Thursday, July 5, 2012

Step-by-Step Vintage Hunting Vest Upcycle

     I was browsing the items at a yard sale one day when I found this treasure of a hunting vest. The piece had character and had seen many days of love and use but lacked any kind of style that would make me wear it in public. So I decided to redo it! With a little lace and an hour of my time I transformed this beast into a beauty. Here's how:

     1) I removed the fabric on the back that just kind of hung there using my seam ripper. This took maybe 10 minutes.

2) I got a bit impatient and added lace around the collar next. To do this I buttoned the vest and marked where the left and right sides came together above the buttons. I don't use pins when I sew so I just folded the lace under and started using a zig-zag stitch to attach it where my first mark was. I didn't cut the lace to length until I was perhaps 2" away from having it fully sewn on the front. Then, I tacked the lace down every so often to keep it from rolling up around the neck while being worn.

3) I used my seam ripper to finish separating the fabric below the arm. I wanted to give the vest a more feminine shape so to accomplish this I measured 1" in on each side at the base of the back. I connected this to the top where the armhole comes together. That's the brown line you see in the photo. I cut the excess off and sewed the seam back together. If you aren't confident in your altering skills you can always pin and try it on before you trim.

4) The last step was to add lace along the back where I took the old fabric panel off. To do this I once again folded my lace under at the edges and used a zig-zag stitch to attach it to the vest. Again, to avoid wasting lace, I always sew first and cut the lace to length when I'm a few inches away from having it completely sewn on. This eliminates concerns about elasticity differences between the vest and the lace.

     I left the back of the vest shorter than the front as a style choice. I like the way it causes the fabric to add even more of an hourglass shape around the waste. This can make boobs look bigger, mid sections look slimmer/longer, and hips look more feminine. Below is the end result... it's hard to get good pictures of yourself! This vest can be purchased on my etsy store if you like it as much as I do.

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