The Cutters' Practical Guide (1898)/Part 1/Vests

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We now come to deal with another brunch of cutting, and for which a further adaptation of the system is necessary. A vest is really nothing more nor less than an under coat, and the same principles which apply to the cutting of coats will apply with equal force to them. One thing, however, will be soon apparent to even the most unobservant, viz., that they are not required so large. In the system as explained below, and referred to in diagrams 56 and 57, this variation is made by adjusting the width across chest 12 an inch, and making it only 112 inches over the breast measure from the centre of the back to the breast line, whilst it is just as well to reduce the front and over shoulder measures 14 inch, but we will treat more of this in dealing with the system. In practice it has been our almost universal custom to produce our

Vest by the Coat or Jacket Pattern, Diagram 56,

Inasmuch an they are worn over and have to fit the same portion of the body as the coat. The method we adopt is as follows: chalk round the pattern of the shoulders, back seam and breast line in front. Hollow the back 12 to 1 inch at waist, and being equal to half the suppression taken out at sideseam of coat, with the view of providing a receptacle for the blades; and measure from the back seam forward 12 vest and 34 of an inch on the level of scye line, and 12 waist and 34 of an inch at natural waist; then apply the same at the front, but measuring back from the breast line fill up the neck point a trifle, say 14 of an inch; and shorten the shoulder right across 14 inch; hollow out the scye about 12 or 34 inch, either at front and back or all round, as it is seldom looked upon as a detriment for a breast to be large in the scye, and as long as sleeves are not added, we do not know there are any defects likely to arise from it. A button stand must be added all down the front, according to the style desired, 34 of an inch being the amount usually allowed for an ordinary S.B. The length in obtained in the same way as described with the next system. In practice we have found this to work admirably, so can recommend it with confidence as being simple, reliable, and quick. It, however, takes more of the practical than the scientifc phase of cutting, so that it will be desirable for us to give the system for producing vests independently of the coat.

The Vest System.
Diagrams 51 A 58. Figure 3.

