I’m really excited about this project for two reasons. First, it’s the first item I’ve made from the fabric given to me at my recent fabric party. Yea! One down, 14 to go :p~~. And second, this vest is the product of a series of lucky? fated? unplanned for sure events. I would never have made this vest under normal circum-stances. I wouldn’t have bought this particular fabric, even though I like it. I wouldn’t have planned this combination of pattern and fabric. Believe me, my finger was barely touching the rudder of this boat.
So you’re wondering how it got made? I guess my primary contribution was to buy the pattern, which happened before I received the fabric. It’s actually a jacket pattern, another Marcy Tilton, which you will be happy to hear I didn’t pay full price for. It’s one of those ‘barely there’ patterns: three pieces, and only a couple of instructions. Basically, sew fronts to back, sew sleeves to body. That’s it. Who wants to pay for that? Oh yea, it includes instructions for felting some wool string onto the body if you want. I bought it because I liked the design and thought it would make great indoor sweater/jacket sort of things — loose and non-binding. None of the edges are finished, so it’s meant to be made up in fleece-like fabrics, or maybe a worsted woolen if you want to do the felting.
When I got this “web” kind of fabric — it really can’t make up its mind whether it’s stripes, diagonals, circles, squares or diamonds — I thought it would work because it’s double-sided; since the fronts of the jacket just flap open and don’t have facings, the inside of the fabric has to be of the same quality and appearance as the outside.
There wasn’t enough fabric to make sleeves, but I’m okay with vests. They’re great for layering in the chilly “wet-coast” rainforest and they don’t bind the arms and shoulders. So I started cutting it out, wondering at the back of my mind how I was going to finish the edges.
There are only four seams, and since either side of the fabric can be on the outside, I decided to make it reversible by folding under the selvage edges and topstitching them.
I’m a really slow sewist, so all this took about a week, during which time I kept the question about how to finish the raw edges simmering on some burner way at the back of my mind. (You can tell I’d never worked with seam binding, can’t you?) Normally I wouldn’t dream of starting a project until I had figured out all the techniques that would be required, so I was just floating (to maintain the imagery) on a boat of belief that the necessary knowledge would come when required.
Eventually and slowly the idea of making seam-binding sort of coalesced until I went digging through my stash of left-over bits of fabric looking for something I could use. I found two things — an old black and blue floral skirt and a length of shimmery beige fabric that I actually bought to make some ruffles. I couldn’t make up my mind, and then I knew (really!) that this fabric could be bound with two different kinds of bindings. The fabric really is a web of upright lines, diagonals, circles and squares. It’s so …busy that two kinds of binding doesn’t add any more busyness to it.
I merrily folded all the binding over the edges and pinned it before realizing that possibly sewing through the whole sandwich in one go wasn’t the way to do it. So then I researched, and found great articles on four or five different ways to attach seam-binding. Sewing it all in one go is called the “cheater method” and it worked for me 🙂
And by the way, calling it a “web” vest is only partly because of the fabric. I’m also honouring, in a tongue-in-cheek way, the man who gave me the fabric. Thanks doctor Webb 🙂 Do you like it?