Cozy Woolen Vest!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! OK, I have a thesis for you: a fuzzy wool vest is the perfect transitional garment. Now, wait, don’t run away! Hear me out! They keep you warm in cool weather without limiting your mobility or leaving you with bulky sleeves that you need to roll up. They’re easy to toss on, over a tee, a sweater, or a jacket. You can wear them under a rain jacket or a windproof shell for an extra layer of warmth. And they give you an extra set of pockets to shove stuff into when you’re out walking the dogs or running errands. And how much nicer is soft, squishy wool than a static-y nylon vest? SO much nicer, dudes. Are you convinced?

I picked up this springy, fluffy wool knit with the original intention of a moto jacket. It was labeled as Rag & Bone, and it has plain knit stitches on the wrong side and a really woolly, brushed face on the other. Wouldn’t a moto jacket have looked cool?? But after some thought, I couldn’t justify another jacket- I have too many! And I have a sad, worn-out, cheap down vest that really needed replacing. So there it was! Now that I have a vest, I’m glad I do… I know I’ll be able to wear it more than yet ANOTHER jacket. 🙂

The pattern I used is the Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest. While this isn’t exactly faux fur, it’s spongy and really thick, so I knew that this would work well with a pattern intended for faux fur. It doesn’t have a lot of seam lines or a notched collar, which is great for a fabric that gets bulky fast. The pattern comes together really quickly, like a jacket lite. It’s amazing how much faster it is to sew something that doesn’t have sleeves to set in and hem!

Now, because this is a knit and the pattern is drafted for a woven, I was careful when handling and stitching. The pattern already called for the armholes, neckline, shoulder seams, and hem to be interfaced, which I would have done anyway. The interfacing kept things from stretching out and really gave a nice substantial feel to the seamlines. Also, I was between sizes, and I decided to size down, which worked well.

I used a universal needle and a longer stitch length (since the fabric is quite thick, a longer stitch length gets you to a normal-looking stitch) and just sewed it with a regular straight stitch. This worked really well. Since this is a wool knit, it pressed beautifully and the seams stayed nice and flat, even though they were fairly bulky. I was quite aggressive with clipping and notching to make sure that the curved seams in the shawl collar were nice and smooth.

I lined the vest with a textured silk leftover from the plaid jacket I made earlier this year, a purchase from Mood Fabrics NYC. It’s so nice using up odd bits from the stash, isn’t it? I also used a small piece of a different leftover silk to add pockets, which, in my opinion, are essential for a vest. I put them in 5″ below the armhole, which seemed like OK placement. I never know exactly where to put them when I add them myself! I do a lot of pinning and trying things on, but I still don’t feel confident when I stitch them in!

I’m so excited about this vest and I know I will wear it all the time! I have this weird winter wardrobe that’s black, white, and grey (don’t ask me why, but I’m not excited to wear colors in the cold weather), so this will mix and match with nearly everything in my closet! Hooray! What do you guys think? Would you sew or wear a vest?

One last item of business: this is my last post for the Mood Sewing Network. I’ve absolutely loved being a part of the network and trying out so many fun and special fabrics! I have too many irons in the fire right now, and I had to let a few things go, which is sad, but I’m so grateful to Mood for giving me this opportunity. I know that I wouldn’t be half the seamstress that I am today if it wasn’t for joining the blogging network- I really had to push myself to keep up with the other amazing bloggers! So thank you, Mood, and thank you, readers, for all your comments and suggestions! I’ve loved my time here!



  • Sallie
    October 5, 2015

    Whoa!! I’m torn between excitement at the fabulosity of your new vest, and sadness that I’ll no longer be seeing your happy face around here! I’ve been eyeballing that fabric online and I think you did it wonderful justice by turning it into this cozy vest. Thanks fo all you’ve put into MSN over the years! I always look forward to your posts, and I’ll of course be following along back on your home turf! Slow clap as Sonja exits the building…

    • Ginger Makes
      October 5, 2015

      Thank you, Sallie! I’d love to see what you would do with this fabric! Might be a little warm for Texas winter, but it really is lovely!

  • Amy
    October 5, 2015

    I just got to the end of the post, and my heart sank. I’m sorry to hear that you’re leaving MSN. I do understand having too many irons in the fire though. You will be sorely missed! What a fun way to go out though – with a very fashion forward vest!

    • Ginger Makes
      October 5, 2015

      Ahhh, thanks, Amy! You’re so kind! I’m excited to keep up with the happenings over here at MSN… I know you guys will make all kinds of fun stuff! 🙂

  • Peter
    October 6, 2015

    The vest is great — so comfy and warm looking. We will miss you on MSN!

  • Lori
    October 6, 2015

    I love your new vest, it is fabulous. I am sorry and saddened to hear you are leaving MSN. Good luck to you with all your projects and future endeavors.

  • Fiona
    October 7, 2015

    What an amazing fabric and great way to use it! Great sewing tips too! We are going to miss you and your creativity around here 🙁