Sunday, October 24, 2010

JJill Vest - Part 2 The Construction

I sewed a relatively small amount this evidenced by the fact that this simple vest is not done.  Here is where it stands:

I called the vest simple because there are only three pieces needed to complete this look...but being plus sized...vests and jackets that aren't in my size always present fitting challenges.  And this was no different...I know that very few women can sew a garment straight from the pattern envelope and I guess I'm just angry with myself that I solved one fitting challenge and created another.

What is my challenge?  This:

I was going for a look that is closer to the neckline.  However, when I added inches to the front of the vest by adding a band, I widened the neckline of the finished garment.  Now at the time, I didn't think about this.  I dutifully added the same inches to the neckband and was actually proud of myself that I remembered to increase the width of the neckband.  But the three inches that I increased the neckband is exactly what took it from closer fitting to cowl neck.

Now don't get me wrong, this is a cute look.  Different from what I was going for and it probably will be a great piece in my work wardrobe.  It's just not what I planned on making.  I'm thrilled that it fits around my body and is a great length.  I'm just going to have to work out another way to add width to the body of the vest without affecting the neckline.

I also found some great buttons in the collection to go on this.

It has a little bit of black/white and gray in it.  It adds something to the front of the vest but not too much.  So all that's left to complete this is to finish the armholes, I'm going to use a black knit binding to do that...make the buttonholes, sew on the buttons and hem it.  Probably about an hour or two worth of work...but I just got discouraged when I came up with another "Carolyn Original" instead of a knock-off of the JJill vest.

My daughter thinks it's really cute so I will finish it and take pics of me in it so you can judge for yourself.  I think I will even wear it on a Friday with a black turtleneck and black pants.  But it's not exactly what I was going I'm back to the drawing board. always, more later!


  1. Looks great, no matter what, however - what if you added in a piece at the neckline (sort of facing-shaped) to bring the neckline to where you want it to be? You probably don't want to mess with that at this stage, though.

  2. That is disappointing that the neckline isn't exactly what you'd envisioned, but it IS cute an interesting... the finished vest will be another classy piece for your work wardrobe, for sure!

  3. I know it's not what you were going for, but it's wearable and cute. Will you try the pattern again?

  4. It still looks like an interesting vest and will certainly be stylish. Have you thought about neck darts? They would allow you to keep the width at the bust line, but narrow down the opening around the neck.

  5. That fabric is awesome. I have been looking for some just like that. Where did you get it?

  6. I think it's really cute just as it is! I'm sure you'll make it again so you can bring the shoulder line in a bit at the neck and reshape to bring it in closer - an easy fix.

  7. The vest with your new "design element" is great as it is, but I know how you feel when it's not like what was in your head.

    As a plus sizer myself, I know that just adding to the sideseams doesn't always cut it, unless you want a Judy Jetson look. ;-) One of my quickie tricks is to slice from the middle of the shoulder to the hem, leaving a hinge at the shoulder, and then spread. This doesn't affect the upper chest very much because there's hardly any spread up there, but it does give more room over the tummy and hips, where I need it (and works for the back too, over the derriere). I then true the shoulder angle back to where it was.

    I know you know how to make patterns fit you, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

    Have a great week, Carolyn!

  8. First of all, it's a darling addition to your wardrobe and I think the buttons are perfect. But secondly I have to tell you that it was actually an inspiration to me to find that such an accomplished sewer as you are can actually have some problems that you have to overcome, since I seem to have problems like that ALL the time, lol.

  9. These things happen. Often in the end the design is the better for it and I think that applies here.

  10. I know it's not exactly how you envisioned it, but I like where it's going. The buttons are perfect!

  11. I don't know what the original pattern for the neck band looked like, but perhaps if you were to make it contoured, rather than straight, that would work with the increased front, as well as needing it narrower to hug the neck.

    Just a thought. Lovely fabric.


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