It all started when I came across this image on Instagram.
All of a sudden I wanted a suede vest. I NEEDED a suede vest. And no, I wasn’t going to just click through and buy it – I was going to make my own! I scoured my stash for pattern possibilities, and came up with Butterick 5528.
This pattern is out of print now, but still available on their website and probably elsewhere if you look around a little. The line drawing is as follows:
I’ve sewn view A in the past, unsuccessfully. However that was due to a bad fabric/pattern match. It’s long since left my wardrobe. I thought that view C might work nicely for the vest. The pattern description from the Butterick website is as follows: Close-fitting, straight cardigans A, B have short kimono sleeves with sleeve band, collar, hook and eye closure with decorative buttons and stitched hems. A: Hip-length. B: Pockets, tunic-length. Very loose-fitting, slightly flared cardigans C, D have raglan sleeves in two lengths, shawl collar and shaped stitched hems, wrong side of fabric will show. C: Sleeveless. D: Long sleeve. Close-fitting, straight tunic E has cap sleeves, stitched hem and neck ring.
There was no way that I was going to make a first version of this vest in real sueded! I found this perforated suede-look knit at Darn Cheap Fabrics. It is super soft, a little stretchy, and sticks to itself a little.
I think that I sewed the Medium, which translates to 12-14. It really does not work styled over this dress, as in the above two photos. It looks much better over a straighter silhouette, such as this one:
In that photo it’s over a wool/acrylic blend knit Sewaholic Renfrew tee and printed double-knit Style Arc Fay skirt that were both sewn at Sewjourn in May and I don’t think have made it to the blog. A much better combination. However, Ada has a much firmer figure than I do, and I think it’s good to see garments as they are on the real body.
I did all the sewing on the machine. Because of the fabric’s tendency to stick to itself, some of it was pretty fiddly. I finished hems with a simple zig-zag stitch, although I used a straight stitch around the armholes. Getting the collar to drape nicely isn’t easy in this fabric due to the stick to itself tendency.
I do think it’s quite a wearable muslin – although I haven’t worn it yet! I think that once the weather warms up a little it is likely to get more outings. I wore the collar folded back flat when I tried it on myself, rather than draping like it is on Ada. I suppose that it can be worn either way.
I have a few other vest patterns in stash – or jacket patterns that could easily have their sleeves left off to become a vest – but rather like the style lines of this one. I think that there will eventually be a trip to somewhere like NSW Leather in Collingwood to source some suede – but maybe not until next winter.