Wednesday, December 10, 2014

25 Days of Christmas: Day 9 - Ugly Quilted Christmas Vest with Free Pattern!

I don't know how on earth this became a trend, but a trend it did become - wearing the TACKIEST Christmas items you can find.  It started out as sweaters, but honestly, they are so in demand these days, it's hard to find a legitimate one at the local Goodwill.  They are even so popular, people are making recreations and selling them for $35/each or more...SERIOUSLY??  For something that ugly??  I won't even spend that on something I like!!

Well, our MOPS group was having our Christmas party today, and tacky Christmas gear was on the menu.  I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to DO this ;P

I vaguely remember quilted vests being a thing with grownups when I was least the grandmas and elementary teachers.  Maybe I'm making that up, but I thought it'd be pretty sweet to make one of those.  I also had a ridiculous amount of crazy Christmas fabric on hand, and also some leftover quilt batting.  Score!  So really, I made this vest for free - ain't nothin' better than that in my book!!

Here's how I did it:

Paper pattern (download Women's sizes 2-20 here)

Scissors (fabric and paper)
sewing supplies - machine, thread, pins, etc.
At least 2 yards of fabric and 1 yard of batting, or at least 1 yard of pre quilted fabric, and 1/4 yard of contrasting fabric for the pockets
Roll of Grosgrain ribbon
Decorative christmas ribbon for the pockets.

Print the pattern (It fits pretty snugly in the armpit region after all the quilting and french seams on the one I made, so I lowered the armscye a bit.  If in doubt, make one the next size up - in this case, baggier is actually better)

Tape your pattern tiles together, lining up marks, alphanumerals and lines, and cut out your pattern.

For the size 6/8, I used about 2 yards of fabric (1 for outer and 1 for lining) and about 1 yard of the batting.  Smaller sizes will use less, larger sizes will use more.  The nice thing about this is you don't have to use straight yardage.  If you wanted to patch pieces together, that would work, too ;)

Okay, onto the quilting.  You can do this one of 2 ways.  You can either make a sandwich with your entire yardage and quilt it, or you can cut your pieces out individually and quilt them like that.  I did it individually, but I think next time, I would quilt all the yardage.  That way, it's already pre-quilted and you don't have to cut edges off when the fabric shifts (which it will).  OR, you can completely bypass this process and buy pre quilted fabric.  Again, I did it this way because 1.) I suck at quilting and was just guessing, and 2.) was just using up what I already had because I refused to spend money on something so ugly.  If you go the pre quilted route, you'll only need to buy 1 yard for the size 6/8 and no need for batting.

IF you choose to quilt all your yardage, skip to the section below on quilting.

IF you choose to cut your fabric and then quilt, START HERE.

Cut your back piece with the center back on the fold, so you will have one back piece.  Cut one of the outer fabric, one of the inner fabric, and one of the batting.

Cut your front pieces.  Make sure that you cut one on the right side of the fabric and one on the wrong side of the fabric, so that they will face each other.  Do this with both the outer and lining fabric.  The batting direction doesn't matter, so just cut 2 of those however you'd like.

Cut 2 pockets out of the contrasting fabric.

Mark where the pockets should go on the front pieces with your tracing wheel and paper, or you can just eyeball it.  Obviously, I eyeballed it and that's why they're crooked.  It all adds to the charm, right?!?

Here's where we start quilting.  Again, I am not a quilter, so this is probably all wrong.  But the way I see, it's SUPPOSED to look tacky, so we're good either way ;P

Make a sandwich of your fabric, laying your lining right side down, place the batting on top, then lay your outer fabric on top right side up.  It will look like this.

Start pinning.  Find the center and pin there, then pin in a line up and down from there.  Pin out from there in horizontal and vertical lines.

For each piece you quilt, start at your center pin.  Sew diagonally out to one edge from the center point.  Go back to the center point and sew the the other side, so you now have one full line across the piece.

Now you want to make an "x".  Go back to your center point and start sewing out to the edge in a line perpendicular to your original line.  Go back to center and finish out that line toward the other side.  You should now have a full x across your piece.

Now, pick one line of the "x" and sew parallel lines to it all the way across.  Switch to the other set of lines and do the same thing.

You should have an entirely quilted piece!  If you did that to all your yardage, now you will cut out all your pieces as listed before (back center on fold, and 2 front pieces one on the right side and one on the wrong side)

If you are doing it by piece, continue until all three of your main pieces are quilted.


Now to assemble them.  We're going to make this so it could theoretically be reversible, so we will be doing French Seams.

Lay your back piece right side down on the floor, and lay your front pieces right side up on top - just like it will look complete.  Pin the shoulders and sides together, then sew your pieces together.  Trim close to the seam.

Flip wrong side out and sew those same seams again on the inside.  You will be enclosing the original seams, so both sides look nice and clean.  Flip back to the right side.

From the inside
At this point, check your armhole fit - it tends to run a little snug, so if this is the case, just trim some off before finishing the edges.

Take your grosgrain (I used Satin and it is fraying, so I'd for sure use grosgrain) and pin it along all raw edges on the front side.  We are using it as a facing.  At the corners, trim the ribbon and start again on the next side.  Sew all the way along the front of the ribbon.

Flip the ribbon to the inside of the fabric and pin down.  I didn't get a picture of this apparently as I can't find one, but you can see it in the finished pictures I think.  Sew with a straight stitch close to the ribbon edge on the inside.  If you'd like more detail, you can go back over it with a zigzag stitch in a contrasting color.  Don't forget your armholes.  They need to be finished, too ;)

Now for the pockets:

Cut out your rectangles and iron under all seam allowances.  Sew the top of the pocket, and add some rick rack in a cross shape if you want it to look like a present.

Keep edges folded under and pin to the front of your vest where you made your markings.  Sew around the 2 sides and bottom - leave the top open. 

 Make a bow out of ribbon and stick to the top of the pocket.

That's it!  You're all done!  You could embellish this further however you'd like, but at 1 in the morning, I was SO done ;P

And here it is in action - pretty hot, right??  ;P  Ugh ;)

If you make one, I'd LOVE to see what you come up with!  Post pics in the comments :D

Also, since I'm still learning this pattern drafting software, I love any input you can give me to make it the best pattern it can be.  Thanks!

Merry Christmas, ya' filthy animals ;)

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