Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Circle Vest for Me!

I'm heavily influenced by my sewing sistahs on Instagram!  I love what is shared with such devotion to our craft that I'm always liking and storing away others ideas for future use.  But when Melanie @itsmelaniedarling on Instagram posted this picture, I immediately left a message asking how to make my own. 

So she graciously sent me a link via email and I used the instructions to make this...

It's worn over a RTW cashmere/silk turtleneck and black denim leggings

Why did I want this vest so badly?  Because I've already made one from a pre-designed wool panel from Fabric Mart last year and I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear it.



Because it's a heavier wool it's still too warm to wear now...this is deep cold wearing material here! I really wanted a lighter one to wear now.

Construction ~ Using the instructions, which are so simple to follow, I used a double-sided wool blend purchased from Fabric Mart earlier this year...and I have a few suggestions on how to make sure this works for you.

  1. When I drew my circle, I used wax chalk that fades when you iron it. That was important because I wanted mine to be reversible - I can wear it on the black side or the gray side.
  2. When measuring the circle, I measured the distance out at five points ~ the bottom, then about 4" over on both sides and then 2" from either side on each end.  I made sure it was the exact same measurement (30") from all five points.
  3. Then I used my curved ruler to help me get a full circle ~ all the time wishing for a compass & protractor large enough to make the circle for me!
  4. I followed the instructions exactly for the armholes and back but next time will make my back a little wider (like my Fabric Mart version above) and my armholes a little smaller. Even in the original blog post her armholes are very large ~ I would probably make them 8" around.
  5. I added fold over black binding to my outer edges instead of serging the edges. This way no matter which side I wear it on it's got a finished edge. The armholes were serged and I went over them twice to make the serging dense. Now I know I could have adjusted my serger to do that but honestly it was faster just serging.

It was a quick sew taking just a couple of hours on a Sunday evening. The reason it wasn't faster is because I added the binding, then added two rows of stitching to keep it flat. I wore it to work the next day and got several compliments on it. 

Melanie, I have the same pin that you used on your photo on Instagram and if you look closely at my pictures, I used it on mine too!

Patent Leather pumps, Silver Sarah Coventry pin purchased from 
eBay years ago, Judith Ripka diamonque earrings from QVC.

BTW, the other day I saw someone on the street wearing one with sleeves. Now if I could get that going on I would be in hog heaven!  There will be another one of these because this version gives you the high low hem I'm loving right now, good butt coverage and a classy way to dress up casual wear.

A few more pics ~




Conclusion ~
I know there are several (as in alot) of patterns out now featuring the waterfall front because I own a couple of them. However, I liked the challenge of making this on my own and I especially love the way the collar drapes.

There is one other change I want to make when I make another one. I need to figure out a way to attach the side front inside so that I don't have to fiddle with it during the day. Otherwise, this is so easy to wear and adds the sophistication I'm looking for in my casual wardrobe.

Lastly, I took these pictures myself, wearing the outfit as I wore it out to dinner with friends instead of how I wore it to work. It's been awhile since I've taken my own pics and this time I used the remote...no walking back and forth...which I don't mind doing when I'm taking pictures inside but I think looks a little silly when I'm outside. My condo community has a lot of walkers (baby and dogs) and joggers using the pathways so I'm a little self-conscious about walking back and forth.

I'm pretty thrilled that I got quite a few usable pictures and hopefully will get better at taking them as the winter progresses.  My daughter and the troops don't come over as much in the winter (it's a little much for some of the younger ones) so you'll see more of my fledgling photography skills in the upcoming months. The good thing is that pieces will show up on the blog faster than before. The bad thing, I haven't yet perfected taking back shots without looking like I'm doing a series of contortions!

A Parting Shot ~



...as always more later!


41 comments:

  1. Your vest looks elegant and comfortable ... what a bonus to be reversible as well!

    (... and the patent pumps? whose version are they? I have the hardest time finding ones I like.)

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    1. The shoes are by Bandolino bought from Macy's 2-3 years ago.

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  2. You look great! The longer one makes you look like a sophisticated rockstar!

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    1. Thanks Brenna! And it wore well so I will definitely make another one!

