To make the costume I needed a golden yellow waistcoat and a black tailcoat. I enlisted long-suffering husband to help me make a pattern for the tailcoat. I used Kitschy Coo's Reversible Zippy Hoody pattern to make hoodies for the boys a few months ago and used the pattern pieces as the basis for the tailcoat. Long-suffering husband's main job was to add the 'tail' to the pattern. And I think he did pretty well. I also made the sleeves a bit longer (as the hoody had big cuffs to add) and quite a lot wider at the bottoms. We added a collar piece, which is more or less a rectangle a few centimetres less than the total width of the neck hole. I used the tailcoat pattern pieces for my waistcoat, too, just cutting it shorter then cutting off the corners at the top (for a v-neck) and bottom.
I had intended to have the waistcoat fasten with Velcro and just sew buttons on for decoration. But then my automatic buttonhole foot got upset, and complained that it hadn't seen any action for aaaaages, so I had a go at making a buttonhole on a scrap of felt and it worked pretty well, so the waistcoat actually buttons up. I put an extra layer of felt underneath the buttonholes so they won't stretch out of shape too fast.
The final decorative touches make this costume really cute. I bought a huge button for the jacket (it doesn't fasten- Sir Topham is too fat to be able to fasten up his jacket!) which is maybe actually a little bit too big. But it's cute. And I added buttons to the cuffs and the back of the tailcoat.
This is not a super sturdy costume- it's not designed to stand up to lots of wear and tear. The felt will stretch out of shape in time, I'm sure. But is looks amazing and will definitely do the job it's intended for. Oh and did I mention he loves it?
You can find more book-inspired outfits over at Nap Time Creations' Sew Many Books!