Fabrics & materials used:
- 2 hides Small Ivory/Gray Crackled Lamb Suede
- 1 hide Small Black Pebbled Lamb Leather
- Pattern Paper
- French Curve
- Measuring Tape
Drafting the Pattern
A vest is fairly simple to construct, so this DIY should be easy to follow regardless of your patternmaking experience!
1. First. we’ll need some measurements. Place your tape just below the center of your neck and measure from there to the edge of your neck, and then straight up to your shoulder.
2. Draw these measurements at a right angle on your pattern paper. Here, you’ll need to create your neckline by drawing a curve between your two endpoints. This can be done freehand or with the help of a French curve. Just be sure that your curves match up the the original lines at a 90 degree angle, where I marked mine in red above. (This ensures that your pattern pieces match up in straight lines when you sew them together.)
3. Since your shoulders slope, draw a slightly angled line out from your top point – I made mine 3″ long and angled downward about 1/2″.
4. Next, we can calculate the arm hole. Measure from the top of your shoulder to about 1″ below your arm pit and from there outward to the edge of your arm.
5. You should end up with another right angle, which you can curve like you did with your neckline (see above).
6. Next, measure your bust from your underarm to the center of your chest. The dressform came in at 8″, so I drew a horizontal line a couple inches below the armhole (which you can see in the top right image above).
7. From your armhole, draw a straight line down to where you’d like the back of your vest to fall. Mine was cropped at about 11″.
8. Here you could cut this out and have a basic vest panel, but we need to make the waterfall! To create this extra drape, extend your measurement from step 6 so that it’s doubled. Draw a line straight across your neckline to be parallel to this point, like in the bottom left image above.
9. Draw a line straight down to match your line from step 7.
10. Now you’ll just need to shape the bottom of your vest. This can be changed to suit your personal preference, but I love some asymmetry and I thought it would work well with a draped vest like this. I simply used an L-square to connect my bottom two points with an off-center right angle.
Here’s what the final pattern piece looked like on the dress form:
The last part of the vest is even easier; just repeat steps 1-7 for your back, give it a straight hem and cut it on the center fold!
Sewing the Garment
1. Attach your pattern pieces at the shoulder. (I elongated my back panel at the shoulders by cutting a section from the front of my pattern and taping it to the shoulder of the back of my pattern.)
2. To make the seam a little more secure and to tack down the seam allowance, I added a little top-stitching.
3. Next, sew down the sides of your vest and you’re essentially done in ten minutes!
4. (Optional) I wanted a little something around the neck of my vest. it seemed a little unfinished without some piping.
5. I took about 18″ of cording and cut a 1.5″ strip of leather.
6. Normally I’d use an invisible zipper foot to sew the fabric around cord, but since I didn’t want to risk the leather stretching out, I straight-stitched it with a walking foot.
7. The piping can then be sewn along the neckline and the seam allowance can be clipped.
8. One more bout of top-stitching and the vest is officially complete!
I love the finished product! It can be worn so many different ways, with jeans or a dress, long sleeves or short; and the neutral colors mean it can be paired with a lot. Are you going to be giving it a try? Be sure to tag Mood!