How to Make a Waistcoat Out of an Old Blazer

Julia Rafael
by Julia Rafael
9 Materials
4 Hours

I have an exciting thrifted upcycle for you; I’ll show you how to make a waistcoat from a blazer.

I purchased this blazer and pants set for next to nothing, and while the pants fitted me perfectly, I felt the blazer needed a little sprucing up. Ready to make this elegant DIY waistcoat with me? Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Blazer
  • Seam ripper
  • Free vest pattern
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Buttons
Seam ripping the blazer

1. Seam rip the blazer

First, seam rip the blazer. This step may take a while. I have my lining in one pile, the shoulder padding in the second, and the actual fabric in the third pile.

It’s important to do this carefully so you do not rip the fabric. 

Cutting out the pattern pieces

2. Cut the pieces

Use the free vest pattern and customize it to your own measurements. Once you have your pattern, cut the fabric accordingly.

I messed up the pattern pieces a little, and you will see this later in the tutorial. That’s why you should do this carefully and ensure you have enough fabric for all the pattern pieces. 

Tip: Press each fabric piece before cutting out the pattern, ensuring a smooth and even pattern piece. 

Sewing the ties

3. Sew the back of the waistcoat

For the two rectangular pieces that measure 5cm (1.96 inches) wide and 40cm (15.74 inches) long, fold them and stitch them closed along the raw edge. These will be the ties at the back.

Sewing the back pieces together

Sew the back pieces down the center. 

Sewing the back panels

Next, sew the side back pieces to the center-back pieces. Make sure the fabric is right sides facing. 

Inserting the ties between the fabric pieces

Sandwich the tubes between the layers, as shown. 

Sewing the ties into the back of the waistcoat

Sewing the front of the waistcoat

4. Sew the front of the waistcoat

Match the lower and upper notches for the front pieces and sew them together.

Next, repeat all these steps with the lining. 

Adding lining to the waistcoat

5. Add the waistcoat lining

Connect the fabric and the lining, right sides facing. Sew the neckline, sleeve, and bottom of the back part. 

Connecting the fabric and lining

Then, connect the fabric and lining of both front pieces. 

How to make a simple waistcoat

This is the part I mentioned where I messed up. I forgot to mirror some pieces. The front lining piece had seams on the side. To fix this, I decided to fold in the seam allowance and sew another line. 

Inserting one shoulder into the other

6. Connecting the shoulders

Connecting the shoulders is a little tricky. Put your hand between the lining and fabric of the front side piece and pull the shoulder seam of the back part into the front shoulder seam.

Like this, you can connect them right sides together and sew to secure. 

Watch the video from 4:03 minutes to see exactly how I do this. 

Sewing a waistcoat step by step

Connect the front side seams to the backside seams and sew to secure. Finish the stitch with a zigzag stitch afterward. 

Adding buttons to the waistcoat

7. Add buttonholes and buttons

After that, I added buttons and buttonholes to the front placket, and you’re good to go! 

DIY waistcoat

How to make a waistcoat

How to make a waistcoat

I hope you learned a trick or two with this tutorial on how to make a waistcoat. I’m really chuffed at how this DIY waistcoat turned out, considering the little mess up I had with the lining.

Thanks for joining me. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Blazer
  • Seam ripper
  • Free vest pattern
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