Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! OK, I have a thesis for you: a fuzzy wool vest is the perfect transitional garment. Now, wait, don’t run away! Hear me out! They keep you warm in cool weather without limiting your mobility or leaving you with bulky sleeves that you need to roll up. They’re easy to toss on, over a tee, a sweater, or a jacket. You can wear them under a rain jacket or a windproof shell for an extra layer of warmth. And they give you an extra set of pockets to shove stuff into when you’re out walking the dogs or running errands. And how much nicer is soft, squishy wool than a static-y nylon vest? SO much nicer, dudes. Are you convinced?
So, for my latest Mood Sewing Network project*, I reached for this springy, fluffy wool knit. It was labeled as Rag & Bone, and it has plain knit stitches on the wrong side and a really woolly, brushed face on the other. My original plan was a moto jacket– wouldn’t that have looked cool?? But after some thought, I couldn’t justify another jacket- I have too many! And I have a sad, worn-out, cheap down vest that really needed replacing. So there it was! Now that I have a vest, I’m glad I do… I know I’ll be able to wear it more than yet ANOTHER jacket.
I decided to try out the Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest. While this isn’t exactly faux fur, it’s spongy and really thick, so I knew that this would work well with a pattern intended for faux fur. It doesn’t have a lot of seam lines or a notched collar, which is great for a fabric that gets bulky fast. The pattern comes together really quickly, like a jacket lite. It’s amazing how much faster it is to sew something that doesn’t have sleeves to set in and hem! Oh, and if you want to see what this pattern actually looks like in faux fur, check out Rachel’s cute version! (And if you’re scared to try faux fur, don’t be! Here are my tips for handling it). This was my first Named pattern, and it was a good experience. Well… let’s not count the Jamie Jeans pattern that I traced, but ran out of confidence before getting to the cutting part. Or the Vanamo dress, that I muslined at the very last minute before an event when there was absolutely zero chance of actually completely a garment in time, but I tried it anyway… OK, OK, obviously I need to visit my UFO bag! But it’s scary!!
Now, because this is a knit and the pattern is drafted for a woven, I was careful when handling and stitching. The pattern already called for the armholes, neckline, shoulder seams, and hem to be interfaced, but I would have done that anyway. The interfacing kept things from stretching out and really gave a nice substantial feel to the seamlines. Also, I was between sizes, and I decided to size down, which worked well.
I used a universal needle and a longer stitch length (since the fabric is quite thick, a longer stitch length gets you to a normal-looking stitch) and just sewed it with a regular straight stitch. This worked really well. Since this is a wool knit, it pressed beautifully and the seams stayed nice and flat, even though they were fairly bulky. I was quite aggressive with clipping and notching to make sure that the curved seams in the shawl collar were nice and smooth.
I lined the vest with a definitely-giraffe-print silk leftover from the plaid Coco jacket I made earlier this yea. It’s so nice using up odd bits from the stash, isn’t it? I also used a small piece of a different silk print, this one leftover from one of my final tailoring projects in the spring, to add pockets, which, in my opinion, are essential for a vest. I put them in 5″ below the armhole, which seemed like OK placement. I never know exactly where to put them when I add them myself! I do a lot of pinning and trying things on, but I still don’t feel confident when I stitch them in!
I’m so excited about this vest and I know I will wear it all the time (even though Man Friend opined that I look pregnant in this… OK, he may have a point there; the side view in particular is pretty unflattering, oops!)! I have this weird winter wardrobe that’s black, white, and grey (don’t ask me why, but I’m not excited to wear colors in the cold weather), so this will mix and match with nearly everything in my closet! Hooray! What do you guys think? Would you sew or wear a vest?
One last item of business: this is my last post for the Mood Sewing Network. I’ve absolutely loved being a part of the network and trying out so many fun and special fabrics! I have too many irons in the fire right now, and I had to let a few things go, which is sad, but I’m so grateful to Mood for giving me this opportunity. I know that I wouldn’t be half the seamstress that I am today if it wasn’t for joining the blogging network- I really had to push myself to keep up with the other amazing bloggers!
*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post.