Coordinating Vest

I love adding a vest to my outfits.  Originally, I thought vests would be a wonderful way to carry around my toys (cell, PDA etc).  However in practice the toys sit on their shelves when I’m home and travel comfortably in my purse when I’m out and about.  My vests then become wonderful surfaces for embellishment. A perfect way to coordinate the various pieces in my closet. Oh and the step up from frumpy casual to dress casual styling. I’m using Kwik Sew 3185 View A to coordinate with the recently finished Burda Pants 2012-12-148.

I was quite proud of myself for making use of the left over 1/2 yard of corduroy.  I spent 10 hours baby sitting the embroidery machines as they produced  178,928 beautiful stitches.  It took 3 hooping at my Designer Ruby and 2 hoopings at the Janome MC9500.  The beauty of using a TNT such as my KW3185, is that you can afford to put all that time into embellishment.  After the 10 hours of embroidery was complete, it took less than 2 hours to finish sewing the garment and lining together.  No closure i.e. buttonhole/button was needed as I intended this garment to hang open at the front. I don’t exactly bag the lining.  I stitch all the exterior edges together and pull the lining through one of the open armholes.  This actually allows me to stop stitching at corners and spend time pressing and persuading the fabric to roll along the edges in an attractive manner.  Once the vest is inverted, I finish the armscyes in various ways but most often, as was done today, I bind them bias tape and then fold and slip stitch the taped edge to the inside.  I also top stitched two rows along both the exterior edges and the armscyes.  Once that was done, it needed a wash.  The embroidery placement markings and stabilizers needed to be completely removed and washing was the fastest. Until I saw these photos, I was congratulating myself on a job well done.

The lining shrunk. I was totally unprepared for this.  The lining had been in my stash for several years.  It was an acetate lining and I assumed because of the serging along the  cut edges that it had been preshrunk.  Only 100% wools escape prewashing. Everything else I want to shrink and shrivel or fall apart before I have this type experience.

First off I have proof that the pattern is excellent.  From the Inktense Experience this vest:

fits smoothly around the body with a slightly lowered front hem.  But it’s very even. Very pleasing to the eye. Not the ducks tail seen above in the back or the rippled sides and front.  From the inside the lining of the blue corduroy  vest is as tight as a drum. I can assure you that it wasn’t like that when I finished. I washed and hung the vest to dry. It was not baked in the dryer.   I also tried stretching the lining or shrinking the corduroy with lots of steam and pressure at my Rowenta steam generating iron. With, I should add, no discernible effect.

I’m appalled at how the front swings forward and open from both the side and front views. I may as well share the hideous back view with its winged shoulders and tucking hem.


With this much time already  invested I know I will fix this vest.  I have two issues. The first is the lining itself.  I need to add a piece to the lining or rip it out and cut a new lining.  That entails ripping all the double rows of topstitching; all the armscye binding and all the serged edges.  I’m not looking forward to this.  My second issue is a closure for the front.  It needs to be held closure to my body. So  I need to find a coordinating closure.  I may have to purchase one.  I had decided upon leaving the front open because I did not have something suitable in my stash.  I won’t fix the vest until I know what I”m doing about the closure.  I’m disappointed that instead of a completed project, I have a WIP (work in progress.)


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