Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Easy Hand-Stitching

This falls in the mindless category. It is the kind of sewing that does not stretch my skills. Rather it is like comfort food. It makes me happy.

This vest is based on an out-of-print Cutting Line Designs, titled Pure and Simple. While I've made the shell in the envelope many, many times, this is the first time I've tried the jacket.

It's not exactly a wearable muslin because I ended up spending way more time on it than I would have if I were simply testing for fit. First I cut the 3 pieces out of corduroy and then out of a silk-cotton blend called Radiance. The next step was to quilt the two layers together using my favorite sashiko stitch in a simple vertical stripe. The thread is a variegated pearl cotton that ranges from light silver to deep charcoal.

After assembling the three quilted pieces into a vest, I began the next phase of hand-stitch. I trimmed excess lining away from each seam allowance, folded the raw edge of the corduroy SA under and slip-stitched it in place, attaching it only to the lining. Yep, that took a while too. I enjoyed every stitch.

The stripes do not match at the shoulders, so I covered the jarring shoulder seam with a bias tube in linen. I bound the armholes, the neckline and the front edges with the same linen. Evidently I really love that cinnamon color. The linen and pin-whale corduroy of the garment are almost exactly the same shade.

To finish the hem, I added a bias strip made from some gray tone-on-tone shirting, and once again secured it to the lining with a slip stitch.

Right now, this vest is a nice work horse for me. Light but warm, wash and wear, comfortable. Yet I think I want to add something else to it. I have this pretty silver and cinnamon tie from the thrift store, purchased for $0.25. Hmmm...

And I have more plans for this basic jacket pattern.


  1. The simple design of the vest allows your artwork to shine. It's really lovely.

  2. Beautiful vest, love the stitching.

  3. Lovely! Sashiko adds such elegance for a simple stitch.

  4. Martha, I think your interpretation of the pattern elements, and your use of fabric and stitching translated into a beautiful vest that looks like it will coordinate with so many things! BTW, this this is the second time I've written a comment. It's very frustrating on google to comment, preview or publish and then have it disappear.