Learn How to Make a Simple Vest Zippity Quick With Free Pattern!

There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to make something and then use it on the same day. Especially, when it comes to making something you can wear. Here is a garment that does just that. Sew it in the morning, or even the afternoon, and wear it tonight. What couldn’t be more fun?!

Here’s how to sew a circle scarf for a sew-in-a-day project, you’ll love for months to come!

belted vest

This tutorial will help you make a circle style vest that can be worn two ways, creating two different, yet equally adorable, looks. It can be worn as either a regular vest, which looks great belted over a pair of jeans. Or, wear it as an easy, unstructured bolero-style cardigan/vest.

What about the pattern?

It’s a one-size fits all version, but it can be adjusted to fit any smaller or larger figure. The vest measures 40 inches in width. For the vest to cover the hips, add or subtract enough to equal your own hip measurement. The best part, it can be made in a flash as it contains no seams, and if you use the right fabric, requires no hemming. How often does that happen!

Fabric choice

The convertible nature of the vest means it requires a piece of fabric that has no distinguishable right or wrong side. So any good tweed style wool or a solid color double knit works well. Furthermore, it is best made from fabric that either doesn’t fray (like the knit) or where the raw edges can be fringed (here the tweed works nicely) rather than hemmed for a great organic look. But, before you decide to fringe the edges make sure your fabric fringes evenly both on the crosswise and lengthwise grains.

That’s not to say the edges can’t be finished in another way or that a woven material that frays can’t be used. Binding the edges is a great way to deal with fraying edges. It simply adds more time towards completing the vest as quickly. Another great option is to serge the edges.

Here are the steps to making this super quick circle style vest:

1. Download the pattern from Craftsy.com

circle vest pattern
2. Adjust the dimensions accordingly to your hip measurement.

3. Cut out the fabric according to pattern instructions. You will need 1 1/4 yards of fabric.

use dishes for curves  pattern cut out

4. Stop! You need to make a few decisions before moving forward: To finish or un-finish the outer edge?

Choice A: For fabrics that don’t fray, simply do nothing. This is the easiest and fastest method, but it means the edges must be cut as cleanly and accurately as possible. Here is where a rotary cutter comes in handy. For those fabrics that do fray fringe, bind or serge the edges.

Choice B: To bind the edges. First decide how wide a binding you want. Anywhere from a finished width of ¼” to ½” looks great. Either purchase commercially made double fold bias tape or make your own bias strips. To make your own, cut strips of lightweight material that are 2” wide. To determine the finished length of the bias strip, measure the circumference of the vest’s outer edge and add at least 1” for seam allowances to join the ends. Use normal methods for applying bias tape to the outer edge.

Choice C: To fringe the edges. With your sewing machine sew a zigzag stitch around the outer perimeter of the vest using a ¼” to 3/8″ seam allowance. Set the length to 2mm and the width to 3mm. This will prevent the material from continuing to fringe with wear and serves as a bumper or stop point when fringing. Now, start carefully removing threads until you reach the zigzag stitching all around the outer edges.

5. To serge the edges. Simply set your serger to an overcast or narrow hem stitch and finish both the inner and outer edges.

serged edges

6. The last step is to finish the edge of the inner circle. Either bind or serger the edge to match the technique used for the outer edge. Or, fold the inner circle edge over by ¼” and edgestitch in place.

Styling the vest

As mentioned before, the vest can be worn in two ways. As a regular, belted vest insert your arms into the inner circle with the short part at the neck. Center the vest on the body and belt it in place. To wear it as a bolero insert your arms into the inner circle with the longer section at the neck. Center and drape over the body.

as a bolero

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