Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Felted Vest Complete

I am pretty much pleased with this. It is an old pattern from the 80's, McCalls 7255.I still think I should cut back the armscyes more. What do you think? I appreciate your input. The original princess seams were in the middle of the shoulder seam. I am thinking if I make this again, and I think I will, that I will have to move those princess seams in a bit to accommodate for the cutting in of the armscye. Dang, those narrow narrow shoulders! Other than that I like it. I like the way it just skims the body and there is still room for a sweater underneath. I am glad I did the shirttail hem. For some reason that hem seams to be flattering on women with bigger hips. In a nutshell: here is what I did to the vest pattern:

Fit Changes

*sloping shoulder adjustment
*swayback adjustment
* Add to hips

Design Changes

*Change back to shoulder princess seams from darted back
*Add one lapel to neckline
*Change hemline to a shirttail hemline
*Lapped seams sewn with a 4.0 twin needle, a really easy construction method, no facings
*Change button positions

These buttons are from Ima's collection. They are heavy. The fabric is soft and fluffy like a nice wool sweater. I knew it would not support the buttons so here is what I did.

I dug in the stash for a matching piece of poly silky. I fused Steam a Seam to the back and then pinked it to the proper shape. More reinforcement behind the actual buttons was still needed so I cut little triangles of Decor Bond and dot fused them with the point of the iron where the buttons would go. Pinking helps eliminate show thru.

This was then flipped and fused to the wrong side of the vest.

The buttons were then attached on the right side using matching embroidery floss. Once this was done covered snaps were sewn underneath the buttons on the wrong side.

I used larger snaps than normal to carry the weight of the buttons. The female snaps were then covered and attached to the other side of the vest. This definitely carried the weight of those big buttons on a really soft fabric.

I  promised to show how I do a "fish eye dart" in the back to accommodate a swayback with full hips. Every time I make a blouse or some sort of top there is a big blob of fabric from my shoulder blades to my buttocks that is just filled with air. Just darting this does not take care of it, at least for me.I find I have to take out length as well as width. I read that you have a swayback if you can drop a string from the nape of your neck to your buttocks and there is space between your back/spine and the string. I have lots of space there. I find to get this right you must first have your muslin adjusted to the proper hip width. So start by adding in there if you need it and if you are swayback you more than likely do. Then I start pinching out fabric in a horizontal line at the waistline. I pinch it across this line but about 2 inches from the side seam start tapering it down to nothing at the side seam. This is what works best for me but I am always open to new techs here.You can see that here. I then transferred this change to my pattern piece. The darts were changed to princess seams and and a small amount of width was taken out that way as well. Very important to make sure the grain line is straightened once you have made your adjustments to the pattern. Then you cut.  IMO shoulder princess seams are a swayback's best friend. Why is this called a fish eye dart? If you open up that waistline dart it will be an elipse shape with the fold line down the middle, I guess sort of resembling a fish eye. . Fish eye darts are great, by the way, for getting rid of that bag of fabric under your butt when making pants.

I may not post for a bit. I have my surgery tomorrow and hope all goes well. I do have some handwork planned and ready to go. Hope to see you all around the corner..................Bunny


  1. This turned out really gorgeous. I love the shaping. It is very flattering.

  2. I also wanted to say I hope all goes well with your surgery. I'll say a little prayer for you.

  3. I wish you lots of strength for your surgery. I hope you'll recover soon!

    The vest looks lovely, by the way.

  4. Beautiful vest, thank you for all the "how to..." details! Good luck with surgery, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

  5. You look proud in your photo, as well you should!

  6. Really great vest and the buttons are a wonderful accent. Good luck with your surgery.

  7. Terrific vest. Many blessings to you for the upcoming surgery. Good wishes youro way.

  8. The vest looks so comfortable. And fits so well. I hope you recover from the surgery quickly and are back doing what you love as soon as possible.

  9. If I am looking proud, it is unintentional. This was a goofy face pic but the best of the vest so I went with it.

    Thanks for all you good thoughts and prayers.

  10. the vest looks great bunny. as for the shoulders, the width of the shoulder makes your shoulders look wider and therefore balances well with your hips creating a lovely silouette. no one would think that you have narrow or sloping shoulders due to the excellent fit. the asymetrical line also makes the eye move over the vest in a manner which is figure flattering. love it.

  11. I love the vest, and the buttons are a wonderful addition. Your description of providing support for the buttons is very helpful, and, as usual, you make that adjustment a secret little spot of beauty.

    My thoughts will be with you tomorrow. I know you'll probably be taking it easy for a few days, but when you're feeling better, I still have a question on the transfer of the fish-eye dart to your pattern - I have trouble visualizing, often; please excuse me. I've seen how a fish-eye dart is used in fitting pants, in the area below the seat, and I understand how that dart is transfered to the pattern, by altering the waistline above. But I don't quite see what you might be doing to your pattern in this case. Do you slit the back bodice pattern horizontally from center back to side seam, along what would be the center of your fish-eye dart, then overlap the cut edges by the amount of the center of the dart, thus removing that length? Or are you saying that the dart is rotated somehow into the princess seam? I would be so grateful if you can clear this up for me, whenever you have some time.

    May your recovery be easy and speedy.

  12. Great vest! Lots of luck tomorrow and hope your recovery is easy.

  13. I love the vest. Looks great on you and I agree with your comment about the shirt tail hems - they are more flatering. Thanks too for all the tips. Isn't it so much fun and fulfilling to play with all the fabrics and notions you received from your former neighbor!

  14. I like the armscyces just where they are...but that's me! The vest is smashing...thanks for sharing all of the details on making it!

    I hope that all goes well with the surgery and that you have a speedy recovery.

  15. Hi, I just found your blog - very impressive - love the vest and all of your words of wisdom - I'll be back!

  16. Beautiful vest! The finishing is impeccable as always. I hope you're healing quickly!

  17. Bunny, your vest accents your tiny figure beautifully! I'm in love with the way you backed the buttons as well as the shirt-tail look. GREAT JOB!!

    I hope your surgery went well & that you are recovering quickly. You are in my prayers, Hon!


  18. I love the vest - I think the proportions are perfect and that your armhole doesn't appear to need anything, but feel can be another matter - you're there so you know better about this than the way it looks in the photo.


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