Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory – Waistcoat & Bow Tie

“So, you’re trying to replicate my costume? Please, tell me how that’s going.”
I love the Gene Wilder ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ movie. I love it. So imagine my sheer joy when a client asked me to make him a Wonka Waistcoat and big ass bow tie! First stage, as ever, was reference –

From the Dreier Collection catalogue
Here we can see the majority of information needed to come up with a pattern. Starting with the client’s block, I created the custom pattern, turned it into a cotton mock up, and sent it off to the client for fitting. Photos were taken, adjustments were made, and so the process continued until I had a toille that looked good and fit my client.
Next up was fabrics! This fabric was obviously not going to be available to buy at my local fabric store, so Spoonflower was a good option. I opted for the cotton silk and I’m so glad I did – it has a beautiful handle to it! It didn’t have the silver lame’ incorporated, so I went looking for a suitable trim or handpainting option. I also opted for a slightly weightier back fabric than dress lining.
Spoonflower print with trim, lining and buttons

Assembling the front pieces – applying the trim, making sure it’s on the same side of each black panel. The lining is faced with the stripes going horizontally across the collar so when it is rolled it will look vertical. It is vertical around the armhole and pattern matched to the right side.
Horizontal collar facing, vertical armhole facing

The bow, which here photographs darker/greener than it is, with buttons

The bow was fixed in shape. It started life as a tube of fabric, stitched and pressed, then folded into the correct shape with a separate band stitched around the centre to secure it. The tails were then cut at an angle and hemmed by hand. This bow is raw silk and as such holds its shape beautifully! Colour wise, it is darker than that on the catalogue picture, but was an excellent match to the source photo I took shopping with me. Part of this will be the difference between how something actually is and how it appears on screen, particularly colour, which is affected by everything. If I were to redo this I may go for slightly lighter, but I do love the way it brings out the rose gold in the buttons. I will put this onto a collar band and consider it finished.
This is the back facing, where I attach my label. I love putting handpainted labels into my projects. These are generally backed with the main garment fabric and topstitched in contrast thread as a panel onto the back lining. It’s a personal touch, and I never get tired of seeing the different fabric combinations.

Sometimes I machine embroider names, or messages, depending on who the project is for.

That’s it for now! I’ll update with finished photos when I can. X

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