LH5104: Boucle Vest

Almost a year ago, Fabricmartfabrics.com had a boucle blow-out sell.  I admired greatly the fabrics offered but didn’t buy until the last day.  Wool is not a fabric I use much. It requires care. Care I’m unwilling to give. I’m also old school or maybe ‘halted mental growth’. My mother taught her little girls to change their clothes everyday; and to wash said clothes before they were worn again.  Possibly this policy isn’t necessary for most adults but it’s a habit of mine. By the last day of the sale, I had convinced myself that bought in vest lengths and stitched in vest type garments, I could include these in my wardrobe without needing to launder after each wearing. Then they became ‘too dear’; ‘too beautiful’.  I had a hard time deciding how to use these boucle fabrics even though I loved and petted them frequently.

I decided to use OOP Loes Hines Venetian Vest for this the first of my boucle vests.  I had a good idea how this pattern would look and fit because I’ve used it previously.  But I followed my new fit procedure and compared the measurements given on the envelope with my own and then measuring the pattern pieces.  I opted to add .75″ to the hip on the back pattern piece and .5″ to the hip on the front pattern piece; just as I’d previously done with LH5203 and 5202. However I made no adjustment for my narrow, sloping, asymmetrical shoulders.  I added 3″ to the length as I cut out the front and back pieces.  I did not want to match stripes and reasoned that adding the length while not exactly the same look as that shaped hem piece, would be close enough.

I cut my lining pieces first. Serged together at shoulder and side seam and then serge finished all around.  I sat the lining aside.

I cut my front and back. Marked the public sides by putting a large pin in place and then serged all the edges.  Boucle’s have a tendency to ravel as you breathe. I didn’t want that experience.

I’ve become totally enamoured with this Red Heart yarn. Not as a yarn but as a trim. I opted to use a white, taupe, gold combination to bind the edges of the shoulder before butting the shoulders next to each other and using one of my Dream’s  joining stitch to create the shoulder ‘seam’.

I totally love the final effect but realized I had inadvertently changed the length of the armscyes! I did not trim off the seam allowances.  Hoping not to repeat that mistake,  I bound the front side edge, overlapped to the back and then stitched on top with the same joining stitch.

I pinned the lining inside the boucle and then  completely bound the front and hem edges using the same yarn.

However I worried this would not be substantial enough for the armscyes.  Catching the lining at the armscye, I finished them with commercial 1″ bias tape which is folded completely to the inside; understitched and then top stitched 1/2″ from the edge.

The lining hem was serged finished but left to hang free. I wanted a little play in there. The lining was cut exactly from the original pattern. The boucle has been altered by my seaming method. A little free play seemed like a good idea.

I mentioned that I didn’t adapt for my shoulder shape. Not the worst idea because the shoulder is already very short and the armscye very deep but I did experience some drag lines:

They aren’t deep folds which is why I drew orange arc’s to kind of highlight the swags about which  I repeatedly complain.  I’m still in the dark about needed shoulder adaption because the shoulder is already narrow, sits closely to the neck and deeply under the arm. Making it narrower seems pointless. As does deepening the already very deep armscye. So I think next time I will  increase the slope 1/4″.  I also did not think about my front hem issue. This is a continuing issue due to (I think) posture, bust and bra.  I’m routinely adding 2″ in length to the center front. Why I did not due this here is anybody’s guess. I think sometimes I’m just stupid. This is one of those because I made a second unbelievable oversight:  I didn’t add the front band!

I was deliberately cutting and then finishing individual pieces as quickly as possible to avoid raveling. I finished the garment and discovered my pattern still laid out ready to cut the front band! I also neglected to add interfacing. I like big interfacing on vests. I like it to cover from neck down to 2″ under the armscye and be added again at the hem. Didn’t even think of it until I was done. Another overlooked standard:  my pockets.  I add pockets to vests because it makes carrying things like cell phones very convenient. Don’t know where my brain was today. Certainly not on a perfect copy of this vest.

Which is how I realized what a versatile pattern this really is.  Absolutely too bad it is OOP. Simple changes (leaving off the front band and adding 3″ length) made it a completely different pattern.

Anyone asking, YES absolutely will use this pattern again and again. It has an entire separate view and pattern pieces ( more traditional waist coat) which I haven’t used ever.  I think I prefer a slightly shorter version (than above) which it might have been had made my normal 1.25″ hem instead of binding the bottom edge.

The boucle itself is fantastic.  I did not plan to wear it with the garments I had on at the time.  Looking at this pics, I think it looks great.

In case you didn’t notice, Loes is a hero of mine.  I love her classic simplistic patterns.  They are quick to sew and a joy to wear.  They flatter a wide range of shapes, ages and sizes. This pattern absolutely deserves its TNT status in my wardrobe.



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