I've made them out of fleece; big drapy ones that I wear in the winter. I used to embellish them but now like them a bit more austere. You can see a few by clicking on the Vest page.
About four years ago at Design Outside The Lines I fell madly in love with a black vest Marcy Tilton bought in Paris. I keep hoping she'll do a Vogue pattern from it.
Since then, I've played around with drafting vest pattern. My standby is 3/4 length, has a zipper and four pattern pieces; front and back top and bottom. I change it up by adding drape to the bottom and then pleating or darting above the hem to make it even; gather the hem in the back to make it pouf; change the collar, you name it.
I love working with rainwear. I have a big pile of pieces in my stash that I have mostly gathered at Fabrix in San Francisco. They are so cheap there it's a no brainer. Last week I picked up two more pieces...for $2.39 a yard I always get three yards.
Here is a vest I gleaned from Marcy's summer dress pattern here. I tried on a lightweight black version she had redrafted from this pattern at DOL Sisters this year and loved it. I saw that others have made it into a vest as well in Marcy's summer dress design competition, see them here.
I tried it in a taupe Babette rainwear that I got from Marcy.
I love all the details in this pattern. Especially the collar. It stands up perfectly and it's not too high. I'll use this collar in other garments.
The vest seemed really big, even after my pal Jenny Freedman helped me tissue fit it. I had to take inches out.
The only other thing is that since this pattern has a lot of fullness it will be better made in a not-so-stiff fabric. I keep looking for these fabrics that are like rainwear but lighter weight and probably not actually water resistant. That would be fine, I'm just looking for that particular crisp, techno feel and look.
Here is Marcy's tutorial on the changes she made to turn the dress pattern into a vest. It was in her March blog. I used them all and they worked well.
I'll keep making vests, they work so well in my Central California Coast climate...not to mention I'm 64 and need sub-zero weather to even THINK about wearing a coat.