Draw line O 17. O 3 is 16, raise point 34,14 this quantity, O 9 is the depth of scye as taken. Draw line at right angles to this, hollow back seam at 17, 1+12 inch., and mark off from back seam to 10+12,1+12 inches more then chest measure, and come back from it 12 an inch less than the cross chest measure taken; sweep from this point by is quarter of an inch less than the front shoulder less the width of back neck, and also from the front at 19+12 by 34 of an inch more than this quantity. Make point 3+12 on back to taste, in this case 12 inch less than 13, O 9, and square across to 66+12 an inch less than the width of neck, which in the absence of a measure may be fixed by making the width of shoulder seam 12 inch more than a fourth of breast; i.e, the half breast. Now draw the shoulder seam of beck and then measure across from 9 in the direction of shoulder seam, and whatever the back measures, deduct from the over shoulder measure, and sweep by the remainder, less a quarter of an inch from a point 1+12 inches above 12, but bringing the tape down to 12. Make the width of front shoulder a trifle less than the width of back and draw scye as shown. Make the width of back 12 the breast and 34 of an inch, and the waist 12 and 34 an inch. Now square down from 9+34. and hollow 1 inch to find the sideseam of forepart and make the width of front at waist 12 waist and 34 of an inch, and shape the underarm seam as shown by this arrangement; the forepert will overlap the back for large waists Special attention should he given to the spring over the hips as many vests are defective in this point. The lengths may now he marked for the opening and bottom, allowing 12 an inch extra for opening and 12 inch to the full length as per the measure taken, which allowances are for the amount consumed in the various seams. The height of gorge may be made 16 below the neck point, or higher or lower according to taste and if anywhere near that point, it may be made is pivot by which to sweep for the side length from the bottom, as at 26, raising the side 12 inch above sweep; the back may be pointed upwards at bottom as shown, or arranged to taste. There is also another point which may he arranged either to taste or to get a large vest out of a smell quantity of cloth, that is the underarm seam, and although the position allotted is perhaps the most suitable, yet the fronts may be made wider or narrower as the cutter wishes, the only point being that whatever is taken off the front must be added on the back, so that the combined widths of back and forepart measure 1+12 inches over breast and waist from the centre of back to the centre of front at the respective parts. The pockets should be put as nearly as possible at the hollow of the waist, and we have found it is very good plan to come up 5 inches from the bottom for all ordinary length vests, to find the top of the front edge of the welt, which should measure about 5 inches long and for 34 or 78 wide. The watch pocket is put in slightly on the slant, its position not being a very vital matter, but it should be arranged for the back end to he slightly in front of the scye and about 2 inches or so below its level A watch pocket welt should never measure less than 3+12 inches long by 34 wide; watches do not vary in size in accordance with the age or size of the wearer, so that it is quite necessary those should be made large enough to take a good-sized watch. There have been as good many dodges put forward at various times for the protections of watches from thieves, and we think amongst the best is the method of leaving the seam of the welt open wide enough to put the guard through; it will then be an impossibility for pickpockets to steal the watch. The buckle and strap should be put on at the hollow of waist, and we always prefer those to come into the sideseam and then fastened again to the back about one-third of the way across. In making, a pleat should be left through the front shoulder of the lining and the facing put on very tight at the bottom corner in order to make it curl inwards to the figure nicely, and the facing baisted to the canvas. When the customer is very full over the hips it is frequently an advantage to leave slits at the side. The customer's wishes should be carefully studied in every detail, and prominent amongst these we must mention the guard-hole, as they get accustomed to wearing the chain in a certain position, and if the new vest is different to the old the change is most probably objected to. Many people have a great objection to changes such as these; in fact we think it may be traced to the inborn conservatism of the human race, for if you can only produce a garment to fit as easy and suit the wearer as well as the old one you are sure to please him. As will be seen, this diagram is finished in the step collar style, a collar being out on the same lines as laid down for s coat but of course narrower. This is undoubtedly the leading style, but as represented hero is specially suitable for tweed, the edges being stitched. It may be as well, perhaps, to note that if thought desirable the scye may be enlarged to any reasonable extent without detriment.

We now come to the

French or No-collar Vest.
Dia. 58. Fig. 82.

This is a very general favourite for boys' wear, and frequently worn with the Eton jacket. It is a very neat style, and is very popular at the present time. It is thinner round the neck, so that there is something to commend it. As will be noticed, this is arranged for bound edges, and therefore, as there will not he any seam taken off the edges, it will not be necessary to allow on so much in front, and consequently only allow 12 an inch of button-stand. The only point of variation in the method of cutting is to fill up the neck as shown, to the extent of the height of collar-stand required by the customer, and leave a notch taken out to the hollowest port of gorge to which a collar band is sewn to come round the back neck. It will be noticed a small amount of spring is left at this notch; the purpose of this is to provide the necessary ease required by the neck at that part, This, although the only special feature in a no-collar vest, is a rather important one, and should never be overlooked, or the vest will slip away from the neck all round. As will be seen, the welts are bound round the end, a plan that should always be adopted when high class productions are aimed at as it gives a very much superior finish to the whole garment, and as the difference in time occupied between the two methods is so small, it should never be permitted to come into competition with the effect; produced by the superior finish on the whole garment. Although only a small matter, yet to put in these details we can excel and produce results which will not only give us a reputation for excellence of workmanship, but help to raise the status of tailoring. As soon as each individual member of the craft realises the fact that he is directly responsible for the elevation of tailoring, so soon shall we advance and place the profession on a footing second to none.

The Step-stand Vest.
Dia. 66. Fig. 33

This is cut precisely the same as the no-collar vest, the step being produced by a notch taken out, as shown, in whatever position deemed the most effective, the other part of the neck being kept, if anything, rather straighter. This is the style in which the majority of these are made, but, of course, they can be, and often are, produced by cutting the gorge down as for a step collar, and sewing on a collar forming the step at the end in the position desired.

