My long-suffering husband finally gets to taste (er, wear?) the fruits of my labor!
I am a notoriously selfish sewer. If it doesn’t go on my body, I have zero interest. I accept this as a permanent character flaw. So does my husband. In fact, he’s the first to chime in with, “Sara doesn’t sew for other people,” defending my time and (questionable) talents with a firmness that moves me to tears. Tears of glorious selfishness, I mean.
So he has more than earned this garment, with his mere willingness to embrace my inherently self-serving nature.
I bought this fabric (full price! what the what?), a sweater fleece from Joann’s, intending to make myself a cute secret sweatshirt for work. Tasteful sweater knit on the outside, lazy couch potato on the inside. But the pattern I planned on using? Yeah, turns out I bought it in the wrong size range, and the thought of recutting and redrafting the whole thing was… cumbersome. (Good luck getting that song out of your head now, ’90s people!)
I got a flash of inspiration to make a men’s vest. My husband has an REI fleece vest that is in pretty continuous rotation, so I figured it would at least get some wear. Honestly, I have no idea where this non-selfish impulse came from.
I grabbed a vest pattern at the next pattern sale, McCall’s 7298. Actually, it’s not a vest pattern, but it’s totally adaptable. It was pretty simple to make, with the exception of finishing the seams. It would’ve been a breeze with a serger, but I’m still fence-sitting on that one. I’m going to cave at some point, but I need to do a sufficient amount of self-flagellation before I’ll feel comfortable shelling out the money for a luxury hobby item. (LOL, I totally sewed this and wrote it up months ago. Self-flagellation complete, serger in hand.)
Instead, I did some topstitching on the front yoke panels and bound the sides and shoulders with double-fold bias tape. If I was sewing this for myself, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. But I always think that other folks expect nicer finishes, and will cringe at home-sewn garments. (No one has ever expressed this to me, and it’s totally something I’ve made up. But still.)
I also splurged on the fancy metal zipper instead of the plastic “sport” version. I like the look, though the brass is a bit of a contrast with the gray/black sweater knit.
Overall, the spouse is happy with it, even if it’s not something he would’ve picked for himself. It fits well, and I hope it will be a closet staple.
- I made the following alterations to turn this sporty jacket pattern into a vest:Eliminated the sleeves, and finished the armholes with bias tape
- Removed about 2″ of height on the collar, so it could stand up instead of fold over
- Used a 24″ metal zipper instead of the 26″ sport zipper
- Stitched the zipper to the right side of the fabric and flipped out, instead of having it exposed as directed (gross!)
- Added contrast top-stitching to the front panels
- Trimmed each shoulder down by about 1.25″, so the armhole hits at the shoulder instead of being a dropped-shoulder style
Also, FYI, this is the size small, and it’s a good fit for a lean dude. This is a unisex pattern, so you can see how the smallest size fits on me — a bit large. If you want to make a semi-fitted zip-up jacket or vest for a woman, there are probably much better options in terms of fit. I’d actually consider this a men’s pattern, similar to other Big 4 “unisex” patterns out there.
It was a simple, straightforward make, and I hope I get to sew it again. Maybe with the husband’s input. But probably not. You’re welcome, husband.