Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Waistcoats, Vests, and 90s style

I ran across a discussion of the revival of 90s style on PatternReview lately. Apparently the 90s are back! I don't remember 90s style very much, probably because I was in university in the first half and working 3 jobs for the rest of that decade. All I recall are the grungy student outfits we'd wear, including my floral dresses with chunky black shoes. I checked out an article about 90s style and only really remembered one thing!

So I thought, nope, I'm not a 90s fan. (Definitely more of an 80s girl!) But then I realized that I do love a good waistcoat, and while that look was hot in the late 80s it carried over strongly into the 90s. I looked through my stash and found a handful of vest patterns from the early 90s. I chose two to try out. 

McCalls 8940 is my favourite -- there are at least 3 of these views that I'd like to try! But I started with view C, the short over-vest. That's the silhouette I've been thinking about making for a while. I had a nice piece of leftover linen from my recent drapy vest project (also from the 90s!), just enough to cut this unlined vest and the facings. I started working on it (sewing the shoulder & side seams with french seams to keep it tidy) and attached the facings. But I haven't quite had the time to finish it, so perhaps I'll share it next week! The linen sews up nicely and I think the style adds a fun element to a dress or tunic. I'd like to try View G next, the one button brown view -- though not in brown for me.

The next one that caught my eye was this Simplicity 8621. It's handy having quite a large collection of thrifted patterns! That floral brocade is SO 90s, I'll be avoiding that, I think. But the leopard print view (#4) has a great shape. I'm going to try that in a suiting, not a leopard print. This one is a lined pattern so may be a little more flexible in wearing options. 

If I'm not sick of waistcoats by then, I may check out the options in these two new-to-me patterns that I just thrifted this week. The New Look 6113 has an interesting shawl collar version I haven't seen in any of my current patterns, and the McCalls is a great dress pattern with vest included. It's a classic style with faux welt pockets. I'll have to see how far this waistcoat obsession takes me. Maybe I'll even finish the Vogue 8987 I started for my husband last year ;)

Are you a fan of the waistcoat, traditional or not? Do you lean more toward the 80s or 90s in your retro pattern love?


  1. My SWAP this year was to include a boned corset/waistcoat, but I stalled with lockdown and Bell's palsy combining to kill my mojo. It's still in the wings though!

    1. Yes, I can understand the lack of mojo. But I hope you're able to feel ready to give this wonderful project idea a go soon!


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!