I have become a “vest” person. Especially during winter. With pockets, a vest provides a convenient way to carry toys and Kleenex (when needed). During winter, the extra layer is often all I need while indoors. So a vest was a “no brainer” for my Winter 6PAC.
I had planned to use Loes Hinse Venetian Vest. It was already traced and fitted. It is a simple sew which rewards with a beautiful garment. But while at Walmart I found this interesting New Look Pattern #6249
It too should be a simple sew. A front piece, back piece, collar band and optional pocket. I liked the extended shoulder and that the band was even with the hem. This is a cheap, trendy pattern. While the Venetian Vest will always be a classic piece, there have been periods of time when the extended shoulder is considered dated and unfashionable. I decided to make this now, while it was fresh, with the thought of possibly restyling a few years down the road. I did my standard 1″ NSA and BWL alterations. I do not tissue fit, but I did pull out the tape measure and check a few places.
The main fabric is a beautiful, soft woven natural fiber. Burn test indicate animal hair of some type. It does not smell like wool. Nor does it feel like wool. It is so soft and so smooth, I’d guess cashmere except I’ve never seen cashmere woven. It’s always been a cashmere knitted sweater in my experience. So I’m guessing mohair, except this is softer and smoother than any mohair I’ve previously experienced. It was in the box given to me by a local farmer when she discovered I was a dress-maker. The box contained small cuts between 1 and 2 yards of luxury fabrics. My farmer had no idea the quality of fabric she freely gave me. Only that she had been impressed upon that the fabric must not just be given away nilly willy.It had to be given to someone who could appreciate the gift, me.
This cut was 52″ wide and 1-1/3 yards long. Enough for the body of the vest, but not the band. I do have a couple of patterns that would easily make a vest from this amount of yardage. Perhaps I should have chosen one of them. Instead I purchased a second fabric to make the band and trim the pockets. My 2nd fabric is a polyester knit. An odd and maybe distasteful combination of fibers but it is embossed like suede leather. You have to get up close and see the knit ribs to realize that it is a knit.
Front Band Close Up
I purchased this beautiful fabric at JoAnns, Sioux Falls SD. Yes I’m visiting JoAnns again. They moved the store and apparently changed management. I say apparently because there is more staff and they’ve been schooled to be helpful, polite and friendly. The new store is half crafts. The other half is divided into 1/3 fleece, 1/3 quilting cottons, with notions, Home Dec and fashion fabrics all competing for the final 1/3 of the 1/2. The dress making selection is and most likely will remain small but at least there are some good fashion fabrics.
My pocket trim is a rectangular piece. Interfaced. Folded in half length-wise and serged to the top of the pocket. I then folded it down and exposed 1/4″ of the main fabric at the top creating “faux” piping and top stitched in place.
In retrospect, I wish I’d interfaced the entire pocket instead of the trim. Due to its size, the pocket tends to gape. Too late for a button, I may be adding a velcro spot.
I was concerned about the thickness when attaching the front band. The knit is beefy. Thick. The band is entirely interfaced and folded in half. The ends are sewn, right sides together and then turned. At the hem and shoulder seams there are 7 layers of fabric. Instead of serging the band to the garment, I serge finished the edges, stitched the ends and then stitched the band to the garment. I carefully pressed into place and then top stitched. Even Ruby (my SM) protested over a few stitches.
This really should have been a quick and easy garment. I complicated things. First I decided the fabric deserved to be lined. Couldn’t find a lining I liked in my stash. I wanted something plain. Black or charcoal colored. This is to be a basic piece. I wanted plain, plain plain, but luxurious. I finally settled upon using the remnants from Top #1. After cutting, and having to piece together for the shoulders, I decided that sequined fabric was a bad choice and discarded the lining idea. I’m too far away for a quick trip to a fabric store. If ordering online, I would need to delay this project for at least a week. Besides the pattern doesn’t call for a lining. Another time-consuming activity not called for in the instructions, I serge finished all the edges before stitching together. Serging the edges ensured that my fabric did not ravel during handling and turned out to be the right choice when I stitched the band and finished the armscye. The armscye facing is formed by stitching a 1/2″ wide side- seam allowance and then folding to the inside, 1/2″ around the armscye. Finished by top stitching in place. It’s an easy neat finish made better by the fact that I serged the seam allowance first.
Oh and I’m happy with this addition to my closet.
WINTER 6 PAC UPDATE
- Top -DONE
- Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
- Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
- Fabric: animal print in black, grey, cream and bright blue
- Pattern LH5205 Boat neck top
- Microfiber/cotton twill
- Pattern: PP113
- Pants DONE
- DG2 Purchased from HSN.com
- Vest DONE
- Fabric Mohair/Cashmere Remnant, trimmed with Embossed Knit
- Pattern NL 6249 Vest
- Coat DONE
- Fabric: Polar Fleece
- Purchased from Walmart
4 done 2 to go. Yipee 2/3 finished!!! I think that’s called “Moving Right Along”.