THE Vest [03-10-17]

It truly was my fault . . . .

The story begins the day I wore an ancient tailored vest to work.  Someone commented on it and we got to talking about how you can’t find them anymore in the stores.  I’d noted how I’d just run across my vest pattern while I was looking for something else in my house (part of all that “stuff” in my house [see last article]).  She said, “You sew?”  My answer should have been, “Only for myself.”, but oh nooooo, I went on to BRAG about how when I had the flower shoppe, my assistant’s daughter was asked to be the flower girl in a wedding, but she didn’t have the money to buy a dress.  I said I could make one, which brought out a lot of skepticism from folks in the neighborhood.  I guess they were trying to figure out just how the owner at the flower shoppe was going to pull off making a flower gal’s dress nice enough for a wedding.  I bought some satin and lace and a pattern and set about making that dress.  It had three tiers, all gathered, and when it was done?  Let’s just say the neighborhood folks had changed their tune . . . .  NOW I was in the wrong business!

Well after bragging about that dress, the woman at work said, “Can you make me a vest?”  Again, my answer should have been, “No, I only sew for myself.”, though truly how could I make that statement after I’d just finished bragging about that gorgeous dress?  My answer?  “Certainly I can make you a vest!”

I didn’t know the vest was lined; in all my years sewing, I’d never sewn anything lined.  That, and the fact I knew I had to alter the size because my pattern was for sizes 8, 10 & 12 and I knew both she and I are bigger than that and I had to lengthen it too because she’s taller than I am.  I asked what size she was . . . .  Bad idea; I should have measured her from the get-go.  After making it, I brought it in to fit to her; I asked her to hold the middle where the buttons would go so I could see where the side seams should be.  I’d pull one side together and the other would pop open; her comment was, “I plan on losing that.”  My thought was, ‘Tomorrow?’  Because if she was going to lose it tomorrow, then that vest would def fit by time I was done with it.

With the lining, I couldn’t figure out how to ‘fix’ it.  Back to the fabric store for more material.  Do over!  I did, too, I made that vest again, I added several inches to both the front and back pieces on each side; wanted to ensure it would fit this time around.  I brought it back to work, had her put it on and marked where the seams should be.  Then I cut the excess from front and back [on both sides], adding the 5/8″[standard] seam back to it.

Okay, it was time to add the button holes, but I wanted to test it out first on scrap pieces; afterall, I haven’t sewn in over 20 years.  Good thing I made test runs, the button holer was on the fritz.  I went back to the fabric store; I thought for sure they’d be able to add three little button holes for me.  Surely not!  I went to the tailor in town; she said her button holer wasn’t so good either and suggested I do loops.  Think about it, she’s altering wedding gowns and it hit me that all wedding gowns have satin loops rather than button holes.  Aha!  Back to the fabric store.

I’d been online looking at the tutorials of how to do the lining and found something really cool there; you can make seamless seams with a lining so you don’t see the seams.  It was difficult to do, but I learned something new and it made a huge difference in the finished product.  (Photos below of front, back and seamless seams.)

I’ve got another one to make; that’s right, I agreed to not only make one, but two vests.  Silly woman.  This one shall be royal blue with a collar (can’t wait) and she wants the bottom pointy like this one so I’ve got to do more altering to the pattern.  I shall post when I am finished.

D ~


    • She loved the maroon vest! Cost? Well let’s see . . . $30 for the material and the notions and then my time of course and she knows I had to alter the pattern of the second one. Too expensive, really, I think, but it’s true, you can no longer find ‘tailored’ vests in the stores.

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