Here is an easy to follow sewing lesson for our Herringbone Biker Vest sewing pattern that debuted in the August 2011 issue of Burda Style magazine in our Grey Gardens pattern collection. Check out all the great diagrams to help you sew this dress!
I love the style of this wool vest, and actually how it is not made in all leather (like a usual biker vest is). When I make this vest I am going to cut the facings in leather so that the lapels really stand out! This vest remind me of the Skull Vest I made a while back. I believe that was the last notched collar I sewed. Good thing this lessons really helps you though the collar part.
Refer to this pattern’s store page here for specific fabric yardage and notion requirements. Also remember to add seam allowance, which can be found in the instructions linked to on the pattern page.
This pattern PDF has lines and pieces for style #133 as well. So when you print out the pattern you will notice the pieces look long. Cut the pattern at the hemline that indicates #132 (the shorter hemline), and ignore the inseam pocket line as that is for style #133. All you will need is pieces 1 – 7, and you can refer to the sewing instructions here in the cutting out section which piece number is which piece name. Your pieces should end up looking like the ones above. Cut out your pieces according to the layout above as well.
Now let’s start sewing!
1 - Centre back seam: Lay the back pieces right sides together. Pin the centre back seam. Stitch. Press the seam allowances open. Back section seams:
Lay the side pieces right sides together with the back piece. Pin the back section seams. Stitch.
2 - Press the seam allowances open. On the waistcoat back, press the allowances toward edge of armhole, beginning at seam mark and tapering allowance. Sew zips in place: Turn in the top and bottom ends of each zip tape. Pin the zips to the fronts, at the abutting lines. Edgestitch zip tapes in place. Shoulder seams: Lay the fronts right sides together with the back. Pin the shoulder seams, easing in the back. Stitch. Press the seam allowances open. Sew the collar: Pin the collar band pieces right sides together with the collar pieces – note seam number 5. Stitch.
3 - Trim seam allowances and press seams open. Topstitch close to each side of seams. Lay the collar pieces right sides together. Pin the collar band joining seams and the collar joining edges together exactly. Roll the top collar to add the required extra fullness. Pin the outer collar edges together, up to approx. 5 cm (2 ins) before the corners – the seam lines do not meet.
4 - Roll the corners of the collar and pin the remaining collar edges together.
5 - Work from underside of collar to stitch outer collar edges together, beginning and ending exactly at the marked collar joining seam. Trim the seam allowances, trimming the corners diagonally. Turn the collar right side out. Press.
6 - Facings and lining: Stitch the centre back seam and back section seams. Press the seam allowances open. Pin the back facing right sides together with the lining back. Pin the front facings right sides together with the lining fronts. Stitch. Press the seam allowances onto the lining pieces. Stitch the shoulder seams. Press seam the allowances open.
7 - Front edges, lapels, collar: Lay the facings with the lining right sides together with the waistcoat. Pin together along the lapel fold lines and at collar joining mark (seam number 6). Pin the front edges together below the lapel fold line. Roll the front pieces on the fold lines to add the required fullness to the lapels. Pin the facing in place, up to approx. 5 cm (2 ins) before the corners of the lapels. Then roll the corners of the lapels and pin together. Stitch the fronts to the facings, from the collar joining mark. Backstitch to secure start and end of seams. Leave the facings with the lining lying right sides together with the waistcoat for now. Clip fronts between the marked lines of the lapel darts, approx. 5 cm (2 ins) long.
8 - Lay the collar between the waistcoat and the facing. Pin the under collar to the neck edge of the waistcoat from each marking (seam number 6) to the dart line. Pin the top collar to the facing, as far as the corner. Stitch.
9 - Trim the seam allowances of the under collar joining seam to a width of 7 mm (1/4 in) and press open. Pin the lengthwise edge of the under collar to the neck edge of the waistcoat, beginning at the centre back and continuing on to pin the dart lines together. Stitch. Clip the seam allowance of the facings into the corners, close to each last stitch. Pin the top collar to the facing, from corner to corner. Stitch.
Trim the seam allowances – also trimming allowances of front edges. Trim allowances diagonally across corners of the lapels. Press the seam allowances of the collar joining seam open. Leave the facings and the lining lying right sides together with the waistcoat for now. Armholes, turn waistcoat right side out: Pin the armhole edges of the lining and fabric waistcoat pieces together. Stitch. Trim the seam allowances and clip the allowances along the curves. Turn the waistcoat right side out by pulling the fronts into the back, through the shoulder tunnels. Press the edges of the armholes and the front edges. Pin the collar joining seams together exactly. Reach between the outer fabric and the lining to grasp the seam allowances of the back collar joining seam and pull them down and out. Sew allowances together between shoulder seams, close to the collar joining seam. Push collar joining seam in place again. Front section seams: Lay front pieces right sides together with side pieces. Pin front section seams of waistcoat and lining as continuous seams. Stitch. Press seams open. Lay lining inside the waistcoat again, with wrong sides facing. Baste the lower edges together. Topstitch 1.5 cm (5/8 in) from front edges, armhole edges, and edges of collar and lapels.
10 - Pleats: Work from the outer side of the waistcoat to fold the pleats on the fronts in direction of arrows. Baste pleats to edge.
11 - Waistband: Pin the interfaced half of the waistband right sides together with the lower edge of the waistcoat. Stitch. Press the seam allowances onto the waistband. Press allowance on the other long edge of the waistband to the inside.
12 - Fold the waistband in half, right side facing in. Pin the front ends of the waistband together. Stitch. Trim seam allowances, trimming the corners diagonally. Turn waistband right side out. Pin inside half of waistband over joining seam and sew in place by hand. Topstitch waistband 7 mm (1/4 in) from the joining seam.
Insert 2 snap fasteners in right front end of waistband, along centre, spaced 1.5 cm (5/8 in) and 6.5 cm (25/8 ins) from front edge. Lay the right front on the left front, matching centers. Mark placement of bottom halves of snaps on left end of waistband. Insert bottom snap halves, as marked. Shoulder tabs: Pin each interfaced tab piece to tab piece with no interfacing, right sides together. Trim one end to a point. Stitch tab pieces together, leaving straight end open. Trim seam allowances, trimming corners diagonally. Turn tabs right side out. Topstitch tabs close to edges. Slip open ends of tabs under the shoulder seams, 3 cm (11/4 ins) long. Stitch exactly along armhole stitching lines and again 1 cm (3/8 in) from those stitching lines. Turn tabs to right side of the waistcoat. Insert one upper snap half in each pointed end. Insert lower snap halves in waistcoat, to match.
This vest is a great transition piece when the weather starts to warm a bit. Here I paired it with our Leather Pants, because a biker style-look needs a bit of leather! I also put it over a beautiful patterned blouse like our Hidden Button Blouse.