This is it very simple style, yet it is astonishing how much difference a little taste makes in the position and shape of the notch.

The New Roll Dollar.
Dia. 60. Fig. 34.

This is a new style, and one that has a very dressy appearance; it is cut in just the shape it is desired when finished, and the collar-stand being cut in one with the vest as described for the no-collar, and is bend put in at the notch to go round the back neck, the collar for this is cut exactly the same shape as forepart, and is merely laid on. The method, perhaps, will be more readily gathered, if we refer to the fly of a pair of trousers, as an illustration of how this is done. These novelties are very good to touch the student how various effects are produced, rather than as standard styles, and as this is too extreme for that. we give it for the two-fold purpose of illustrating present fashion as well as how to produce this effect. No-collar vest are sometimes cut with the opening above the top button cut in the same way, but these and other novelties are only made so casually, that they hardly demand a place in such a work as this, as although youths are always on the alert for something fresh, yet their parents have to be consulted in this matter, and they always object to anything of an extreme character, justly judging that the sense of good taste is to have every garment harmonising with each other to such an extent that it would be difficult to say any part of the costume was conspicious.

The Roll Collar.
Diagram 61. Figure 38.

This is produced by precisely the same diagram an the step collar, in fact, the only variation being that the collar is brought to the end of the lapel, and formed into a graceful turn. This style of vest is the one that perhaps more than any other is worn with the Eton Jacket, although the no-collar vest would run it close tor this. It is also the Groom's Livery Vest, besides being frequently worn on ordinary occasions. The edges in this diagram are left bluff, that style being the general rule for Livery, and when black cloth was used for Eton Jackets it was customary to leave it bluff for that also, but as the garments are so seldom made from this material now, black worsted and Vienna having superseded it, the mode of finishing the edges has varied in like manner, so that the Worsted are usually bound and the Viennas and soft Wools stitched or corded. The cutter who knows his business will note which are the most effective finishes for the various materials, and so produce the best results in each garment. These are some of the points where the art comes in, and as we claim to be artists we should know how the best effect on each individual customer can he produced from a garment of a given material, and if in our opinion the material is unsuitable, such as would be the case if a prominent stripe is selected for a suit for a tall thin youth, or a large check for a stout one; it than becomes our duty to suggest other patterns, and if we do it in a judicious manner, customers will readily listen to the claims of art, it being their aim, as well as ours for them, to clothe in such garments as will make them appear to the best advantage.

The Dress Vest.
Diagram 82. Figure 35.

