computers all day, we have a tendency to stand slouched over. If the waistcoat is left as is in this case, you’ll notice a gap at the back of the collar. Likewise, if someone stands extra erect, you’ll see too much fabric just below the collar. To adjust, add or subtract the appropriate amount from the shoulder and neck of the pattern. I usually adjust this measurement only after the first fitting of the toile, to see precisely what needs to be done.

Drafting the Back

I like to begin by drafting the back since it’s much simpler, and you can get the length correct right away by applying your back length measurement. You’ll be using both the graduated measure corresponding to your chest size, direct measurements that you took in the previous section, and the working scale to draft your pattern.

Draft this to the right side of your paper, leaving room for the forepart draft on the left, if you can. Having them side by side helps to make sure everything is accurately drafted between the two pieces.

First, draw a vertical line, marking 0 at the top. Then mark the following points:

  • 3 1/2 graduated inches from 0 for the shoulder point and top of the armscye.
  • A from 0 is half the working scale for the bottom of the armscye and chest line.
  • B from 0 is for the bottom of the waistcoat.

Now square out the following points.

  • 2 1/2 graduated inches from 0 for the neck. Also square up from 2 1/2 by 3/8 for the back neck rise.
  • 7 1/4 from 3 1/2 for the shoulder point and top of the armscye.
  • 10 5/8 from A for the bottom of the armscye.
  • 9 1/4 from B for the bottom of the side seam and width of the waist.

This is a good time to check your measurements and compare them to your pattern before you get more involved. Double check 0 to B is equal to your back length measurement. Then take the line at A and multiply by 4 – it should be slightly larger than your actual breast measurement. Do the same for the waist line at B.

The Curves

The curves are relatively simple, especially compared to the front.

  • Draw a line between 7 1/4 and 3/8 for the shoulder seam. Find the midpoint and square in 1/4 graduated inches.
  • Draw a line between 7 1/4 and 10 5/8. Square inwards at the midpoint 1 1/2 graduated inches for the armscye.
  • Also at 7 1/4, draw a construction line square down, about 4 or 5 inches in length. This aids in drawing the curve.
  • Draw a line from 10 5/8 to 9 1/4 for the side seam.

Draw the curves as shown.

  • The neck curve starts at 3/8 tapering into the neck line at 0.
  • The shoulder seam is drawn smoothly between the three points.
  • For the armscye, keep the curve rather deep from 10 5/8, through 1 1/2, and then following the construction line straight into 7 1/4.

The side seam is mostly straight, curving in near the bottom about 3/8. The original draft doesn’t have any specific marks to help with this, just do it by eye.

Curved Center Back

If you prefer, you can curve the center back to give a more stylized back. The other alternative is to just keep the pattern as is and cut the center back on the fold (you’d leave out the center back seam allowance in that case), which does make construction a little faster.

Finishing the Front Draft

We’re not quite done with drafting the front – still need to add a couple of darts, draft the collar, and figure out the position of the buttons, buttonholes, and pockets.

Neck Seam Dart

Adding a dart along the neck seam helps the collar to stay in position as well as takes out some of the excess material sometimes found in the neck area. The exact position depends upon your own draft and preferences, something that you’ll learn through experience.

Generally though, I try to make the dart about 2 graduated inches long, with the midpoint intersecting the roll line. Draw the construction line as shown.

Determine how wide you want the dart to be and split the distance over the construction line. Then connect each side to the end of the construction line, forming the dart. The exact width really depends upon your own pattern and body type. I recommend starting with a 1/2″ (regular inches) dart and seeing how that fits. I ended up going with a 3/4″ dart for my own pattern.

The Collar

The collar is a little difficult in that there are almost no measurements given for it – instead it relies more on the artistic side of things.

From point 13 7/8 at the bottom of the collar, continue the curve you already drew from 12 3/4, gradually curving around towards the neck point at 9 5/8 (but not hitting it, and tapering the other direction until it is parallel to the roll line at the shoulder, keeping 1 graduated inch from the roll line.

