New Vest from an Old Out Dated Pattern

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This pattern was developed for “Art To Wear” types, specifically those in love with faux-chenille.  I purchased it rather late  in it’s life cycle like about 2001.  I sincerely doubt this pattern can be found anywhere, which is too bad.  Yes too bad.  Because unlike most Art-To-Wear, this has amazing shape.

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You are seeing my new vest as it hangs open, the “closed” view was terribly blurred and for some unknown reason all my “faces” were incredibly nasty looking.  Incredibly, because I love this vest and will make this pattern again and again because of it’s shape.

The shawl collar was easy to sew.  I must take part of the credit for that.  I’ve finally learned, by careful analysis, how to put in a shawl collar.

  1. First mark all the corners on all your pieces with your SA. It’s helpful to use 1″+ marking lines.   I use a 3/8″ SA so that’s how I marked my corners.
  2. Then stay stay stitch all the corners on your markings.
  3. Next sew the center back seam and press.
  4. At this point I frey check the corners.  Just put a dab in the corner and spread with my finger so the SA is covered.  But I don’t clip.  Not yet.
  5. Pin the center of the back at the SA to the center of the collar AT THE SA.
  6. And put the point of a pin through the corner markings on front and back; repeat for the other side.  Ya’know I should’ve taken pictures.  Yes pics would make more sense.  But follow this through.  Because at this time you should have pinned on the stitching line the back corner to the front corner on both sides plus have a pin at the center back also on the stitching line (3 pins).
  7. Now sew -with the collar on the feed dogs- from corner pin to corner pin. My ruby has a fix stitch which I use at the first pin and then again at the last pin. Oh and my Ruby has a lovely scissor function which clips and pulls the threads to the bottom side.  I do love these wonderful features of the new computerized machines.  Yes, indeed, I love them.
  8. Having sewn the back neckline, turn your attention to the shoulder seams.  Pin the front to the back at outside shoulder on the stitching line. OK, I put only 1 pin  in at each outside shoulder corner (2 pins) and then …..
  9. clip the neckline corners.  Miraculously, or so it seemed, the shoulders stretch into place.
  10. Sew from the outside shoulder to the neckline, fix and clip.
  11. Repeat on the other shoulder.

Instead of trying to create one seam from shoulder, across the back neck, to the other shoulder in one long and admittedly graceful seam, my process is at minimum 3 seperate seams.  The advantage is that I am able to sew in the shawl collar the first time, EVERY time. NO WADDERS, no basing. All the other shawl collar instructions I have used have not been satisfactory for me.  I am always ripping and restitching.  I want to stitch a perfect seam (and thereby garment) the first time everytime.  I don’t care if it means additional preparation time or effort.  Just as long as I don’t have to spend time stitching, ripping or wadding.

I really wish I had a good picture of this vest buttoned up.  I cut and constructed the vest, all the while thinking “I know why I hate Art-ToWear: it totally ignores the body beneath.”  Although the side seams appeared totally straight and I expected a boxy result, somehow darts must be included within seams and pattern shapes.  The shouldera are quite square, but the vest itself has a lovely feminine shape. It does help that I constructed this from a poly brocade and did not stint on the interfacing.  It is totally lined in a darker rose, poly crepe.  My trademark pockets (Inside 1″ down from armscye; 5″ deep, 10″ wide {divided by vertical stitching}) are scraps from the jacquard. I’ve also generously edge stitched and topstitched with matching thread.   Did I mentiont hat I love my Gutterman Thread Chest?  Finding the perfect matching thread, at home, in my own supplies, is wonderful. A totally undeserved and lovingly appreciated resource/gift, the Gutterman Thread Chest has met all my expectations.  I have yet, admittedly only 4 months, not to be able to find the perfect matching thread.

I should back-step a little and credit the drape to the interfacing purchased from Lousie Cutting.  I’ve known since my first sewing class that interfacings are valuable.  But it’s only recently when I started shopping on-line that I’ve had access to really good fusible interfacings.  With only a very little testing I realized how much a difference interfacings could make.  That doesn’t mean I won’t buy interfacings from my local (1.5 to 4.5 driving hours).  It means I will buy and stock in my very own sewing room, the interfacings appropriate for the task at hand.  I.E.  my local store recommended a particular interfacing for “sheers”.  I hated it for sheers, but as an interfacing for purses, it is wonderful.

One last shot the back:

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I’m pretty sure the visible wrinkles are from my wide-leg/cross-arms stance.

I love this.  I will be making it again.  In fact I’ve annotated my CheckPoint’s list, that this is the TNT/Sloper shawl collar vest for me.

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