Bree, from Veldrath Cosplay, takes us on her journey with her favourite fitted waistcoat top and how many different way she can make it. Learn some of Bree’s tips and techniques to make multiple unique tops with the same pattern.


Custom fitted waistcoat top (Or; how many different ways can I make this?)

Posted by Bree Frost

You will Need (for the main demonstration version):

  • Burda Pattern 7880 (JUST discontinued but still available as left-over stock, if you’re quick!)
  • 1.2 ish Fabric.  I used a green on green craft cotton.
  • Sew in, medium weight woven interfacing for centre front panel. I prefer Parshape.
  • You can line this but it goes together like a puzzle box if you try…
  • See alternative styles for use of contrast fabric
  • Sewing thread (dark brown), three colours of leaf coloured embroidery thread and gold metallic thread.
  • Pre-made bias trim.  If you want a custom trim, you can use a clove binding maker with the iron on tape.  I used some old clover pre-made bias trim on a ten metre roll.
  • Pre-made bias binding.  In the other examples, I used my own bias binding.  I this demo, the bias I used was too wide so I pressed it into further thirds.
  • Urban threads pattern 1688 b, c, d, e & f, which are all the single leaf bits.

  • Soft net or organza for embroidering the leaves onto.


I also used a clear, 9mm applique foot and a narrow edge foot.

Some notes on alternatives and options.

At the end of these instructions, there are a few examples of ways that I have changed things up e.g. contrast patterned fabrics, centre verses double breasted opening, bias trims and ribbon trims, décolletage shapes, peplum shapes and techniques, decorative and top stitching option and more.

TL: DR (too long: didn’t read)

Take a period dress pattern, ignore the skirts, remove the sleeves and bind all the edges.


The Prequel:

Cut out (or trace out) Pieces:

  • #1 Front
  • #2 Centre front
  • #3 Side Front
  • #4 Side Front
  • #5 Back
  • #6 Centre Back
  • #7 Side Back
  • #8 Peplum


Modification:  For this version, I took the seam allowance away from the centre back seam and cut the back panel as a whole so the decoration would look flat.

Modification: The front panel needs to be shorter as the collar won’t be there.  How far down you take it depends on whether it will be worn on its own or with something underneath.  I’ll tell you later on when you can take the full piece on and mark where you would like it.

Modification:  obviously no collar, or sleeves.

Modification: On the #2 piece there’s a corner at the top for the collar that needs smoothing off from the shoulder to the front edge.

Modification: We’ll need to make a facing for the back neck line.  Trace the neck edge and 8cm along the shoulder.  Measure 8 cm away from the neckline in increments and join everything up.  You’ll need one that doesn’t have a seam in it.

Modification: I changed the shape of the lower edge of the peplum.  It can pretty much be any shape you want as long as the side edges line up with the corresponding edge.

Other differences:  We’ll gather the peplum instead of pleating it.

Because we have to finish seams as we go, making a toile (mock up) is definitely worth inVesting in.



How to moosh this together:

Sew back (#5) and centre back pieces (#6) together.  Finish off the inside of the seam as you like it but I flat-felled my seams toward the side seams. 


Press, then appliqué the bias trim over the seam.  I used one of the quilting handlook stitches as I was trying to mimic the diagonal metallic pattern of the bias trim.  I had to make sure I was always going the same way by using the flip buttons and make sure I “fixed” the tension as this stitch was designed to do something else.


This is the ideal time to decorate the back panel.  I used a flourish pattern I found on the internet, digitised the basic pattern and stitched out some basting lines on an embroidery machine.  It seemed easier than trying to transfer the design from internet to paper to fabric.  More application of appliqued trim.


Sew pieces #2, #3 & #4 in the same manner, using flat-felled seams and appliqueing the bias trim.

Before doing anything else to the peplum, applique some more bias trim 5cm from the bottom edge.  If you gave it a fancy edge, you can either follow that or compliment it in some other way.

Using two basting lines, gather the top edge of the peplum and pin it right sides together to the back piece.  Sew on.  Once it is attached, some how finish the inside seam, either by overlocking, overcasting or in my case, binding.  If you pleat the peplum you can flat-fell it upward.

Sew the remaining side back seams now that the addition of the peplum makes the back piece fit to the two side pieces.  Applique more bias trim over the seam.


At this point (despite it not closing) you can try it on to see about the fit.  The flat-felled seams mean that if it doesn’t, you may have to modify the front panel to make it so.


To start the front panels, fold each side in half with interfacing around the outside and sew top and bottom, starting at centre front folded edge and stopping 15mm (seam allowance) before the other edge.


Line up notches of front seam and, right sides together, sew.  On the centre panel side, fold all the seam allowance into the cavity, press the back edge slightly over the seam line and stitch-in-the-ditch to close the opening.  On the non centre side double turn the raw edge and stitch like a flat felled seam.  This should extend beyond the front panel all the way up to the shoulder and all the way down to the hem (also past the front panel).


Grab the back neck facing, finish the bottom edge, sew along the neck edge and finish that seam too.  The shoulder seam can now be sewn because all the neck edges are finished.  Flat-fell the shoulder seam to the back.


Before binding the arms, remove the seam allowance. I also take some out of the armhole along the bottom edge as there are no sleeves to go in and it is more comfortable.


Start the binding from the bottom nadir, going toward the front. Peg almost all the way around and leave the rest to hang.  I chose an overcasting stitch that looked like the metallic stripes of the bias trim.  Sew almost all the way around, arrange the bias over the beginning and once the beginning is sewn over, ease the bias all the way over to the back and make sure and crosses the sewing line.  Continue to sew the pattern until it seals the end.  It may look a little messy but you never do this technique where it’s prominent.  If you want to pre-measure and sew a seam in the bias before putting it on, that’s probably better but harder to measure as bias moves.


The bottom edge can also be bound, taking care to neaten the ends as they’re at the front.


Decorate the front panel with the bias trim one last time, trying to stay away from where the button holes are likely to be.


To calculate your button spacing divide the edge of the centre front opening by the number of buttons but measure out a half of the spacing measurement before the first button.  The good thing is, if you can think that far ahead you can make sure the edge of the front panel is an even number to go with the number of buttons you have.


Sew and cut your buttonholes.  If you chose holed buttons, go ahead and machine sew those too.


Finishing off just means embroidering off heaps of leaves in three different colours of thread, pinning them in a pleasing manner and tacking them down with the button sewing program.  I changed the program to be narrower but the usual number of tacks.  I also tacked down the leaf charms with the button sewing program, just make sure you check your needle clearances so you don’t snap anything.  I don’t want you to break your machine.


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