Our Baby Boy needed a cowboy outfit to wear to his birthday hoedown. I wanted to keep it simple and tasteful. I already had a pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, and a cowboy hat in Baby Boy's closet. But his outfit needed a little something to make it extra special - he was the birthday boy after all! So, I made him a vest out of cow-print fabric.
I want everyone to know I am NOT a seamstress - by any means. This cowboy vest was not perfect. It had wobbly seams, and the fabric pieces did not perfectly line up....OK that's not even the worst of it. To be honest, the final vest was actually my second attempt at the project. I may have accidentally sewn together the arm holes on the first vest. Like I said, I'm no seamstress!
That being said, the final product still looked cute. No one at the party was examining my sewing (as far as I know.) And remember, I made this vest for a kid who still likes eating dirt - perfect seams are not one of his top priorities.
So here's how I did it.
I couldn't find a free pattern for a vest, so I traced a suit vest that Baby Boy wore to a wedding. I wanted to get the general shape of a vest, but I made my vest longer than the suit vest. If you don't have a vest in your kid's closet, you could just trace a t-shirt and then cut it down the front to turn it into a vest. Just trace it a couple inches wider than the shirt to give enough fabric to create the two extra seams in the front.
I gave myself a one inch margin around the vest when I was tracing. This gave me enough space to sew the seams, and it helped to make sure I wasn't making the vest too tight.
I then cut out each of the pieces of the vest.
I pinned down the material along the arm holes (of both the front and back panels) and sewed those seams first. I tried to make the seams about a 1/2 inch.
I then did the same to the neck hole of the front and back panel. The neck area was definitely the most difficult part.
Then, I pinned the front and back panels together while they were still inside out. I sewed them together along the side and shoulder seam.
I don't know how a "real" sewer would do this, but I took the pins out as the machine got close to the pins because they were getting in my way.
The picture below shows the front panel attached to the back panel. I then pinned down the front seams (also shown in this picture) and sewed those.
The last seam to be sewn was the bottom seam.
The final project:
Making this vest actually didn't take me too long. It would have taken even less time if I hadn't accidentally sewn the arm holes together during my first go at it.
I think the moral of this blog is don't be afraid to do some simple sewing. Take a look at how something is sewn together, trace it, and try your best to put the pieces together. If you're making it for a child, they wont notice the imperfections. Cute babies can work any outfit!