Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

see my vest

One of my New Year's resolutions (and yes, it's already the end of February, I know, I know) was to try to make practical and interesting office clothes. By "interesting," I mean clothes that don't make me want to stab my eyes out with a rusty fork. Because if I have to wear one more pair of polyester black pants and black cardigan...

Anyway. I saw this on the cover of Drape Drape 2:

I wish the Drape Drape models would wear pants occasionally.

and went HOLY PRACTICAL THING, BATMAN. A vest/scarf combo (it's cold here) with deep pockets, to throw over office dresses? HELL YES.

(I somehow keep buying office dresses that don't have any pockets. Which is a problem, when you have to clip a keycard somewhere because you're running up and down stairs delivering stuff to clients. I'm just saying.)

Here's my version.

I suppose it's hard to see in this photo, but it's over a Standard Black Pocketless Office Dress and my favorite polka-dot leggings. It's made from purple-and-black-striped lightweight sweater knit from Fabric Mart. Loved the color, but the fabric was less than ideal; it got holes if I so much as breathed on it wrong. (My other New Year's resolution: Do not buy fabric online, unless it's Alabama Chanin.)

I won't post the whole pattern review here, but a few things you should know, if you're interested in making this:
  1. It's very long. I'm 5'0" and it hit just a few inches above my knee.
  2. The pockets are seriously deep -- about 14 inches, give or take. (I messed with the facings a bit).
  3. The back is also pretty long -- about 21 inches from the middle of my back, give or take:
My butt. Enjoy.
The back is the only part I have reservations about. After seeing it on me, I can't help thinking it would look better on someone taller and skinnier. Like, say, a pantsless Drape Drape model.


The neckline. (That crappy fabric. Sigh.)
What the book calls the "back neckline."  This is the only section that's turned right sides together, like a tube. The seams around the back neckline are finished first.

Very, very deep pockets. 14 inches!

Construction was interesting. Drape Drape is notorious for being a little light on the details ("attach the pocket," "sew the back section of the neckline" ...ooookay), but if you compare the written instructions to the diagrams, it's figure-outable. 

A couple of tricky parts, though:
  1.  You have to finish the seam allowance around the neckline (from just above the pocket, called "pocket end," to the top of the neck, called "seam end"), and then finish the armholes before turning the back neckline right sides together and stitching. (The book calls for a threefold edge-stitched seam, but I just did a basic straight stitch and it worked out fine.)
  2. After finishing the back neckline, turn it right side out before continuing. Really basic, but the instructions don't tell you this.
I like this -- and it IS practical (I've worn it to work several times already) -- but next time I'll make it in sturdier sweater fabric or jersey.


  1. I have this book and wasn't impressed by this pattern until I saw your version. I'm always cold at work so a vest/scarf is a great addition to the wardrobe! I bet you could get really creative with the fabrics too.

    1. Thank you! I was thinking the same thing -- maybe color-blocking or using a different pattern for the pockets.

  2. What a great idea! I'd never seen the potential of that pattern before.

  3. I just added this project to my post on projects made from the Drape Drape books; however, i can't figure out from your blog which country you live in. thanks

    1. Thanks! Where's your post...?

      I'm in Salem, MA, USA.

  4. Do you know how to increase the size of the pattern? Thanks!

  5. Do you know how to increase the size of the pattern? Thanks!

  6. Do you know how to increase the size of the pattern? Thanks!

    1. Hey, I'm really sorry -- you posted this comment ages ago and I never got notified, so I just saw it yesterday! Sorry, I'm not sure how to increase the width of the pattern -- perhaps just increasing the seam allowance? I think it's only a few pieces, so it might be worth trying. Good luck!