Now draw the bottom of the collar, beginning at about 1/2 graduated inch above point 13 7/8 and tapering into the neckline near the dart, and gradually ending up parallel with the roll line after you pass the neck at point 1. Keep the line 3/4 graduated inch below the roll line near the top.

Again this is very artistic and you can’t really rely on any of the measurements. Feel free to send me photos of your draft so I can help and critique.

At the bottom at 13 7/8, the 1/2 graduated inch opening forms a sort of dart between collar and neck, adding some more tension to the area for shape and keeping the collar in position. You could open the dart even more, up to 3/4 graduated inches if necessary, but definitely do a fitting first before adjusting that.

To complete the collar, square off the end of the collar from the roll line, about 3 graduated inches (or a little more to be safe) from the top of the shoulder point. The exact width depends on the width of the back neck, and with construction errors or fabric stretching out of shape unknowingly, I like to add a little extra here.

Waist Seam

Draw a construction line from 11 5/8 to 1 1/4.

Form the bottom edge of the waistcoat by drawing a shallow ‘S’ curve as shown, transitioning between the two near the middle of the waist. Again there are no real measurements here, just use your eye as best you can.

Waist Dart

Optionally, you can add a waist dart here for more shape and to take in some extra fabric, especially if you are fit and are somewhat proportional in size to people from the 1860s – as in your waist is 4 – 6 inches smaller than your chest. If your waist is a little on the larger side I highly recommend leaving this dart out, as it’ll just give you more fitting issues.

Draw a line from the just to the right of center of the waist, roughly squaring up, to just past the construction line from 15 1/4.

At a point just above the waistline (indicated by the dotted construction line), mark the width of the dart. This depends on your own measurements, but 3/4 to 1 graduated inch is a good starting point. Mark half of that on each side.

Draw a line from the top of the dart, tapering through the waist, and narrowing back down to about 1/2 a graduated inch at the bottom. Again the exact measurements depend on your own size and preference.

Button and Buttonhole Positions

At the top and bottom of the center front line (10 3/8 to 10) draw two lines perpendicular to the center front.

At the top, mark the button and buttonhole positions at 2 graduated inches from the center line.

At the bottom, they’re 1 1/2 inches away.

Then connect the upper and lower marks with two lines to determine the angle of the buttons, and then mark the additional two buttons equally spaced out (they turn out to be almost exactly 2″ apart on most drafts).

Pocket Positions

No measurements are given for the pocket positions either, but here is what I typically do. For the lower pockets, draw a line about 3 graduated inches above the waist line, roughly following the angle of the waist.

I make my pockets about 5 graduated inches long, and keep them roughly 1 graduated inch from the buttons and from the side seam. Again, you’ll have to adjust these measurements to fit your own individual pattern.

For the breast pocket, I usually make mine 3 1/2 graduated inches wide. It’s positioned at about 1 graduated inch from the armscye, angling more steeply towards the front of the waistcoat.

And that finally completes the waistcoat draft! If you’re stuck or need advice, please consider posting top down photos of your draft in the support forum so that others can benefit from your work as well. Or you can email the photos to me if you prefer.

Drafting the Front

Drafting this style of waistcoat is definitely a bit complicated, but hopefully I’ve broken the steps down clearly enough for you. Just remember to take things one step at a time.

First, extend the lines from 0, A, and B over to the left a bit to make room for the forepart draft. You can also just do this on a separate sheet of paper, but it helps visually to have it all in one place. Then a few inches to the left of the back, draw a vertical line from the top and mark 0. You’ll want to continue this line a little below B even though it’s not shown in the diagram.

Main Construction Line

Begin by drawing a vertical line and marking out the following points, measuring from 0 for each of them, using your graduated rulers and measurements as appropriate. If you extended the lines above some of them will correspond with these points.

  • 2 graduated inches from 0 for the slope of the shoulder.
  • C from 0 is 1/2 the working scale. This should align with the line from A on the back and gives us the bottom of the armscye.
  • D from 0 is the back length to measure.

Now measure the distance between points 2 and C. Then divide that area up into thirds, marking points E and F between them. This will help us lay out the armscye in a bit.

