As the cold winter weather finally sets in here Down Under I’ve been eyeing off all the quilted vests appearing in shops. As is usual for me, I inspected a few RTW options, gasped at the price tag and thought, “I could make that”.
I spent some time tossing up between the Make It Perfect women’s Hero Vest and the Waffle Patterns Dropje vest. I’ve not sewn anything from either company before but ended up settling for the former because 1) it has a lining 2) Toni is Australian and I like to support local designers where possible.
The pattern says it can be made in any stretch or woven fabric so I took that challenge and ran with it. The outer is a fairly loose-weave, very stretchy knit of unknown content (well, unknown to me because I always forget to photograph the fabric labels in the shop). I like its neutral colour, the interesting texture and the way it looks cosy all on its own. I’ve quilted it with a double thickness of bamboo batting, chosen because it’s a natural fibre that can be machine washed (ain’t no hand-washing going on in my household…). The lining is a batik-style cotton flannel in the vest body – nothing better than some fun insides – and some black cotton-elastane I had lying round for the hood.
The instructions were clear enough for me (I’m probably an intermediate sewer) though I did mess up the armhole binding because I assumed the seam allowances were the same as everywhere else (they’re not) – easily fixed by trimming the seam down. I followed the very detailed tutorial on Make It Perfect’s website to insert the zipper invisibly. I didn’t follow the instructions when it came to the hood though, instead kind of winging it to add the fur trim instead of a regular binding strip. Quilting the outer fabric was also not in the instructions.
I especially like the pockets, which are a kind of reverse patch pocket. It does mean, however, that the pattern as drafted has the raw wrong side of the outer fabric showing in the pocket which probably would be fine unless you’ve decided against quilting it with no backing fabric. This was easily remedied by creating a pocket lining piece and attaching it with the pocket binding then at the same time as the regular pocket piece (as above).
This is a case of me saying, “I could make that” and the finished product actually ending up as it was pictured in my head – and I’m so pleased! It really is deliciously warm and I think it will get quite a workout this winter and early spring.
There are a couple more pictures of this heroic vest over at my blog, I’m Not Tina Wheeze.