Sunday, November 15, 2015
Wool and Leather Denali Vest
You guys. THIS!
I am so over-the-moon about this Denali vest, from Seamwork mag, that I made for Jon's birthday! (Which was three weeks ago, but who's counting...). I dug the original pattern, but my imagination kept running away with ideas, and this project definitely got complicated fast. I ended up lengthening the whole vest by about 3 inches, widening the collar about 1/2", adding all those lovely pockets, interlining with thinsulate, quilting, and adding the hidden (tartan!) zip.
Let's talk about all these delish fabrics! I used heavyweight wool coating from Mood fabrics, and interlined with thinsulate from Seattle Fabrics. After pricing leather (holy $$$!) Jon volunteered his old leather coat for the yoke. He never wears it, but it was in perfectly good condition, so I felt a bit rotten slicing it up. Not that it stopped me, but it added a little more pressure! There's also some fleece in there, lining the collar and inside the hidden hand pocket. Because fleece-lined pockets are sewist foreplay, y'all.
The lining is Napier family wool tartan that we picked up on our trip to Scotland. It's been sitting around for four years awaiting the perfect project, and I think I found it!
I've never done any kind of outerwear and I kind of made up the interlining and quilting as I went. I cut the interlining using the lining pattern pieces and sewed it to the wrong side of the lining using about 1/3" seam, trimmed the extra thinsulate in the seam allowance and then treated the whole thing as one lining piece. I drew on my quilting lines as my second-to-last step, after the whole vest was assembled, before adding snaps. Mine are about 3" apart, and I learned afterwards that you are supposed to lengthen your stitch length for topstitching like this, so that the stitches show up nicely.
This is one of those steps that looks "okay" until you give it a good firm press and then you're like "holy shit this is the bomb!"
I have to say that, above all, this vest looks great because of the ridiculous amount of topstitching. Just about ever seam is turned and then topstitched, including the leather and every pocket piece. I think it really adds the professional finish that I crave.
Also, to whoever at Colette figured out this crazy-genius method of construction where every single seam is encased between the shell and lining: I salute your Stephen Hawking-esque spacial relations prowess.
Jon was not super sold on the idea of snaps and really wanted a zip, so I did both (uh, is that a compromise?). I think this tarten-clad zipper insertion is going to have to get it's own post, coming soon! :) It zips on the inside and then snaps over top, for ultimate wind blockage.
I could not be happier with this vest, you guys, and Jon either loves the crap out of it and shows it off to all of his coworkers...or at least has to good sense to lie and say that he does!
Friends, have you ever made outerwear??