1940's pattern from Featured Knitting Designs
At least, it’s a waistcoat I definitely want! I ran across this pattern on Vintage Purls website, which has free vintage patterns for men, women, children, and some household accessories (an awesome tea cozy!). This waistcoat (actually pronounced “wes’ cut”–let’s all say it correctly!) caught my eye because for some time I’ve been experimenting with how to add a decent point to vests. I also loved the diagonal slant of the pockets. As it turns out, the entire construction of this waistcoat is equally interesting. You make the point by using short rows, working 5 of 60 cast-on stitches, then 10, then 15, etc, until you’ve worked across the 60 sts, then 17 rows worked even, and then you have to work short rows on one side of the diagonal pocket slot, and then add yarn and work short rows on the other side , so that the opening is created. Once the slot is finished, you work across all the stitches and continue on. Once the garment is completed, you then make two fabric pockets and sew them to the pocket slits.
I’m using Knit One Crochet Too’s Elfin Tweed yarn, which is fingering weight. The pattern calls for 4 ply (sport), but I matched gauge with the fingering weight and the fabric is still okay…maybe a little flimsy, but it will look nice. The pattern is only given in one size (Chest 40) and I didn’t want to have to rewrite the pattern while also conquering the techniques in making the pockets, etc. I worked the left side, and because the directions simply say “make right side to match” minus button holes, I decided to immediately start the right side as well so I can write out how to do it in reverse!
By the way, this pattern has a lot going on at the same time–while building the pocket slit, you must also keep track of rows for button holes on one side and a total of 13 increases every 6th row on the other side. (Think Rowan patterns, which are notorious for saying “do this, while at the same time doing this, and alternating every “blank” rows, then every “blank” row doing this on the opposite edge”.) I wrote out every single row…but it’s been well worth the effort. Here are some images so far:
Closeup of the slanted tip created by short rows (front left side)
More of left front
Here's where I'm building the right side in reverse--just at the point to work 18 rows even and then start short rows for pocket slot.
Another really interesting feature is how the back piece will be positioned in relation to the two front pieces. The bottom corners of the two inch back ribbing meet the bottom point on the side seams of fronts (right after one completes the short rows that form the slanted bottom front edges). In other words, the slanted front points hang lower than the bottom of the back piece, so that the ribbing of the back is across the small of the back. I love this construction! It is so classic and form fitting. I’ll post images of the back and sides when those are completed.
Now that I’ve experimented with techniques and construction of this vintage pattern, expect some waistcoat designs from me in the future!