Friday, September 13, 2013

Speaking of Vests

Ok, in my last post I told you that I love vests and talked about ones I had made in the past.  That got me thinking.  So I went upstairs to the closet and pulled out all of the vests that were there.  That didn't include all the fleece models that are put away for the warmer months.

I started this blog to document the things I make so that I can share them with sewing pals and have a "file" to refer to myself.   I hauled them all over to the bunkhouse, that's the little cottage next door I use for my studio space, and photographed them.

Here they are, in no particular order.

This is one of the rare short ones.  I drafted this pattern from my longer version that I talked about in the last post.  The fabric is a Fabrix rainwear in a rusty bronze.  The diagonal zipper works well and the little pockets on either side of the front are fun, if not too functional.  I wear this over a slinky steel grey rayon tunic with a huge cowl collar and fun sewn on colored patches that my pal Janet made and gave to me.

This fabric is kind of wrinkly which I like.  It compliments the smoothness of the tunic.

I got the pattern for this vest from another sewing buddy, Lynn.  We drafted it from a RTW, took it right off her back!  I love this pattern and will make it again soon.  It's great open or closed.  I won't make it from a crinkly fabric again though, too much volume for me in the you-know-where region.

Here is one of the remade cashmeres I've kept.  Several sweaters combine to make a really comfy winter vest.

This is one of those garments I've remade a few times.  I wore it once, figured out what didn't work, then added something, then decide I didn't like everything I added and whacked off some of it.  That gave me some interesting layers.

Here's a fun summer cotton vest in a taupe/grey.  I'm wearing it today!  I wasn't happy with the plain jane look when I first made it so I asked Diane Ericson for suggestions.  She had me add the gathering at the hem and the slit up the back.  Voila, it worked.  The collar is from Marcy's shirt pattern V8709.  I think it might be out of print?  I couldn't find it on Vogue's website.

This is another combined cashmere vest that I kept.  This goes with 99.9% of every garment in my closet.

This one is out of a mystery fabric.  I can't remember where I got it but you can bet it was probably Marcy Tilton or Fabrix.  It feels almost like it has a bit of wool but I know it doesn't because I'm allergic to wool.  It's self pleated, more in some spots than others, which gave it an unusual drape.

When I was cutting out the pattern I added some inches here and there and then pleated them up.  Again, the collar is from V8709.  I use that a lot.

Here's a crazy one.  I drafted this from a Rundholz vest that yet another sewing pal, Lisa, lent me.  This was just a stupid idea from the start.  There are zillions of pattern pieces all going in different directions.

I soon veered away from the actual pattern and just started nipping and tucking until the darned thing made sense.  I probably took away more fabric than I kept.

Terry, a DOL friend, sold me the fabric at last year's DOL SB, it's a heavy grey ponte.  It was perfect for this garment, she saved me.

You can't see them but the buttonholes are sewn at a diagonal, nice effect.

I call this my tortoise alter ego a big turtle shell.

This one I'm not quite sure about.  I don't wear it often.  I made it to use up some zippers from my stash and to make something that isn't grey or black.  But....I don't wear it 'cuz it's too bright!  Another rainwear kind of fabric from Fabrix.

 Here is a drapy shorty made from a slight boucle knit from Joannes in Santa Fe.  It started as a Marcy jacket pattern V8559...I think.  I really need to keep better records.  Hopefully this blog will help.

I added a panel in back because it was too short for me.  Worked great.

This one is another rainwear fabric from Fabrix.  I wanted a cargo pocket directly on the side of the garment.

Several years ago I saw a woman walk through a hotel lobby in Tokyo who was wearing pants with cargo pockets plastered to the sides, down low.  I loved that look and have been thinking of it ever since.

These pockets are a bit on the gargantuan side but I love this vest and wear it a lot.  My standby pattern but I raised the front hem a bit and used the Marcy collar.

Now for the boo-boo.  This mistake taught me never to cut out patterns late at night.  The lighting in my studio is not the best and I cut part of this on one side of the fabric and part on the other!  You can clearly see it in this photo but thankfully in real life it's not so noticeable.  And, hey, I might have done it on purpose, right?  Who should know!

So there you are.  Now you can see how important vests are in my life.  And these are only the ones I could lay my hands on at the moment.  I have tons of RTW vests in every weight and fabric.  Almost all with pockets so I don't have to wear a purse.


  1. The vest you think is too light would look good with light grey, or sand or possibly pale denim, if the photo is true to color. I have to sign this anonymous, because I'm not sure how to sign it any other way. Looks like you have a fun wardrobe.

  2. I especially like the one with the circular seams - the "tortoise". But so much creativity in all of them!

  3. Thanks for showing all of these. Very creative. Would love to see how you wear these. Do you wear skinny pants and simple tops underneath?

  4. I loved this "show and tell." thanks!

  5. Oh, this is a lovely post, Gayle. Thanks so much for sharing these pieces. So you. So chic. So unique.

  6. Thanks for sharing all your great creations, I always enjoy seeing what others are doing with their ideas, and how they bring them to reality......Anna

  7. Re the last vest, gayle, "what a wonderful mistake"!

  8. Hi Gayle, I found you through Marcy Tilton's blog. I was so inspired by your mens' shirt re-designs that I did one myself! Actually it was a white linen woman's shirt but same idea. I turned it into a Safari shirt for my up coming trip to Santa Fe for Tory Hughes' annual Art Safari. So much fun using fabrics and images I have been collecting and working out the design issues as I went along! Thank you for sharing your inspired pieces.
    Deb Sims, Winter Park, FL

  9. Now for the boo-boo. This error trained me never to cut out styles delayed into the evening. The illumination in my studio room is not the best and I cut aspect of this on one part of the material and aspect on the other! You can clearly see it in this picture but fortunately in the actual world it's not so recognizable. And, hey, I might have done it on objective, right?
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  10. I am totally besotted with the tortoise alter ego vest. Amazing design and very tastefully done.


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