Thursday, January 12, 2017

Simple Zen Vest

Yet another piece from my current favorite pattern, the Now and Zen from the Sewing Workshop:

Fabric: a remnant I purchased at Gail K, 1 3/8 yd (60 w) for $17. It is a wonderful medium weight wool - soft to the touch, easy to sew, even nice next to my neck, and a beautiful rich navy blue. It's so dark that it does not photograph well.

Changes I made:

  • omitted sleeves and used silk dupioni to bind the raw edges.
  • added patch pockets on lower fronts.
  • stitched to back pleat together for about an inch at the waist line.
  • reshaped the front facing so that it does not fold twice; rather it folds once, creating a wider front facing.

This was a fairly easy make as it is unlined. I did hand-finish the raw edges on all the seams but otherwise it came together quickly. 

Things I like a lot:
  • the back pleat
  • the collar that can be worn folded back or up to keep my neck warm
  • the overall simplicity of it
  • the color and weight of the fine wool
Now I'm trying to decide if it needs buttons. I don't think I'd really button it but maybe that would give it a little more pizzazz. It's plain but I like that it will go with so many things I wear.

This is a fun collar. It is a tube with the ends (at the front) open. I suppose you could slip a scarf through it. The raw edges of the collar are easily tucked away with the top-stitching. You can just barely see the top-stitching above.

I thought about using the collar from the Now shirt. It is a double collar where the inside collar is more narrow than the outside collar. But it does lead to 4 layers of collar - too much for this wool. Overall, I call this a success!

Hope your sewing is going smoothly in January.


  1. What a great-looking outfit! That vest is exactly what I need in my wardrobe. I have the pattern, and a roomful of fabric, now all I need is the time.

  2. Now I absolutely love this vest! The fabric sounds so nice. This is something I could easily use here in our climate (where the A/C just kicked on a few minutes ago! Snow last week; A/C this week. I so seldom need a coat, but something like this would be perfect!

  3. Lovely! I made this once years ago. The collar is indeed fun and interesting. I like what you did with pinching in the pleat at the waist.

  4. What a great idea to stitch the pleat together at the waist! I love that.