Waistcoat reduction

I don’t know if anyone remembers me blogging about my morris dancing waistcoat back in the day when I had only just started dancing, and I had to make my first one?  I was a size 18, so I naturally bought a size 18 pattern, only to be told (when the waistcoat didn’t fit) that a size 18 pattern makes a size 14 garment.  Goodness knows why!

Anyway, I solved the problem briefly by giving the waistcoat two sets of buttonholes and making a stomacher to button between the two sides.  As you can see in action here:



After that, I made a second, yellow, waistcoat which actually was big enough.  But the second waistcoat, and the third (apple green) were not as well made as the first one, because the first one got all my waistcoat-making enthusiasm, whereas the others were just knocked together in a rush.

I’ve been having a couple of disheartening weeks on the diet recently, where I’ve stopped losing weight despite sticking to the regime.  So it cheered me up no end on our recent morris-taster-and-recruitment day (when we danced for four hours almost non stop, with numerous suspecting members of the public dragged in) to discover that I can finally do it up!


I’ve had to narrow the stomacher to a single strip of buttons and fasten the same buttons through both sides, but you can’t tell that once it’s done up.  I also had to find a new skirt at the charity shop because I’d been having to hold the old one up by safety-pinning it to my shirt.  So the diet may have hit a bit of a plateau at the moment, but the results over all are still fairly dramatic.  As is the fact that I could dance for 4 hours on end!  I couldn’t have done that when I started.

The taster day was brilliant fun, run jointly by the Riot and Coton Morris Men.  The members of the public who joined in seemed to enjoy it, and we got to try out each others’ dances.  Coton are a Cotswold side, the Riot are a Border side, and the two traditions are quite different.  It was nice that both sides came away from the day going “I don’t know how you do that!  That was really difficult!”

Apropos of nothing, Coton have a dance called Willow Tree in which they call for a female ‘sacrifice’ from the audience for them all to dance around.  They always pick someone young and pretty, and I have always had ambivalent feelings about the dance.  However, Sompting Ladies’ Morris have shown me what the correct response should be:

(Probably only amusing if you’ve seen its opposite:)

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Chris Quinton
13 years ago

Well done, that woman! And the vid is awesome *g*. I gave up trying to diet into my 15th C gown and made a one-size-fits-all houpeland instead. Hmm – wonder if there’s a Morris in my area who might take on an overweight overage beginner?

Alex Beecroft
13 years ago

Thank you! *G* One size fits all sounds like a great idea. I started making an 18th Century gown for myself and in the time it’s taken me to finish it, it’s become two sizes too big 🙁

I bet there is! Whereabouts are you? I could ask Maggie – she’s our Squire, and she would be sure to know.

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