Category Archives: 5104VenetianVest

LH5104: Boucle Vest

Almost a year ago, 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.


Loes Hines Venetian Vest (5104)

This is an old pattern, probably out of print. (I couldn’t find it on Loes site).  Recently gifted to me, I think it’s a keeper! The pattern consists of two different front pieces, a back, a collar and a back peplum (?). I chose to use the back, the front shown on the right and the collar …

because of my fabric. My fabric is I think “griege goods”. That is, woven white on white in a Jacquard pattern (a scroll is used in my fabric) and then printed on one side. Unfortunately I had barely enough for the 3 pieces and could not add the back peplum. No fooling, I had strings left. Was unable to fussy cut my pattern and my collar sections were so unattractive a trim became necessary.  I thought griege goods were made of cotton but this has an odd smell. Sort of like silk, but not exactly.  I prewashed just because if a fabric can’t make it through my laundry methods I don’t want to make it into a garment. I don’t make art. I make garments that can be worn.  Anyway, the fabric also has some odd yellow marks:

I’ve pointed some out with blue arrows. They are all over but random. They don’t repeat in any set pattern, length or width.  Some look brushed. The only commonality is that they are all the same color. I have a feeling that these are stains which caused the piece to be rejected; eventually marked down and made its way to me.  I think they are interesting and I like them. I don’t think they are really noticeable until you’re up close.

Ah the trim

purchased from Hobby Lobby, Sioux Falls not more than a year ago.  I like it when things come into my stash and are used in a reasonable length of time (5 years or less).  The trim was made by winding a variegated, loosely-woven ribbon from side to side and stitching down the middle to secure the loops.  I hope you can see that in the pic because I’d sure like to try it on my cover stitch machine.  Commitments and weather interfered with my sewing time and so it seems like I’ve been working on this vest for weeks. Despite the sheer number of days which elapsed, I’ve got no more than 6 actual sewing  hours into the vest, 1 of which was spent choosing this trim. I purchased 1 precut length.  When I selected this trim for use, I planned on 3 rows of trim along the collar to disguise its ugliness. I was only able to apply 2 rows. That’s all there was. It was a pain too. I didn’t have a foot that would guide this trim while it was stitched. My cording and ribbon feet all had openings that crushed and grabbed the trim instead of sliding it through and under the needle. I had to stitch by trying to guide the fabric edge evenly along a throat plate marking while keeping the trim free-flowing and straight. I used Sliver thread in the needle, again.  It occurred to me that the Sliver I grabbed by mistake when practicing cording with the Juki Free Motion Foot  would be perfect with this trim.  Mostly invisible, it does had a slight glint.  I used a long, straight stitch about 5mm.  The trim is spongy. The collar interfaced. The griege goods medium-heavy weight. I didn’t want fight getting the trim under the foot and I was afraid I might need to rip it out. A long stitch would help both problems.

Dang! Those pants are Connie Crawford’s jeans pattern. When made they fit perfectly. Even though I’m wearing a belt, those diagonal lines are forming over my thighs. This was after a day’s wear. But still….They were perfect when I finished them

Because the trim would only make two rows, I trimmed its width  in front.  The collar has a seam in the center back.  I think that gives it a little oomph so  it can stand up.  To me, it looks like a shawl collar but was much easier to apply.  I matched center back and the two front notches; eased the pieces as I was stitching by placing the collar down facing the throat plate.

The vest does not have a front closure. These always bother me because they will look fine front and back but from the side:

it’s Judi Jetson all over again. I’m in the process of revising my personal croche. (Sorry spelling is wrong. Those miniaturized versions of yourself in your undies upon which you practice with clothing styles and combinations).  Anyway, I can tell you why the front sticks out.  I’ve reached the point where my tummy sticks out further than my boobs. I wish I could say there was hope for improvement but I’m pretty sure this is inherited from a long line of wonderful women. So I’m dealing with it. It’s an age issue as much as a weight and posture issue. I’m sure my time at the computer and at sewing doesn’t help.  I prefer a front closure of some kind because it does control the frontal flare. I didn’t do one this time. I wasn’t sure exactly where the vest was going to meet in the center.  This took me some 3 weeks and by the time I was able to try it on, I didn’t. I was bored and wanted to finish.

I won’t wear the vest with this particular top or pants. I tried the vest on with what I was wearing to check fit which for me, requires pictures.  I like more of an analogous or monochromatic color scheme when dressing myself. I’ll be wearing blue.

I also fully lined my vest using the fabric left from this blouse. I’m happy to say all that fabric is now in use.  I added my inside pockets.  I’ve made a couple of vests without the interior pockets and found that I miss them. It’s much easier to carrier my cell in my vest than in/on pants.

Normally I don’t use the stitch and turn method of lining a vest. I like to press my seams into submission and find that process makes it difficult. I’m never satisfied with my pressing results using that lining method. I won’t use it on jackets. I did use it now because I couldn’t cut the back peplum piece that belong with this version of the Venetian Vest. Normal hemming would have made the back shorter than the front and too short for my taste. Using the stitch and pull through or whatever it’s called method, I was able to maximize the length of my vest.

Overall, I’m pleased.  I thought not having the back peplum piece would be a disadvantage. Now I can see that it adds variety to the pattern and provides multiple versions using essentially the same fitting.  I’m adding this pattern to my TNT’s and look forward to making it again.

Changes for next time:

  • Permanently add 1/2″ ease below waist CB and CF
  • Both back and front hems seem to be higher than side:  add length to CB and CF
  • Front swings forward in Judi Jetson configuration:  add front closure or dart at front hem
  • Vest seems to be drooping/draping under the arms. See if any of the above effect that. Increase underarm interfacing. This vest has 2″ under the arms, 3″ down center front and fully interfaced back and front bodice.
  • Try the other versions.