November 15, 2017

Winter Vest - Hack

What you need to create the vest
  • Life Jacket pattern sold in my store
  • ¼ yard of cotton or satin fabric (you can even use shiny satin and use the wrong side)
    If using different fabrics for outer and liner fabric then 17" x 9" of each is needed
  • 7" separating zipper
  • ½" batting (17" x 9")
  • Needle for sewing by hand
  • Fray check

Pattern modification
  1. Take the back pattern piece for the Life Jacket and add another piece of paper at the bottom of the Life Jacket.
    Draw a parallel line 1¾" from the Life Jacket’s hem.
    Extend the side seams straight down from the arm pit, meeting the new hem at a 90° angle.
    This will be your new back pattern piece.

  2. Take the left front pattern piece and draw a parallel line 1¾" from the Life Jacket’s hem.
    Extend the side seam straight down from the arm pit, meeting the new hem at a 90° angle.
    Draw a parallel line ¼" from the front edge.
    You can either have a V-neck opening just like the Life Jacket (extend the pattern line until it meets the new front line) or you can have a higher closed jacket by copying the neck line from the back piece.
    This will be your new left front piece. Repeat for the right front piece.

  3. Mark your seam line for the bottom hem and the neck hem along your front pattern edge (see arrows in picture). These will be used later to determine your zipper length.
    Your pattern pieces are now ready to use.

Preparing the zipper for use
Take your zipper and align along front pattern edge to determine length of zipper. Mark the zipper just a tad shorter than the length between the two marks.
Mark zipper length on both zipper sides and separate zipper.

Move zipper pull towards bottom of zipper.

Take needle and thread and sew multiple stitches over the same zipper teeth just on the inside of the mark on both zipper sides. This will be your new zipper stop. Instead, you could also remove the existing metal zipper stops and re-position those to the new end.

Cut zipper sides where marked, making sure not to cut your new zipper stops. Add fray check to the cuts and also to your sewn zipper stop. Let dry.

Your zipper is now ready to use.

Assembly instructions
Follow the pattern cutting instructions with the new pattern pieces, but don’t cut any inserts, instead use your front and back pieces and cut each from the ½" batting. Pin each batting piece to the corresponding outer piece and treat it as one piece from now on.

Disregard any use or instructions for the insert or webbing pieces. Those are not used at all.

Start following the instructions with step 1 and 2 creating the inner and outer pieces.

Skip steps 3 to 9.

Then we change things up a bit in order to add the zipper to the front pieces:

Take one part of the separated zipper and align*, right sides together, along the front edge of the outer piece. 
*To align, center the zipper leaving ¼" at the top and bottom, zipper teeth facing away from the edge.

Now continue working with step 10, aligning inner and outer pieces sandwiching the zipper in between.

Follow step 11, sewing the arm opening and skip step 12.

Follow steps 13 through 17 to finish most of the vest.

Skip steps 18 through 22 and continue closing the bottom of the vest with step 23.

You can skip the rest of the steps and finish your jacket by top stitching 3 parallel rows across the vest; the first one 1½" parallel to the bottom hem and then each of the next two rows 1½" from the previous one.
I would recommend pulling your top thread towards the bobbin thread (inside of the jacket) and tying the top and bobbin thread then using a needle pulling the thread tails between the inner and outer layer and cutting. That way no tails will be visible.

Your Vest is now finished !!!

Complement your vest with my free hat pattern !!!
Purchase the Snow Pants pattern to finish the look !!!

This Hack is also available for WellieWishers dolls !!!