In Spring 2021 I started making fisherman-style vests. I had read that they were becoming popular as tech vests. After looking online for one to buy, I decided that I would have better luck making one to my husband’s specifications. Working from home since March 2020, he needed to keep two cell phones, ear buds, glasses, and dog supplies handy at all times.
I purchased a pattern from an Etsy store and made my first vest using leftover brown gabardine fabric from the “Jon Snow” cape I made for Halloween 2017. The pattern called for one upper pocket; however, I added a second since my husband has two cell phones. The vest was completed in time for his March birthday.
For my next vest, I used this great Camouflage twill I purchased at my favorite fabric store in Gettysburg, The Needle & Eye. This vest was completed in time for Memorial Day. I made larger upper pockets and added D-rings to the upper pockets and lobster claw clasps to the lower pockets.
My third vest was for Father’s Day. I had planned to make a two-tone vest (Style D) pictured on the pattern cover. I had purchased burgundy and gold twill, along with cute football buttons, but apparently my husband thought that was a bit much.
Unfortunately, I was lacking enough of either color to make a complete vest. However, my husband had a bright idea: use one of the fabrics as the lining. Although I had to make the shorter length vest (Style B), his idea inspired me to learn how to create a fully lined vest (the pattern had “facings” around the neck and armholes). I found this tutorial for making a lining. The lining made it much easier to add inner pockets, since I didn’t have to worry about seeing the stitching from the other side.
After trying out the new vests, my husband had a few suggestions. Add inner pockets for his phones, and attach the D-rings higher for his Apple AirPods and Samsung EarBuds. He also wanted one of the upper pockets replaced with a pouch that could be used for his glasses. I also experimented with different types of snaps and buttons on the pockets.
So now that he was finally happy with a vest, I had to disassemble the previous two and add a lining and the additional pockets. I later retrofit a lining, made more elaborate inner pockets, and modified the original outer pockets. By the fall, I had modified the original three vests, as well as two more I made over the summer.
For the summer vests, I had switched to lightweight cotton/polyester blend broadcloth. I made a “Timber” Camouflage and Orange Bicycle Safety Vest. By this time I was lining all of the vests. I added interfacing to the pockets and vest front to give the lightweight broadcloth more body.
With the holidays approaching, I wanted to make some vests as gifts. I made a royal blue broadcloth, lined with tan and green twill lined with camouflage nylon ripstop. I was also adding button tabs to hold the D-rings. So I had to do one more round of modifications on the original three vests to remove the old magnets and replace them with the new style. I made a railroad denim vest to sell on Etsy.
This year I made several denim vests, a second bicycle safety vest in red, as well as a pool side vest out of a tropical-theme broadcloth and lined with terry cloth. I also made a second blue & tan vest for my husband. The specs for all of my vest can be viewed in my portfolio. My bicycle safety vest was recently featured on Instructables.com.
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