How to make a vest from a plaid shirtcomments (10) March 8th, 2013
Come on, admit it: You've got an old flannel shirt in your closet collecting dust right now. Well, shake it off and get sewing-turn that shirt into a cute vest. Here, I'll show you how to do it. I cut the collar and the sleeves, created new patch pockets, and added rows of pretty tucks to take in the extra bulk.
Before you begin, wash the shirt, and try it on. Measure how much you want to take in on each side seam. Here, new patch pockets were applied, but you could just sew the old pockets back on to save a little time and effort. The vest edges here were left raw for a rustic look, but feel free to finish them with bias tape or other trim for even more contrast.
What You'll Need:
First, take the shirt apart
1. Take off the pockets. With a seam ripper, carefully remove the pockets and pocket flaps. If the shirt has manufacturer registration markings from under the pocket, remove them.
2. Remove the arms. Use scissors to cut off the sleeves, leaving the seam behind. The seam will prevent the vest from fraying too much after washing.
3. Cut off the top. Remove the top of the shirt, just below the back yoke. Use the lines in the plaid to help you cut a straight line across the back and front.
Tucks not only add style, but they also take in the extra bulk.
1. Measure and mark the tucks with chalk. For each side of the shirt, determine how many tucks will take in the correct amount of fabric. A 1⁄4-inch tuck takes in 1⁄2 inch of fabric. I wanted to take in a total of 8 inches on each side seam, so on each side, I marked 8 tucks for 4 inches in front and 8 tucks for 4 inches in back.
2. Sew the tucks. For each tuck, fold the fabric along the chalk line so the wrong sides are together. Sew 1⁄4 inch away from the fold to make the tuck. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each tuck.
Add the finishing touches
Use buttons from the leftover shirt pieces to secure the collar and leftover fabric to create patch pockets.
1. Sew the shoulder seams. Turn the vest inside-out, and pin the shoulder seams (right sides together). Then try it on, and reposition the pins to adjust the fit. The length of your shoulder seam determines the size of the collar. Here, the shoulder seam is 1 1⁄2 inch long. With right sides together, sew a 1⁄2-inch seam allowance; make sure that all of the pin tucks point toward the center of the vest.
2. Finish the neck. Sew a 1⁄2-inch seam allowance around the edge of the neckline. This will prevent it from fraying too much after washing.
3. Secure the collar. Remove two buttons from the leftover sleeves or the top of the shirt. Fold the collars down at the neckline to determine where to place the buttons that will secure them. Hand-sew the buttons.
4. Cut out the pockets. From each sleeve piece, cut out one 6 1⁄2-inch by 6-inch rectangle on the bias.
5. Fold the pocket edges. Turn down the top edge of each pocket 1 inch, and press. Turn under the sides and bottom edge of the pocket 1⁄2 inch, and press.
6. Sew the pockets in place. Pin the pockets on the vest front, making sure that the edges of the pockets are aligned with the plaid on the vest. Sew 1⁄4 inch from the edges along the sides and bottom of each pocket.
Excerpted from "Lumberjack Revival" in CraftStylish: Restyle It