This is cut in precisely the same way as described for the no collar, namely, the gorge filled up to the extent of about 58 of an inch, or equal to the height of the collar-stand, and the front hollowed out as shown. It is a difficult matter to make them too hollow at the lower part at the same time it must be the aim of the cutter to retain a harmonious run or curve with the opposite aide, still the one great point is to keep it well hollow at the bottom. It is also advisable as producing a better effect, if it is slightly rounded near the top at 13+14, or midway between the neck point and the level of scye; this forms s more artistic curve than if kept very hollow all the way up, and at the same time helps to keep it snug to the figure at that part. Although it is highly essential to keep it clone fitting at the hollow, yet we do not find it necessary to do more than steady it. V's are decidedly objectionable, as producing far too short a frontedge, and making the garment stand away at the botom, a defect Dress Vests seem to be specially liable to. The collar is out by the forepart, and it is just as well to cut these a trifle more hollow, so as to throw a little more vase on the outside edge, as if this is at all contracted it is liable to turn outwards and show the collar lining. The outside collar is made to just turn over the crease edge, say 12 an inch, and the lining felled to it. Our diagram illustrates the style in which they are generally finished, as well as the amount of opening. There are usually three buttons only and two pockets, the welts for which are rather lighter than usual, being from 58 to 34. As will be seen the edges are traced with narrow Russia braid, and again behind that is a fancy tracing braid, which produces a very nice effect. In the bottom corner a flower is embroidered in black silk. This, however, is only adopted occasionally, and by such young gentlemen who are desirous of having something exceptionally stylish. These are generally mode from the same material as the coat, and when not so, are either white Marcella or Pique, or a white or fancy Silk, Moiré, or Watered Silk is very popular at present, and amongst the novelties in Dress Vests this season, we noted many or this material. There have also been a large number made for gentlemen who may be looked upon as leader of the fashion of the D.B. style, cut in precisely the same manner as this, but with a 1+34 to 2+14 button stand allowed on, which being pointed slightly upwards, comes under the roll; this is terminated in exactly the same manner as on this diagram, Others, again, have had the corners cut away from the bottom hole to about 4 inches across the bottom, producing rather a light effect. Some may think we have made this diagram to open rather low, but such is not the ease, it being a very usual custom with many firms to cut them quite 1+12 inches lower than illustrated. One very important point must be noted in connection with Dress Vests, and that is that they do not come below the strap of the coat; with this and in view, it should always be tries on at the same time as the cut, as any discrepancy at this part is very unsightly, and evidences a great amount of carelessness, or a want of technical knowledge, both of which are serious faults in one whose profession it is to be fully acquainted with every detail of how all kinds of clothing should appear when on the figure, and in fact have an ideal in their minds of what the finished garment should be.

When these Vents are made from white material, it is the general rule to put eyelets for the buttons to be fastened with split rings through their shanks, so that they can be returned when it is required to be vanished; for the same purpose the buckle is put on at the back with a hole and button, so as to avoid discolouration of the Vest by its possible rusting. The old style of Dress Vest, which in now seldom seen except for livery servants, is cut in the some method as diagram 51, but of course to roll much lower; the same principles, however, are involved, and all the parts produced as therein described. The only point worth noting is, that whilst a heavy roll looks clumsy, yet the opposite extreme must be avoided, and to do so it will be found necessary to cut on a little "belly" to the lapel. We now come to

The D. B. Vest
Fig. 37,

That garment being decidedly popular at present time, the only actual variation in cut being the addition of a lapel, or, putting it in other words, a very wide button stand, the lowering of the gorge being a point which may or may not be done, and is guided by the height the step is desired. If it is required to have the Vest to fasten up to the throat, it will be necessary to cut the lapel an exact counterpart of the forepart, which may be done by creasing or folding it down the breast line, and cutting that part off which comes over the breast line; this will form the V at the neck, and this in the only plan of getting it to fit well up at the neck and clean over the breast; any reduction in the size of this will show itself in a corresponding surplus length on the outer edge. As will be seen in the diagram, only a very small V is taken out at this part, as when the lapel rolls over as illustrated, a little extra length is needed to go over the round of breast; the immediate result of this V is to shorten the outside length of lap 4. The width of lapel is quite a matter of taste, and is fixed in this instance at 1+34 at bottom,2+14, and 2+34 in the widest part. The proper method of fixing the position of the buttons is to mark where the eye of the hole will come and then sweep from it by making a pivot at any point on the breast line, such as x at bottom. New repeat the operation by the x or lapel, which as will be seen is on the breast line, and where these arcs cross each other gives the exact position of the buttons, and ensure them being on the same level as the holes, and just as far behind the breast line as the eye of the hole is in front. This is a simple and reliable method, which we have no doubts will be appreciated now those Bests have become popular, and as the same principle applies to all D.B. garments, it will give a good guide for fixing the exact position of the buttons on such. In making, it is often customary to cut away that part of the lapel beyond the crease row, and merely leaving on a little above the end of lapel, as per dash line; this of course is more generally practised on the score of economy, but at the same time it gives a thinner lapel, though one that cannot be worked up to well. This, however, is not of so much importance as with a coat it being the general plan to fasten the top corner down to the forepart, either by a secret stitch or a button at that part. A tommy button is put to secure the under part in position and prevent it riding up and making the crease edge appear loose. The pockets are put in about the some position as for other styles, the only difference being that they are rather more to the side. which is necessitated by the overlap. The lest style of Vest we shall notion at this part is

