Sunday, January 26, 2020

A 1970s Linen Vest

I've mentioned before how I dislike the cold the older I get. Ohio doesn't get very severe winters, especially this far south, but it does get cold. I began to think about adding vests to my wardrobe since keeping my core warm is one of my greatest priorities lately. I've never much liked vests, but there's a first time for everything. I was prepared to re-evaluate this potentially useful garment.

I had a few patterns in my stash for vests. The one I liked best was included in a Simplicity pattern, published 1976. One afternoon I cut took it out, ironed the pattern pieces flat (they were still in quite good shape!) and cut out a vest. Only one instruction sheet was included in the pattern, the other lost to time and use somewhere between now and 1976. However, the instructions were complete enough to see how this vest was put together - fully bag lined, turned through the shoulder seams, pressed, topstitched and fastened with buttons. The vest is fitted with darts at the side bust, side fronts, back waist and back neck. With the lining layer, that's a lot of darts.

I used a firmly woven cotton for the lining and some brown and white linen for the outer layer. The linen, left over from my 18th century petticoat, was very wiggly so I did something I normally do not do, and I interfaced the shit out of it. I interfaced where each dart was sewn to prevent stretching, interfaced the front openings and stabilized the waist. Whew. I love how the linen came out in the final garment but dang. A lot of work for such a simple thing!

I used the machine to make machine done buttonholes, so besides hand stitching the lining closed at the shoulders, this is a completely machine sewn garment.

I made it exactly to the pattern and the fit is okay. I didn't expect it to be perfect, and there are a few things I'll change if I make another (deepen the darts below the bustline, mainly, take in the side seams just a hair) but I really was shocked at how well it came out. I love wearing it and even made of linen and cotton as it is, it's really surprising how warm it is. I didn't notice til I took it off after my first wearing and immediately felt cold.

I did make another vest almost immediately! But for the next one I modified this base pattern and made a long, loose vest, based on another 1970's pattern. Then I had fabric left over from that vest so I made matching pants, from this pattern. And I loved the resulting pants so much that I have some railroad stripe denim on my cutting table for another pair this week. 😂 But that will be for another post, since this one is already quite long enough!



1 comment:

  1. Love this! It appeals to me because it has an historical air but is totally applicable to modern life. I confess after reading this the other night, I pulled out a 70s vest pattern I had and got to work! Your blog always inspires.


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