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Mar 28, 2017

Simply the Vest


Readers, there is a certain kind of man who looks really good in a vest.

Alas, I am not that man.

That said, last week in my menswear patternmaking class at FIT we drafted a men's vest from scratch.  Our assignment, due tomorrow, was to sew up the vest using muslin for the front (and front facings) and cotton shirting for the back and inside lining.


Since we didn't really get into the details of the breast pocket beyond drafting the welt, we are to simply draw the welt on the left front of the vest.

I finished my vest today.  It isn't my size but then, not being a vest person, I wouldn't wear it anyway.  Still, I'm happy with it.

Front (sans drawn-on welt):


Back:


Inside:


For the lining, I used scraps of cotton shirting left over from an earlier shirt project.  I like the way the purple gingham and Hawaiian fish print look with the muslin. 

Believe it or not, though I have sewn everything from bathing suits to overcoats, the vest is the one traditional menswear garment I had never attempted to make until now.  With the exception of sweater vests, I don't think many men wear vests anymore, do you?  Perhaps the men's vest deserves a Yea or Nay post all its own.

Regardless, I am happy to have -- if not quite conquered the vest, at least to have gotten the hang of the basic construction.


Hey, at least I can say I did my vest (he he).

Have a great day, everybody!

28 comments:

  1. Did you do the turn through the sides and then sew the side seams last? I made a few recycled denim vests this past year. One fis best and I wear it most chilly mornings - keeps the core warm.
    Great blog. Very entertaininig. Mike Foley

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    1. Yes, that's exactly how I did it, Mike!

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  2. You may not have mastered vests, but you have mastered the pattern and color matching! Nicely done.

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  3. Beautiful workmanship as always and I love the purple gingham with the fish print!

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  4. Love vests! Elegant for evreningwear--with a shirt, please!

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  5. I think the vest is something that should make a comeback. It's a good piece of clothing to show your personality. Like a tie but more hip. The front, the back, the lining, the pocket-so many pieces to play with color and pattern!

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  6. I made a vest for my husband from Yorkshire wool and he wore it for our wedding 6 months ago ...

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  7. I love vests - bespoke are always the best. You should rethink your thoughts about not being a vest-man.

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  8. The two best things about vests: !. They allow you to play with color and fabric blocking, to enliven an otherwise boring outfit. 2. They add a bit of extra warmth when only a bit is what is wanted.

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  9. My husband was BORN to wear vests. But he also has big muscles and a tattoo, so it just melts me! But yes, sometimes it is just about what you pair it with. A t-shirt with short, close-fitting sleeves might change your mind about how you look in that vest. If I were styling you, I'd also put a leather necklace with something dangling (like dog tags or something) from it. Stubble? Pack of raising rolled into the t-shirt sleeve? A temporary tattoo? C'mon! It could be fun!

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    1. Peter,
      Don't listen to this person, she'll have you camped out at The Mineshaft, or Man's Country.

      Embrace the fact that you are a fern bar gent, and leave it at that.

      Helpfully,

      Testosterone

      Delete
  10. I'm very pro-vests. I've seen and liked them on all sorts of bodies and in all sorts of styles. A good friend of mine made my husband a vest of dark blue brocade for our wedding (I was supposed to but I was busy... with my dress). He still wears it for party occasions and other people's weddings.
    Do you not care for the way you look? Or does it just feel odd... just not your style?

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  11. Dark colored vests are common on men who are no longer slim and svelte, perhaps today a bit or more portly than they were in the past. Dark vests have a slimming effect and cover suspenders portly men often use to keep their pants up. Also vests, dark or patterned, can give a debonair look to a man without him spending a lot of money. I know a man who has vests made of upholstery material, because remnants are cheap, and colorful, and stiff enough not to need interfacing.

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  12. I like this garment and it's amazing you've never made one because they're fun to make and avoid sleeve stress!! I love WAISTCOATS (just calling them that, makes them straightaway so much more chic!!) because they keep you warm in winter without the constraints of a jumper or they add a flash of colour in summer without adding too much weight. And they also allow us to wear patterns and colours that might otherwise be too loaded for menswear, e.g. tartan. And by doing the lining bigger than the outer trick, when you turn it inside out, you get a great piping effect round the edge (not sure I've explained that well but hopefully you get what I mean!) which makes for a nice change.

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  13. I love waistcoats as well -- I am in the process of attempting my first one for my husband now, and I also have my eye on some cool upholstery remnants... if I can make a success of my first one!

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  14. Way back in the mid 80's there was a mini craze for vests made from tapestry material for both men and women. I made two of them. It was my first men's sewing project out of cloth that was wearable in public. I still have one of them but no longer wear it. Now if I could only make shirts half as well as you do Peter.

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  15. I think we should be the judge on whether you're a vest man or not.

    Photos, please.

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  16. I've made and wear several vests, both for me and the Husband, including one with sequin zebra stripes. The only fiddle bit is the endless pressing. Give it a try!

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  17. When I was a young slim woman, I wore vests. Mostly they were thrift store finds. I loved men's wear-there were pockets for keys and cigarettes. And speaking of cigs-that guy with the hat and smoke!!!! Enough to make an old woman swoon.

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  18. A vest is great vehicle for expressing one's individuality. There are so many options. Of course men and women have made statements with ties since forever but a vest multiplies the possibilities.

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  19. Hi Peter! I do love waistcoasts in the women's wardrobe... for men, just when they have nice bodies... but you do, so at least you could try. :) Grüße.

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  20. I like the armholes on the Guy's vest. Tight and not so big as your sample. I think you'd like trimmer version and I think you'd look good in it. More Brooks Brothers and less Wedding World.

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  21. I associate vests with Balki Bartokomous. Not sure if that is good or bad...

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  22. I don't think I have ever seen​ a man who doesn't look good in a nicely fitting waistcoat over a crisp white shirt. Especially the back view...they give a good shape to the shoulders. I challenge you to make a classic waistcoat and prove me wrong.

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  23. Your project turned out great.
    I prefer smaller arm holes (as in the photo at the top), I think they are much more attractive.
    That being said, I love the fabrics you used! I clicked on and biggified the photos and your "workmanship" is excellent.

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  24. I like vests on men. My 13-year-old daughter has resurrected the Annie Hall look and wears the three she has thrifted pretty often. There is a very cool vest-jacket hybrid in one of the fall Paco Peralta Vogue Patterns (#1526) I want to make for myself. I have two long vests I made from linen from a 1990s Vogue pattern that I have worn, ahem, since the 1990s. In short, I think you should reconsider the vest. :)

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