originally published March 31, 2011
.You know I love vests. Well I knew I was destined to make this one up as soon as I saw it in the magazine. If you don’t know me, my vests are not just the final piece in my style. It’s not just the piece that polishes up my look. Yes a vest is those things too, but it is the best way to carry my toys with me. I’m still carrying around, cell phone, PDA and Ipod. Christmas 2011 I plan to merge all 3 into 1 device, but I have to let my current contract expire. Even then I’ll need a way to carry it with me. I don’t like those clip things. I have a real talent for not only knocking them off but sending them flying. Which usually means a search party for retrieval. Yes yes, I’m retired now. That makes a convenient carrying method even more pertinent. My purse goes into the closet and stays there until I go someplace. I can’t hear my cell if it’s hiding in the closet. Or write notes in the PDA. IPODs don’t really dangle from their earphones. They disconnect and fall to the ground. Vests however can have standard, non-standard and added pockets. Pockets need not merely be pretty. Pockets can carry things. After 3 years of sewing vests, I’ve ditched the standard pockets and place two long pockets on the front inside. My long pockets are usually caught in the front and side seams and then vertically divided into smaller spaces. You can’t see the vertical divides here, but you can see the inside of my newest vest and what are my trademark pockets:
But back to the 123Vest. (That’s my name for it). In the magazine it appears to be 2 garments worn at once. However you can see from the schematic
that there are inner and outer fronts and a single back. (The other pieces is a pocket.) I love this look, but it’s very distinctive. I don’t think that I would make it as shown more than once. Otherwise I start getting the comment “oh that’s that vest pattern of yours” and generally, the comment is not made with enthusiasm. (Apparently those-who-don’t-sew are disappointed if those-of-us-who-do use a pattern more than once). But I have in mind using this over and over with many variations. Why? Because during about half the year a traditional vest or sleeveless jacket is too hot to wear. Those big armholes should help with a little air circulation. Especially if I wear the vest open.
With this first version, I indulged my yen for machine embroidery AND I tested the fit as well as finally using the well known and highly recommended version of bagging a vest–WITH one exception. I didn’t do the sew-in-a-circle dance to finish the sides. This was an untried pattern and I’m not really confident with the fit of Burda patterns I wanted to be sure I could adjust the fit. I finished each side seam edge with serging and then stitched the sides together and pressed open the seams. I’m not so sure I’ll ever do the circle dance. This was so easy and really, it looks good. What more do you want?
As for fit, I needn’t have worried. I realized that the fronts would probably just meet at the center front. I was thinking I needed to grade this up from a 40 to a 44, but when I measured the vest I had 41.5 inches across the hips. I really thought the narrow shoulder strap would probably take care of any top issues and it did. So the vest fit the way I expected and the way I wanted. I know if I want to button this vest I’ll need to extend the fronts.
So I have a new TNT. It fits, is easy to sew and my embroidery is beautiful but, I may not make it all that often. Why? Well look at it when worn closed (I just pinned the fronts barely together)
The back view didn’t upload, but,,, really,,,, it doesn’t make a difference. With the fronts closed, my pear shape is very very apparent. It might help to wear a vest the same color as the top underneath. The best view is simply worn open;
Nah take it back, I’m going to make many variations. I’m just not ever going to button them up!