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  3. This is gorgeous! I have been hunting for a tutorial for one of these. Thank you thank you thank you. Have a blessed day. You have blessed mine.

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    1. Marie - I hope it works out as well for you as it did for me!

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  4. Wow, this is lovely. Nice job.

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  5. This is really good. REALLY! I love it on you and you're right...it's one of those items where you get a lot of bang for your buck! It's simple but looks so chic and put together.

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  6. Most measuring tapes have a hole in the center of the metal end thingie, haha....at the end of the tape. You could hold it down with pins, an awl, or have a friend hold it. Then use a pencil at the measurement of the radius of the circle you want. (half the width) Just a flying thought from ms. Fix-it, lol.
    Love this vest tho. I'm gonna go hack some random outdated sweaters to fashion one up!! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I'm going to have to remember that tip - thanks for that!

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  7. I love this Carolyn! Such a sharp statement piece!

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    1. Thanks Erica - can't believe how well it turned out for such a small amount of time and effort!

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  8. Love it! Re the fiddling at the inside: I would attach a button, or a ribbon ner the armhole, make a buttonhole on the inner end of the collar so that you can use the button or ribbon to hold it in place.. Greetz, Josien

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    1. Josien - what a great idea! That would be a natural place to put it without having to mess with the reversibility of the vest! Thanks so much!

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  9. Very nice Carolyn and I agree that it takes a casual wardrobe up a few notches.

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    1. Thanks Diana - it's amazing how polished that one piece makes everything worn under it looks!

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  10. Wow! That looks great! I will definitely need to put that on the To Sew list.

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  11. I love it and think the challenge of doing it on your own paid off. It has something distinctly different and more sophisticated and stylish than might have been possible with a store-bought pattern. Well done.

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    1. Hey Susan! So good to see you're still following along on my sewing adventures. Yes, every now and then you need to mix it up and just go for it - working on a patternless design. I'm just thankful it turned out so well.

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  12. I'm not usually a fan of circle vest/jackets but I Love this! Thank you for posting the link. It almost makes me wish it was winter here ;)

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    1. Valerie - I know what you mean but this one is pretty stylish and sophisticated. Tuck the idea away because it will be fall before you know it!

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  13. I love this, you styled it perfectly!

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  14. I always wondered (been skeptical) about the easy sewing tutorials for vests/wraps/cardis/etc that seem to live on Pinterest. But this looks terrific!

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    1. Clio - I know what you mean and I steer clear of most of them too. But Melanie had a finished project and I trust her sewing abilities, that's why I wanted to make this!

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  15. Brilliant. I have an RTW version I love and was going to take it apart to draft but I will definitely do this first. Thanks for your blog so much ...it's made me happy during a tough time to share your joy in creation.

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    1. Convict outpost - I'm glad that you will be able to make one of your own...and I'm just sharing my love of sewing with hopefully liked minded sewists!

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  16. A couple of my ASG members have made these from knit. This makes them even more drapey. And with some no-ravel knits you don't have to finish anything. I have also seen RTW versions out of 2 coordinating prints, one inside and one out. So keep making them , there are lots of possibilities.

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    1. Patricia - I thought about making one from a knit but I need to find a beefy one in the collection. I'm sure I have one just have to decide if I want to use it for this trendy item.

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  17. What size did you actually make your circle? I'm built pretty similar to you and my circle at 30" was nowhere near big enough for the drape you got out of yours. I ended up giving my beautifully stitched cape to a skinnier friend! :(

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    1. Seriously 30" on a piece of fabric folded in half to get a total of 60"

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    2. Thank you! I will try again. :)

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  18. Wow Carolyn, how did I miss this post??? This wrap is AWESOME!! You did a magnificent job creating this and it looks absolutely FABULOUS on you too!!!

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    1. Myra - you should definitely make one of these! It's so quick and awesome to wear!

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  19. Made this today. Thank you so much for posting the link. I love it. A fabulous quick easy project that looks wonderful. I did make the armholes 8" as you suggested. Worked perfectly. Bless you.

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    1. Marie - I would love to see a picture of it! I'm glad the 8" worked for the armholes. I will remember it for my next version!

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