The Sleeve Vest
Dia. 84, Fig. 38,

And although not so often worn by youths, yet as it forms a class by itself, we should have left our work incomplete if it had not been included. The only variation necessary is in the scye motion, which should be made to come as close up to the natural juncture of the arm and body as possible, as no sleeves tit as well as those that are out for a scye in such a position, hence it will be seen the scye is raised a 14, and which extends all round the scye, with the exception of at B, whilst it is increased to 38 or 12 an inch at the shoulder, so that the back should measure one-fifth breast from C to D; the sleeve is than produced in the manner previously described for Jackets, but as there are one or two variations, we will repeat

The Sleeve System,
Dia. 65.

Measure across from back at A to front of scye at B and deduct the width of back as at C D, the remainder is used to find the distance O3+12. Now mark the front pitch of the sleeve at 34 of an inch above the level of scye and the hindarm to taste. and apply the square with the arms as at B resting on the pattern in the position the sleeve is desired to hung from the scye, this may be altered by shifting the square round, but still keeping either arm at the pitches. The more forward the sleeve in desired to hang, the greater the distance that shows itself at B, and vice versâ. Having obtained this quantity, apply it to the above by coming up as from 3+12 to 14; now measure across the distance between the two pitches, with the hook placed in a closing position at the shoulder, and make 12 to 8+12 agree with this quantity, never less, but rather more, as many of the defects in the fitting of sleeve vests arise from the foot of the sleeves being too small. 4+12 is midway between O and 8+12, and the sleeve head shaped by these points, now measure the distance between the two pitches for the under side, and apply this measure across from 3+12 to 7+12. The underside of sleeve should not be hollowed out below 3+12, in fact it should be rather rounded than hollowed for the undersleeve, for although this undoubtedly detracts from the cleanness of fit at that part, yet it produces ease, and allows the arms to be lifted without feeling a drag on the arm, and as the sleeve vest is fastened All the way down the front, any lack of ease in this direction would produce a considerable strain, and if the rest did not come moderately close up in the scye, the whole vest would be raised bodily. It is a very great mistake to think that ease in the scye (of a sleeved vest at any rate) can be produced by a deep scye, for in the movement of the arms, such as would take place in the wear of a sleeve vest, a deep scye would produce anything but ease, and we should expect to find either the sewing or the material go at that part.

The hind arm of elbow should be got by draw- ing a line at right angle from 12 to 812. and measur- ing forward for the size of sleeve, hollowing the elbow in front, to the amount it is desired to reduce, which in thin case is 1+34. The cuff is got in just the opposite way, viz., by squaring down on the other side of sleeve, and making the forearm at cuff to rest on this line, and measuring from it to find the width of cuff. The run of the cuff is got by drawing it at right angles to the elbow and cuff, whilst the lengths are of course fixed by the measure taken, plus the three seams consumed.

The one great point to be avoided in a sleeve vest is a small sleeve head, far away better have too much sleeve head than not enough. In making, the sleeves are generally finished with a hole and button at the cuff, and the lining of the sleeves are much better sewn separately to the outside, and flash-baisted at both sums and put in rather long.

This, we think, concludes our remarks on vests, and from which we think the intelligent cutter should be able to produce any kind of vest, which although only an under-garment, and one that does not force its defects prominently before our notice, yet it is well worthy our careful consideration, and is that garment which has more latitude allowed it in fancy or artistic designs. so that it becomes the duty of every cutter who has the trade at heart to give it his most careful study.

The number of buttons usually put up the front of a youth's vest varies from five to six, six or seven being plenty for the full size garment. The buttons on a vest often form its special feature, and much taste may displayed in the number and kind used.