Fabric Suggestions for 222 Vintage Vests

Well-dressed Victorian gentlemen, at the end of the 1800's, always wore a vest, and smart Victorian women often paired vests with walking skirts for street wear. Our 222 Vintage Vest pattern has 3 different vests to make, two are sized for both men and women and one is designed and sized for women.  They offer a variety of styles, including collarless V-neck, bias-cut vest with shawl collar, and short front-darted style. Traditional bow tie, with instructions for tying, is also included in this pattern.  Two of the vests are sized for men and women, and the shorter, double-breasted vest is sized just for women. 

These vests are perfect for dressing as in ages past, but are also wonderful, and layers beautifully, with modern wear.

Suggested fabrics: Medium to heavyweight fabrics of cotton, silk, wool, linen, synthetics or blends with or without nap, such as brocade, velvet, corduroy, canvas, pique, velveteen, or synthetic suede. The bias cut of the shawl-collar vest is especially suitable for stripes or plaids.

PLEASE NOTE: Fabrics used as examples in blog may go out of stock from store.  If link is invalid for specific product, there may be another fabric from the supplier that you can substitute.  These suggestions are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written!

Authentic men's vests of the Victorian era used silk for the back piece instead of lining fabric.  If you want a period look, don't choose rayon of polyester lining fabric.  Instead look for silk yardage that isn't too nubby.  Silk charmeuse, crepe de chine, dupionni, and shantung will all work well.  Don't use chiffon or georgette, because they are too sheer and lightweight to provide the body and strength you need.

You can also cut the back piece from the same fabric as the vest or from another contrasting fabric for a style option, greater durability, or for an outerwear look (rather than an under-jacket look).

We've listed some fabrics below that we think would work beautifully for these patterns.  

Here is a beautiful Japanese yarn dyed twill that is a cotton /rayon/silk blend.  There are several colors to choose from at Stonemountain and Daughter fabrics. This would work well as main fabric or for lining or backing fabric.

Miacahel Levine's has a good selections of solid colored silk charmeuse that would be great for lining and/or backing.  Here is an antique gold silk charmeuse that we like.

For a fun and vibrant vest (maybe for the collared version of the vest), this floral brocade from Vogue Fabrics would be great as the main fabric.

This plaid 100% wool coating at Hart's Fabrics would be beautiful for a vest worn as outerwear.

 We also have a beautiful cashmere/wool blend that would make a warm and beautiful outerwear vest (I'd do View A with this fabric).


We will have a blog post up with some suggestions and tips for making this vest next week. So, check back here!

And, what fabric would you love to use to make one of these vests?