My Hubby had a quadruple bypass 2 winters ago. Ever since then, he has had a hard time “keeping his core warm”. He has resorted to cutting the sleeves off sweat shirts and wearing the sweat shirt sleeveless, as part of his keeping warm agenda. I asked my Hubby what he would like in a warm vest. The next day he bought a sweat shirt and zipper for me to use to make one. Here we go on the adventure of creating a Warm Vest out of a Sweat Shirt.
A sweat shirt, new ($5-$10) or used (raid the closet)
24” jacket zipper (+/- $3, this kind releases at the bottom so you totally open your vest)
If your sweat shirt is new, please wash and dry it before starting on your project. This way any shrinkage will occur before you make the vest.
Lay out the sweat shirt on a table for cutting. Cut off both sleeves. Set aside, these will provide the material for the pockets. Did I forget to tell you that this vest would have pockets? Okay, it will have pockets.
(At this point I will apologize that this sweat shirt is so dark. I didn't realize how hard it would be to photograph. I will remember this and consider it a lesson learned.)
Fold a ½ inch of material around the arm hole, in toward the body of the shirt. Steam Press it.
Sew this down to finish the edges. I used a zigzag stitch. It looks nicer. Do the same thing to the other arm hole.
Now the arm holes are done.
Cut the sweat shirt down the middle, from the, oh so convenient, V at the throat, to the hem, in as straight as line as possible. If you must have a line to cut along, this is how you do it. Get a straight edge, a piece of chalk and a couple of straight pins. Fold the shirt in half to determine the middle of the neck and the hem. Use straight pins to mark these two places.
Using the straight edge, draw a chalk line
from the neck to the hem. Now cut along the chalk line. Ah, very good.
My Hubby likes little pockets in which he keeps his “Mike & Ikes” for munching. So I will include pockets in this vest. There are two types of pockets, patch work, and inset. Patch work are easiest, yet I think I will do these pockets inset.
Cut 4 pieces of 4”x4”material, from the cut off sleeves.
Determine where you want the pockets to go. Use the chalk to mark a line where you want the opening of the pocket to go. Make the line 4 inches long with sideways V’s on each end. It should look like this:
Cut along these lines, and turn the shirt inside out. Fold in the little triangels in and sew them down (this will make the finished pocket look nicer when completed.
Now with wrong sides together, sew an edge of a pocket to the cut edge of the top of the slit, (½ inch seam). Sew another pocket piece to the bottom cut edge. Now is a good time to top stitch the pocket edges to help the pocket opening withstand wear and tear. Turn it over, do the two edges look good? Okay. Go back to the Inside and with the outsides of the pocket pieces together, pin together then sew around the other 3 sides of the pocket. Turn it over again. Does it lay flat? Great! Repeat for the other pocket (if you decide you need two pockets). Hurray, the pockets are done.
Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine. Did I forget to tell you that this vest will have a zipper? Okay, it has a zipper. Now, open the package and remove the zipper. I have never put a zipper on a semi bulky material like sweat shirt fleece before. So I will do it a simpler way. Using the hot steam iron, press a ½ inch of material to the inside of the shirt. Do this on both sides of the cut line.
With the zipper still closed, and the needle on the right side of the zipper foot, slowly sew the left side down to the left side of the zipper. Okay, that’s done. Now look to see if it is secure? If you missed any places, go back and re-sew that place.
Now switch the needle to the left side of the zipper foot, and repeat, sewing the right side of the vest to the right side of the zipper.
Now go get Hubby to have him model the vest! See that smile, he likes it.