Sewing: vest

One of the key pieces of feedback I got from this weekend was how much people wanted vests. Women wanted vests with darts; men wanted something to wear that wasn’t a suit, wasn’t a sweater, but had an extra layer. They’re somehow a sample, an amuse-bouche, of fashion that allows one to dress up without being fully dressy.

So I made one. Turns out they’re not particularly difficult — except for the button holes and buttons. This is my next task, of course: either figuring out why I can’t sew a good buttonhole on my machine, or figuring out how to sew a good buttonhole by machine or hand.

This particular pattern, Simplicity #2346, is a “Learn to Sew” pattern, meaning that the directions are much clearer and more deliberate than usual.  I compare this with the frock coat directions, which assume a great deal of knowledge on the part of the sewist.

This pattern has four vest patterns in it — all variations on the same basic structure: three with buttons, and one with a zipper… One has two pockets (I’ve chosen to put in both pockets on a pattern intended to have one… although one of these patch pockets is better built and the other is attached more correctly); the other three have one pocket on the left side.  One design has six buttons, epaulets, and a looping cord to connect them; the other two have four buttons and four buttonholes.  Any way you slice it, I have some learning to do regarding the making of buttonholes and the sewing of buttons.

The exterior of the vest is some kind of heavy pale-blue fabric with a strongly gridded and visible weave.  The interior is a dark blue fabric studded with cloud shapes and the outlines of constellations.  In general, the constellations are their idealized forms, and not necessarily in the right relationships to one another.

It’s a striking fabric. It’s also a cotton print, and probably widely available.

In any case, I’ve now made a vest.  I still have to figure out buttons and buttonholes, but the structure of a vest on its own is not particularly complicated.

Anyone want me to make them a vest?

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