I leave today for Santa Barbara for Design Outside the lines, and have been sewing up a storm. The new season, the hints of spring and anticipating traveling to an event with 20+ other passionate sewists has gotten me inspired. I'm focusing on making things I can wear right now, that work with existing tops and pants, that are good for travel, comfortable, and that layer together. Black is a standby, I know I'll always wear a black jacket, and I've been collecting black vests. The fabrics must work together, ideal if the vest has a smooth/slippery surface.
Dress into Vest
I used a shirting weight polyester from a Japanese mill with black on black woven in crinkle dots, (sorry, sold out). The fabric is smooth with a light airy texture, an ideal weight for now and into spring, and it slips on easily under the jacket.
Other Fabrics that would work:
Stitched down the ribbon in the casing at about the shoulder line to hold the collar up in the back.
- Eliminated the bottom band.
- Added 1/2 " to the armhole. Deepening the armhole gives room to layer over tops.
- Initially, I cut it to the full dress length, but ended up shortening it to the length of a 24" separating zipper.
- The zipper teeth were WAY too shiny silver, so I used a black Sharpie to mute the shine.
Re-Shaping the Armhole
This is one of those subtle and flattering fitting/design changes that have to be done on the body while the garment is in process. I took the idea and proportion from a purchased vest. I shaped/scooped out the armhole, which makes for a more flattering line. The finished shoulder width is about 3", but you must do this adaptation to work on your own figure.
Here is how... see photo below:
- Pin the side seams, placing pins right along the seamline with the seams to the outside.
- Mark the new line with a row of pins...you only need to do this on one side.
- Remove side seam pins so garment lies flat.
- Pin the armholes together lining up at the shoulder seam.
- Using the pin markings as a guide, draw in a clean smooth curve. I use a French curve for this.
- Add seam allowance and cut.
- Finish the armhole with narrow double self bias binding.
Shirt into Jacket
This is one of my favorite patterns, I've done it as a shirt as shown in the pattern, tweaked it into a vest, and made it into a dress. For some time I've wanted to try it in a knit. Here, I used our Initially I planned this to be a dress, cutting the peplum longer, but it did not work on me, so I shortened it to jacket length, and voila! The fabric is our 5 Star Black Ponte, a fabulous quality and weight (also comes in brown and navy), just got a new shipment and more is coming. The finished garment is like a cross between a jacket and a sweater, the fabric feels fabulous, has a beautiful weighty drape.
- Cut 2 left fronts and used the narrower front placket.
- Cut the armhole 1/2" deeper so it will slip on over other garments.
- Cut the back on the bias as per the pattern, though with a knit you probably wouldn't need to do this....this fabric is very stable, so it worked well.
- Placed the buttons and buttonholes along the edge of the placket.
Other Fabrics that Would Work:
The two pieces layer together beautifully and the vest slides on easily underneath.
The collars nest together beautifully.