Friday, May 10, 2019

Sewing Fun - A Vest

One of the Twig & Tale patterns that I bought at Christmas was for an outerwear vest called the Trailblazer. It's fully lined and can be made with a button-up or zipper closure. There is also a wind flap you can add but I opted not to do that part.

Here are the pattern pieces all printed and cut.  
That's a lot of paper!
I opted to use salvaged materials for the outer wool sections. I have a box full of men's suit coats and sport coats, all them 100% wool, that I've picked up from thrift stores or from Hubby's "I don't want this anymore" pile. I found a gorgeous grey toned houndstooth with a dark blue stripe running through it, tossed it in the laundry to shrink and heat-set, then got to cutting. Do you know how little fabric you can actually get from what seems to be a huge blazer??? The tailoring that goes into these coats is impressive and frustrating. I ended up needing two jackets to get enough. Fortunately I found a nice coordinating solid grey that I could use for the back. Then I hit up my fabric stash for a suitably fun lining - pink plaid flannel! Woot!
All the pieces cut out and ready to assemble
I'm pleased to say the directions were clear and this was actually a fairly straight-forward sew. I'm still wicked new at this whole sewing gig so it took me many days to complete but I'm happy with how it turned out.

I did make one major error. I wanted to visually tie the front and back together so I made piping out of the houndstooth and sewed it into the princess seams of the back piece.

Houndstooth piping in back
Unfortunately I mixed up my right side/wrong side and sewed one seam in backwards. Argh!
Well that's not right.
I patiently unpicked the seam, pinned it in properly, and tried again. Got it right that time. Also - note the center seam running up the back - that's the suit coat's original seam. I decided it was a nice design element so I used it (plus I had no choice - I didn't have enough fabric if I didn't keep it). 

Here's the big reveal:
Houndstooth front
Collar shows houndstooth nicely (and the peek of lining at the arm is cool)
Bright pink lining
In-seam pockets
I had a small breast pocket on the suit coat that I wanted to utilize. I positioned it in the front side piece and it fits my phone perfectly.
Phone pocket
I've got more wool coats that I want to use to make another vest. I love the look of this and it's wonderfully warm. I made a few mistakes that I'll be better able to correct now that I've done one.

For my notes:
Sewed up a size F, should do F at shoulders and grade to D through waist and hips. Remove 1" at lengthen/shorten line.
Piping resulted in odd bulge/wrinkle at bottom. Learn how to properly sew piping into seam line!
Flannel lining is perfect - soft and cozy. Doesn't "stick" when putting on/off. 

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