Making a Lined Vest

The finished vest (photo by Diane Ollis)

I bought a home dec remnant a year or so ago at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I thought it would make a nice lined vest using Simplicity pattern (2862) by Sew Stylish. For the lining and the back, I got some maroon silk dupioni that matched some of the squares on the main fabric.

I had cut out the pattern pieces and I had some matching thread. Then I realized that I didn’t have a vest buckle. Standard vest buckles are usually “silver” stainless steel or gold/bronze in color. The store I went to only had the silver ones, which wouldn’t look very good with the fabric. However, I remember reading somewhere about painting invisible zipper tabs with nail polish to match the fabric. So why not paint the vest buckle?

Next stop: the drug store. I had a swatch of the fabric with me so I held it up against various bottles of polish, eventually settling on a lustrous maroon called “Red Tote” by L’Oreal.

And now I could start sewing the pieces together.

The two front pieces match perfectly – though this happened by accident rather than by design. Really. I just folded the fabic in half and cut out the pattern pieces. I wasn’t thinking about lining up anything. Lucky for me the fabric’s repeat design worked out!

Making a lined vest isn’t very difficult. You sew the outside pieces together and then you sew the lining pieces together. And then you put the right sides together and sew all around the edges, leaving the inside side seams open so you have an opening to turn it inside out.

The trickiest part was pulling getting the vest through the narrow shoulders because the upholstery fabric was a bit heavy. If I were to make this vest again, I would use a lighter weight fabric. The home dec fabric also had a tendency to unravel, which is why I used my pinking scissors to finish the seams.

Here are some of the steps I took along the way.

Numbering the pattern pieces
Stay stitching princess seam
Pinning and basting the princess seam in the front
Pinking the seam edges
Attaching the vest flaps
Outside pieces sewn together
Back of the vest
Detail of vest buckle I painted w/nail polish
Attaching the lining - right sides together
See how the front pieces matched!
Pinning the sides together
Outside side seams sewed up
Inside lining seam left open
Turning the vest inside out through side seam
Pulling the front through the shoulders
Marking the buttonholes
Making practice buttonholes

Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

4 thoughts on “Making a Lined Vest”

  1. You stay-stitched the seams! I never have the patience to do that (hoping my pinning will be good enough). That’s probably why you’re vest is wearable and much of my sewing is wearable-only-at-home.

    1. Yes, I did indeed. But I get impatient, too. But I figure if the instructions say to do it, there must be a good reason. ;o)

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