Next, mark point G halfway between C and D. This will eventually be the bottom of the collar, so you could adjust this up or down for future projects to get a specific look.

To find point H, measure halfway between points C and G (I like to make a very light mark to keep my place). Then measure 1/4 graduated inch above this midpoint to find H.

The following three points are all measured out from D, since they depend on the back length of your waistcoat. These will form the lower front edge of the waistcoat.

  • Measure up from D1 1/4 graduated inches.
  • Measure down from D1 1/4 graduated inches.
  • Measure down from D2 1/2 graduated inches.

Now square out from the following points the appropriate distances:

  • 5 3/4 graduated inches from 0 for the shoulder point.
  • 9 5/8 graduated inches from E for the neck point.
  • 2 3/4 graduated inches from F for the width of the armscye.
  • The line from C is not given a specific measurement, just make it a little longer than the next line below it, about 14 1/2 graduated inches..
  • 13 7/8 graduated inches from H for the chest and width of collar.
  • 12 3/4 graduated inches from G for the bottom of the collar. Also mark 10 3/8 graduated inches from G – this will actually be the center front of the waistcoat.
  • 1 1/2 graduated inches from the first point at 1 1/4 for the side seam inset.
  • 1 1/4 graduated inches from D for the bottom of the side seam.
  • 10 graduated inches from the lower point at 1 1/4 for the center front of the waistcoat. Also mark 9 1/4 graduated inches in for a construction line.
  • 11 5/8 graduated inches from 2 1/2 for the lower front edge of the waistcoat.

Shoulder and Armscye

I tend to just work my way around the draft from here on out. Once you’re used to the process you might change the order to suit your own way of working, this is just what works for me.

  • Draw a straight line from 2 to 5 3/4 for the shoulder seam. Find the center of this line and square up a 1/4 graduated inch for the shoulder seam curve.
  • Draw a line from 2 to 2 3/4. Square in 3/8 graduated inch from the center.
  • Draw a line from 2 3/4 to C. Square 7/8 graduated inch down from the center.
  • Draw a smooth curve from 5 3/4 to 2, as shown, for the shoulder seam. Use the midpoint as a guide for the curve.
  • Draw the curve of the armscye from 2 through 2 3/4 to C. Try to keep this curve as smooth as you can between the various points with no hard transitions.

The Neck

Only a small part of the neckline is actually used in the final pattern, but I like to draw out the entire thing for reference.

  • Draw a line from 5 3/4 to 9 5/8.
  • Mark 2 1/4 graduated inches from 5 3/4.
  • Square inward by 1 graduated inch.
  • Draw a curve from 5 3/4 through 1, straightening out as you get to 9 5/8.

Side Seam

Draw a mostly straight line from C, curving gently or tapering into 1 1/2, to 1 1/4.

Construction Lines

  • Draw a construction line from 9 5/8 to 9 1/4, curving it gently. This indicates roughly the position of the typical base pattern draft and is useful for the coming steps.
  • Then draw a straight line from 9 1/4 to 1 1/2. This indicates the waist line and is used for drawing a dart later on.

Not that I used a dotted line in the diagram for clarity. In practice, I just draw a solid line in pencil, a little lighter than the others.

Center Line

  • Draw a line from 10 3/8 to 10 as shown. This indicates the center front of the waistcoat and is very important for getting the overlap correct when fitting, as well as the position of the buttons and buttonholes.

Front Edge

  • Draw a gently curved line from 13 7/8 to 12 3/4, forming the bottom of the collar area. The exact depth of this curve depends more on your artistic skills than any specific measurement.
  • Draw a straight line from 12 3/4 to 11 5/8 for the front edge of the waistcoat.

Roll Line

  • Draw a straight line from 12 3/4 through 5 3/4, extending about 3 graduated inches beyond the shoulder to form the roll line. The roll line is very important in that it determines the roll of the collar as well as aiding it its drafting.

Front Opening

Complete the outline of the waistcoat front by drawing a line from 13 7/8, tapering into the neck line near 1. This line is ever-so-slightly curved, I typically use a hip curve ruler to help with that.