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Going to Pieces
By Pauline Richards, Total Embellishments

 

 

Materials Needed:

-- Vest pattern of your choice
    Note: The asymmetrical vest pattern I used in this design is one that I have created from             combining several patterns. It has an extended shoulder ( 9' from the neck along the shoulder seam to the armseye).

-- 1 yard of sweater knit (or other fabric) for garment back and decorative rectangles on vest front
-- 1/8 yard of Ultrasuede (cut in 1/4" wide strips) or about 20 yards of 1/4" wide, bias fabric tubes
-- One 1 1/4" decorative button
-- Approximately 18 yards of yarn pulled from the sweater knit for couching on left vest front
-- Clear monofilament thread
-- Thread to march fabrics
-- Fusible tricot interfacing for vest fronts and back 
-- 4 1/2 yards of 1/4" wide Steam-A-Seam 2
-- 4 mm double needle
-- Tailor's chalk
-- 24" clear ruler
-- Tear away stabilizer

Cutting:

1) Cut the vest fronts and back from fusible interfacing press to the wrong side of the sweater knit.

2) Cut the vest back from the sweater knit, following the outline of the fused interfacing, truing the pattern if necessary. Note: Use any existing sweater ribbed edge along the vest back lower edge, eliminating the need for a hem allowance.

3) Cut the vest fronts and press fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each.

4) Cut 4 yards 1 1/4" wide bias for binding from the fabric used for the vest fronts; piece as needed. Press fusible interfacing scraps to the wrong side of remaining sweater knot and cut into 1" wide strips.

5)  Cut lining for the vest fronts and back

Marking and preparing for stitching:

1)  Using tailor's chalk and a clear ruler, mark diagonal lines parallel to the vest front edges, beginning 1" from the front and every inch across the pieces. Note: On the vest right front, the decorative knit rectangles will be positioned between the guide lines. Spaces between the rectangles may vary and the length of the rectangles should vary for interest..

Embellishing the left front:

1)  thread the machine with clear monofilament in top, regular thread in the bobbin and set your machine for zigzag. Back the vest front with tear-away stabilizer. Test tension settings to avoid distortion. 

2)  Divide the yarn into three equal lengths and gently twist the three strands together.

3)  Position the twisted yarns directly over the diagonal guidelines and couch it into place.

Embellishing the vest right front;

1)  Back knit rectangles with a strip of Steam-A-Seam 2 to prevent shifting.

2)  Position the cut knit rectangles on the right front, varying lengths and distances between them. Eliminate excess bulk by keeping rectangles away from the seam allowances at the vest lower edge, however they may extend into the side shoulder seams. Pin each knit rectangle securely into place and zigzag around it.

3)  Back the 1/4" wide Ultrasuede strips with Steam-A-Seam2. Peel the protective backing from it and cover the top and bottom of each rectangle with the Ultrasuede strips or bias tubing, being sure to cover the knit edges completely. 

4)  Using a double needle, topstitch the end strips of each rectangle. 

5)  Position  Ultrasuede strips or bias tubing over the diagonal guide lines, completely covering the knit rectangle edges; press in place. Topstitch each strip into place using the double needle.

Finishing the vest:

1)  Make custom piping by covering the cotton cording with the precut bias strips.

2)  Sew piping to vest and armhole edges.

3)  Make a buttonhole loop from Ultrasuede strips and secure to vest front.

4)  Complete the vest, securing the lining and piping as you go.

Note:

Through the years I've found that asymmetrical, single button vests seldom hang properly and stay closed evenly when an under-lap button is used. Solve this problem by sewing hook-and-loop tape in the following two spots:  

Position a 3/4" square of hook tape on the left vest front, just below the center front point where the right vest should cross over. Place a second square of hook tape just above the point where the vest fronts no longer overlap. Try the vest on and place a pin directly opposite each piece of hook tape. Remove the vest and secure the squares in place with hand stitches. I have found that by placing the hook tape facing away from the body,  it doesn't get caught on or damage my other clothes or the vest lining.  I slip on the vest, position the loop around the button and then gently press against the hook-and-loop tape. The garment remains perfectly positioned even if the hook-and-loop tapes only catch together at a corner.

 

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