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2.22.2011

Jean vest construction!

As I left yesterday as a post, I've spent the last two days sewing myself a jean vest which I believe looks very good :) HOWEVER, the design wasn't intentional at first. I cut my pieces too small and I just decided to go with it. So, here's the pictures of the construction:

Project is also based off this tutorial: CLICK HERE
Mine isn't very detailed, this chick's IS. So if you don't understand what I'm doing here, refer to that tutorial.

That's a picture of the 90% finished product. All you need to make this is:

+ Large pair of jeans (I used a size bigger than my size, but like stated, the vest was constructed to fix my too small pieces)
+ Durable thread
+ Strong needle
+ Pins
+ Measuring tape (to measure your body) / ruler (for the pieces)

OPTIONAL (but suggested, I had to handsew this whole thing)
+ Sewing machine

Click for more photos:



1.) I cut off the legs of the pants. I made shorts first, so these are the leftover legs.

2.) Cut open along one of the seams. If you're a larger size, you'll need a larger size pant.

3.) Depending on the back of the vest you want, fold the pant in half and sketch your template on the jean. Just like when you make a heart from folded paper, you want your design to be symmetrical. I went with a racer-back style. And I got this:

And opened up it looks like this:

(NOTE: I made two backs in case I made a mistake with one. This one I made a back with a seam going up. As you can tell, I made it uneven. The other back I made only has the seam along the bottom, making it the more suitable back.)

4.) Cut off the two sides pieces needed. They have to be measured correctly so when sewn on, they can look even. 
I REALLY suggest using the link at the beginning of this post to have your template and measurements. I freehanded most of this tutorial. For the armholes, I measured the back from the top to the end of the bottom curve (which was about 9 inches for me) and cut holes about 9 inches high and about 5 to 6 inches wide for room of my shoulders. Then the total height was about 13 inches. Like I said, those were my incorrect measurements that lead to this accidental vest style haha.

5.) When measured, place the pieces in their proper places. REALLY make sure it's how you want it positioned. Then pin in place.

6.) Then sew the sides to the back. You can use whatever stitching method you prefer; machine with a straight, zigzag, whatever you think is suitable. I am scared of machines, so I handsewed and tried my best with a straight stitch which I went over two times to make sure it was tight and secure.

This is what it looked like:

On me:
That's the side.

And the back.

That's how my TOO SMALL vest originally was. If you used a proper technique (like the link in the beginning of this post), you ended up with a very nice, probably fitting vest. Now, if yours ended up WAY small, you MAY want to follow the rest of my tutorial/story.

7.) Now you have a vest. Maybe a too small vest. For me, the sides were pretty much right next to my boobs. Vests typically COVER the chest in some small way. The main thing that prevent this vest from staying more further was the rounded shape of my sides. To straighten it, my friend Josh suggested I pull the material up and sewing it in a straight line into square it up.

This is what I ended up with on both sides of the vest. I pulled up more of the middle side to straighten it, causing this triangular stitching above the straight hem. If you can't see it, look REALLY carefully above the straight light.

And the inside stitching (you see the triangle now?)

Lets see some pictures of our newly altered vest (by the new shirt is because this was the SECOND day I worked on it):
Okay, so it's now LESS in the armpit area haha.

One hemmed side (it puckered a bit. I didn't pin and sew it correctly.)

The perfect straight hem line hahaha.

I decided not to alter the back.

Before I move onto Step 8, I need to tell you about what I wanted to do next. After this, I thought the vest looked a bit too plain and STILL was too far apart. I decided I wanted to add jean ruffle under the straight hem. I brought the idea to my friend Josh (my brother from another mother who lives with us) and he sketched out a cool way to get it to be pulled together better:

He suggested making asymmetric opposite fasten. When both clasped, it forms a cool band-feeling jacket. I think it looks like a bustier, but a very cooler one haha. Which leads me to the next step then I guess:

8.) Measure the distances between the sides (ours was 19cm), the length of the diagonal pieces (ours was 22cm), and the width (about 12.5cm for us). Cut out the pieces (providing an extra inch to work with) and pin. You can trim off the excess.

9.) SEW!!!! And make sure you know where your BUTTONS will be. If you make it too short or too long, it may mess up the positioning.

So, this is a picture of my vest around Step 8 or 9:
I hadn't sewn it or trimmed it yet, so I have a large chunky square bottom to it.

Here it is sewn and trimmed.

And my little button.

Your measurements are REALLY important for the fastens. I ended up fattening my top flap by accident, leaving no room for a bottom one. That's when I decided to leave it as is, as an asymmetrical fasten. It gives it a unique style.

Better pictures of the finished product:
I made a hideous face during this pic, pardon the blackout

Obviously, it would look A LOT better on a plain, or really simple shirt, however, I love the way it ended up. I have to admit though, it looks better in person than in photos. Take my word though, it's nice :)

And that's how I ended up with my stellar vest. If you want to borrow the style, go for it. Sometimes the best things come from accidents :)

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