It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Not So Kwik Sew Fleece Vest....

Yes indeed....MORE Fleece!!!!  Probably the last of the season, but not my last for ever, I'm sure - love the stuff!

This is another piece for the PR mini-wardrobe contest - Kwik Sew 3813.  It seemed that it might have the potential to look like a nice RTW piece, and it did not disappoint - I'm happy with the results :)

Here's the pattern view:

And my finished piece:
(and I know it looks like Spring in my garden, but trust me, I'm STILL appreciating the fleece pieces I've made - it's another grey, chilly, stormy day outside today!)

I used Polartec 200 Fleece ( the green) and a wind & water resistant Malden Mills fabric for the contrast.   The contrast is layered over the fleece, so it's a toasty warm covering on the upper torso.  The front zipper is a YKK separating zipper.   I discovered that it's not so easy finding a good quality 6" zipper!  (needed for the welt pocket)  After buying a 7" zip & UNsuccessfully trying to undo the zipper end, I ended up doing what I've always done in the past - securing the end with lots of heavy duty thread, hand sewing the zipper end so that nothing (hopefully) will EVER get past it.
Showing the green fleece, & back & front of the WindBloc fabric.  Both fabrics are ravel-free; the windbloc is tough - use fresh needles!  I had heard that fleece is hard on rotary blades, & sure enough, after this project it was unquestionably time to replace the blade in my rotary cutter!

My favorite part of the whole project - I got to use my brand new labels!  I sewed the label  on a strip of fleece, reinforced it with ribbon on the back, & sewed the whole strip on to the neck seam before sewing the collar down.   I got the labels from Heirloom Woven Labels - they were recommended to me, & I'm happy to say that I can pass on the recommendation :)  

The finished label:

One of the details I didn't like was the zipper guard - it had a tendency to curl at the top, & when it did that it just looked wrong, so I trimmed it.   I also serged all of the inside seams (I really don't like unfinished seams, even if the fabric is non-fraying) Here's the original curve on the zipper guard:

And after I trimmed it.  I used a decorative stitch along the edge of the fleece to give it a bit more stability - the stitching is subtle, but I like the look.

The upper welt pocket is zippered.  I added a zip pull with a strip of fleece.  I discovered that if you cut a strip of fleece & stretch it out, you end up with a strong, thin bit that you can use for embellishment, & even use it as really thick thread!   This strip happens to be a serged edge that got trimmed, & I added a bead I had by hand sewing the bead on to the end.  I took a bit of a risk by doing all of my topstitching in green, which gives a nice pop to the blackish fabric (and also, of course, shows every little waver.....)

Some views of the finished vest, zipped, unzipped, etc:

Notes about the sizing:  I sewed a Medium, which, for Kwik Sew knit tops, is usually about right for me (with tweaks to the shoulders, and grading out at the waist & hips).   By the time I finished this, I had trimmed WAY back at the shoulder edges (I think they're drafted on the wide side) fact I completely re-drafted the armscyes & took the side seams in as well.  I suspect that, even though this layers over thick tops very nicely, I could have sewed a small, which is actually the appropriate size for my measurements.  I choose a KS medium for knit tops because I'm way past the age & body type where I'm comfy in a tight-fitting, thin knit top!  This top, however, seems to fit more appropriately for the listed measurements.

Bottom Line?   Wonderful pattern!!!  I will sew the jacket version too, & I'm sure this will get a lot of wear (it is already!)   This is one of those pieces that surprises people when they find out it's homemade...don't you just love that?

Next up:   View C of the Marcy pants (almost done, in fact!)


shams said...

Really cute, Jilly! You really have the knack for making great pieces and choosing great fabric(s).

Jilly Be said...

Thank you shams! Coming from you, that really means a lot :) :) :)

Rebecca said...

Very cute vest! I love those labels, I might have to get some of those. :]

Jilly Be said...

Thanks Rebecca! I've added a link to the company I ordered my labels from :)

glorm said...

Oh, wow---just great. And love the labels; they are so professional looking.

A suggestion for those who have machines which have alphabets is to embroider your wording on ribbon and use that as a label.

Jilly Be said...

Thanks Gloria! Yes, if I had embroidery options, I wouldn't have ordered labels, but I really do love mine!

Lori said...

Great vest, all the details are so professinal and the label is perfect.

cam--carla said...

Love your jacket! Thanks for the info on the labels!