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Sewing Tutorial - Christmas Vest - Step 2

If you've been following this free tutorial on how to make a cool Faux Knit Christmas Vest using For Fabrics Sake's latest Christmas Knit Fabric then you'll no doubt want to know how to cut it out and sew up the vest after tracing and creating your Vest pattern from a Tshirt in Step 1.

If you haven't done that step yet head on over to Step 1 first before proceeding with this step.

Now onto Step 2 - cutting out your Vest.

Step 2 - Cutting Out the Vest

Now you've created your pattern its time to lay out your fabric and position your pattern piece for cutting out.

Grab your Faux Knit Christmas fabric and fold it in half checking the grain is running the right way (up and down) run your hand down the fabric to test its nap is running the right way too (it shouldn't resist your hand if it does make sure the pattern runs with the top of the pattern is in the direction of the resistance and the bottom is towards the non-resistant side. Place the pattern piece against the fold. Fold the back flap piece you created in step 1 out of the way and either pin or use pattern weights to make sure its not in the way while you cut the front piece out. If you added the waistband line in Step 1 make sure that is also folded up out of the way too.

Cut out your front piece of the vest.

Depending on how much of the Faux Knit you have you can either fold again and cut the back out of the Faux Knit or grab a coordinate knit (like I have) to cut your back out. Again fold your fabric and check the nap and grain. Lay your pattern piece against the fold. This time leave the back flap in the correct position and cut it out on the fold. Again if you are opting for the waistband version fold the bottom against the line as shown in the picture below.

Now you should have your back and your front pieces.

You will need some Coordinating Ribbing or Cotton Elastane to use as bands. I use the measure and cut method to create bands. So I lay the ribbing out and mark using my ruler a long strip along the rib (so lines running up and down) and cut approximately a 3-4cm wide strip along the WOF (Width of Fabric).

Sewing up your Vest and Cutting the Neckband

Now you have cut out the Vest and a long strip its time to start putting your Vest together. You can do this with an overlocker or standard sewing machine using a short zig-zag stitch its up to you. I have used both in this tutorial. I personally prefer the overlocker as my old Elna isn't so great on knits anymore. You also use either pins or Wonder Clips depending on your preference.

  • Clip or pin the shoulders together right side to right side front to back.

  • Stitch the shoulder seams

  • Fold the vest at the necklines, laying the neckline flat and measure the length of one side of the top from the centre back fold to the V neck edge write this measurement down. Multiply that number by 2. (e.g. 30x2 = 60cm). Mutiply the result by 0.85 (60cm x 0.85 = 51cm) this will be the length of your neckband. Trim your previously cut ribbing strip (the 4cm wide by WOF piece) to that length plus about 1cm at each end. (So make the neckband about 53cm long)

I didn't sew my shoulders together in my picture but I do recommend doing that first as its more accurate.

Fold and iron your ribbing piece lengthways then lay it under your folded front near the V-Neck Fold. Make a mark then trim the ribbing along that mark.

You should now have a piece that has a V cut out of the end.

Open out your folded ribbing and bring the other end of the ribbing piece under your newly cut end of ribbing and trim it to match. You now have a precut rib neckline.

in the two ends together (right side to right side) and using a standard sewing machine stitch with straigh stitch the ribbed ends together.

Clip the ribbing towards the V piece without cutting into the stitching itself. Fold the ribbing again along its length and iron flat. Lay it over the V-Neck on the front of the Vest. Clip the front of the Vest to approximately 1cm on the V itself.

Pin or clip one side of the ribbing to the neckline starting at the snipped V neck and ending on the Centre back (more or less) using an overlocker stitch from the centre back to the front taking care not to stitch beyond the V neck snipping or catching the other side of the Vest front.

Repeat previous step on the other side taking care when you get to the end as this bit will be quite tricky and its easy to fold or pleat the V-Neck point when doing it. If you feel unsure about this bit you can skip using the overlocker and use the standard sewing machine to do the tip then overlock after. I find it easier to start and finish at the Centre back but you can start wherever you're more comfortable.

Iron neckline down pushing the seam towards the vest pieces. Topstitch the neckline if you want (I used a small zig-zag stitch to topstitch the neckline)

Cut another long 3cm-4cm wide strip of ribbing. Fold and iron along its length. Clip or pin this along the armholes, right side to right side. Slightly stretching along the curves of the armholes. Trim off the end if its too long. Stitch the ribbing along the armhole with either a small zig-zag or overlocker. Iron the ribbing down. You can choose to topstitch at this point or leave as is.

You can see here how the armhole binding is done.

Lay the front and back together along the side seams and pin and clip together. Overlock side seams together including the ribbed armhole. Do the same for the other side.

If you are not doing the waistband you can continue on here to hem the vest however you want.

To create the waistband (optional step)

Lay your vest right side to right side down and measure the bottom edge. Multiply this measurement by 2. (e.g. 40cm x 2 = 80cm) Multiply the result by 0.85 to get the length of your waistband needed. (e.g. 80cm x 0.85 = 68cm).

Cut a length of ribbing to that measurement by 8-10cm wide depending on what size your vest is. (if you are making for a toddler I'd suggest 8cm wide).

Stitch the short ends of your waistband together. Fold the waistband in half lengthways and iron. Mark your waistband into quarters.

Clip the waistband to the base of your vest matching seam of the waistband to one side seam of the Vest. Fold your Vest in half and match the centers of your Vest to the centers of your Waistband. Overlock your waistband to your Vest bottom.

You'll need to stretch slightly between your clips on the waistband to ensure it fits nicely. Try to make your stretches fairly even between the clips so as to not cause bunches.

And you are Done! You've just created your Christmas Vest! Well Done!!

Now go make a few more now you know how easy they are to make. Time for that silly Christmas photo in matching Christmas Vests! :-)

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