I knew I wanted to add a vest to my fall capsule, and there aren’t very many indie vest patterns on the market. In fact, the Dropje Vest** by Waffle Patterns may be one of the only ones! (Hint to indie designers — make a vest!). But the pattern was really good. I made no fit alterations, and it ended up fitting exactly how I like straight out of the envelope.
I did have one gripe about this pattern — it’s not lined. Sure, I could have used a heavy coating fabric or quilted fabric to add some warmth. But I didn’t have coating fabric (and nice stuff can be expensive) and I hate quilting with a passion. A lining was the obvious choice for me to add warmth to this vest. I had several cuts of cotton flannel in my stash, so I picked one that worked and went to work drafting a lining.
It wasn’t too hard to figure out. The main thing was what to do with the facings? Normally, I would just trim down the lining pieces and attach it to the facings as separate pieces. But the darts at the neck in this pattern make that very difficult. Instead, I cut whole front and back pieces out of my lining fabric, and sewed the facing pieces on top of those lining pieces.
To do that, I just folded the outside edge of the facings under 1/4 inch and then topstitched it down to the lining piece. I basted the other side to hold everything in place.
My other modification was to eliminate the hood in favor of a tall collar. I actually really dislike hoods, and most vests and sweatshirts come with them. I never use hoods and find them very annoying, so I just eliminated it.
My main vest fabric is actually worth a mention. It’s a 100% Pendleton wool shirting fabric that I purchased from an individual Etsy seller (don’t ask me who — it was almost a year ago and I don’t remember!). I only had a yard of this fabric, but I was able to eek out all the pieces I needed. I even cut all the facings from my Pendleton, though I did have to cut one of my collar pieces as two. If I was doing the hood there’s no way I would have had enough fabric, but eliminating that made it work!
So if you’re looking for a good vest pattern, check out this one!
Fabric: Plaid Pendleton wool shirting purchased on Etsy for the outside, and cotton flannel for the lining.
Difficulty: Intermediate. There are a few steps to put this vest together, particularly with a lining like I did. However, the vest is drafted very well and it really went together without a hitch.
Techniques required: Sewing darts, installing a zipper, installing facings (as drafted) or a lining (my method).
Modifications: I added a lining. As drafted, this vest is unlined. That design choice always kind of puzzles me. Chances are if you’re in a climate where you’re making a vest for fall, you need the extra warmth provided by either a lining or quilted fabric. Since I didn’t feel like quilting my fabric (I dread quilting and will avoid it at almost any cost), I figured out how to do a lining.
I also turned the hood into a tall collar. I actually hate hoods and never wear them. One of the reason I wanted to start making more of my layering pieces is to make a hoodie without a hood, or a vest with a tall collar rather than a hood.
Fit: Really good, actually. I made no fit modifications, but the fit on this is pretty much exactly what I like in a vest.
Pattern format: PDF. The pattern piece wasn’t ridiculous, particularly considering how many pieces there were. The pattern designer is Japanese (I think) so these patterns are drafted with the option to have seam allowances included or excluded. I opted to include the seam allowances. I did have trouble with the instructions in certain parts. The language used just didn’t make sense and I had to read it several times. Luckily, there were lots of illustrations, which I prefer for tricky bits, so I was able to study those and figure it all out.
- Fills a surprisingly void in the indie pattern market — I was surprised at how few vest patterns are available.
- Really good fit. This was my first time using Waffle patterns, and I was very pleased with the overall fit.
- Good drafting. The pieces all fit together well, the shape was good, and there were lots of nice, thoughtful details included.
- No lining included. To get any real warmth from this pattern, you really have to either use a heavy or quilted fabric or draft a lining. I opted for the latter.
- No collar option in lieu of the hood. I don’t like hoods, so I cut off the hood piece and made a tall collar instead.
Overall grade: B. I really do like this pattern. The fit was good and it went together well. But I think the lack of a lining is a big oversight in a pattern like this as a lining makes the insides so much more pretty and the overall garment so much more versatile.
** My usual disclaimer. Go To Patterns provided the Dropje Vest pattern free of charge for this blog tour. I believe that my opinions were not affected by this freebie, but research and experience has shown that getting free stuff inevitably affects opinions regardless of the purity of my intentions. I maintain that my opinions are my own, but please assign to them whatever size grain of salt you believe necessary!