Designing a Transition Vest-

Fri, Jan 29 2016 02:29
It is that time of year here in Oregon. With nice days wedged in between passing rain and snow storms it feels like a good time for some transition garments. Although it is not time to pack away the cozy winter gear just yet, I want those layering pieces that let me blend my winter and cool, spring wardrobes together for the next few months.

Do we EVER have the right piece of fabric?!?  After a brief hunt for in my stash...it's off to the consignment shop for the pair of pants that transformed on the dressform into this vest! I like to free-form cut garment shapes, and sometimes will use a pattern I like to start. Sometimes I will work up the center front and neckline first....then place pattern pieces on top to define the sides and armholes.

After playing with how the existing details would best serve the design (notice the front zipper on the pants becomes the vent at the bottom of the back), the garment is cut out. The fabric has some spandex in it..so it will be more comfortable as a fitted garment. A front zipper was added. Longer than the garment, it extends below the hemline and is turned and used as trim on the collar seam.

Stenciling & Accenting Seamlines-


This is a good time to add some printing and paint accents.
Using my Picket Fence Stencil, elements of the design were added to the garment pieces. The flat felled seamlines were rubbed with a dry sponge and a SMALL amount of paint. These techniques can be added anytime, but while the garment is flat is easier. 

Handstitching Details-


It is hard to imagine a piece that isn't better with some handstitching! On this piece, A whipstitch with buttonhole twist was used to trim the small zipper and sew the sides of the vest. Leaving the sides open until the front is finished and the garment is tried on often result in a better fit.

More Design Play with the Picket Fence Stencil

In my toolkit, a stencil is never a one-trick pony. See the  folded 'fence ' fabric in the upper left? The stencil was printed and stitched from the back through a light cotton layer and a light padding inside. This can be a good use of the decorative stitches on our machines. The finished, silk dupioni side is ready to used in a next project: Maybe a tea cozy? Maybe a Walkabout Vest pocket? 
The same stencil was used for this rustic all over printed surface.

So there you have it....my first transition garment of the season! SO where is yours?!?!
Join me in the studio in March for a Re-Make Class & Trunk Show,   Diane





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