Rocky Mountain Outfit — American Mountain Men (AMM) party of Colorado

Review of Folkwear Victorian Vest
by Scott Walker on 12/26/2008

Front view

Front view shows roll collar. Notice there is
no notch in the collar as shows up on later vests.

Back view

Back view shows the tie as I made it up and the
continuation of the roll collar. Collars on later
vests, like the ones you see on cowboy action
shooters, stop at the shoulder seam. For the
1830s the roll goes all the way around the neck.


The goal of this project was to make a roll collar vest appropriate for the 1830s. Overall it went pretty well and I would use this pattern again. I would recommend it to others, though maybe not for a first project.

I would give this pattern a rating of 3 out of 5. It is not too difficult, but designed for the modern tailor using a sewing machine.

How It Went

It went pretty well. It was a project that, until I pulled it all right side out and finished it, I didn't know how it was going to turn out. I ended up lengthening the pattern to fit me better and making the bottom of it squared off because I thought at the time that was a more common look for the 1830s. I also finished the adjustment in the back as a cloth tie rather than a buckle. I used a dark blue/gray wool for the front and black polished cotton for the lining and back.

The Best and Worst of It

I top stitched the belt tie in the back which meant I had to be extra careful with my stitch spacing. This was before I learned some tricks to even up my stitches and before I learned that the originals probably had a different type of tie.

Is it Recommended?

Yes, but maybe not as a first project. Folkwear patterns tend to be straightforward to make, but not as carefully researched as some of the other companies' patterns. This pattern was based on an 1850s example. You have to do your own research to add historic details for the rendezvous period. While I handstitched mine together, this is a pattern that would be able to have a lot of it machine stitched without it showing. Past Patterns now has a vest pattern from a mid-1840s source. This might be worth referencing for stitching details.

Hints and Notes

Research I've done since I made this vest would have me doing some things differently:

Documentation Used