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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Alternative Method for Constructing William's Vest

William's is one of my favorite patterns when it comes time to dress up my boys!  The vest is pretty much a staple at our house and I think by now I can make it in my sleep.  It's a really fun one to make, even for beginners. 

 On occasion we have customers ask if the way we do the construction in the original pattern is the only way to do it, because they find it difficult to iron the armhole curves. As one of my teachers in high school used to say, "There's more than one way to skin a cat!"  I don't even want to know where that phrase came from, but I CAN tell you...  yes, there is more than one way to construct William's vest!  

I personally prefer doing the construction as originally written in the pattern (I think it's easiest and most tidy finish - yes, I am stubborn), but if you are interested in trying this alternative way, we will make it convenient for you to try it out!  Today's photos and instructions come to us from our awesome tester, Heather Cole.  She finds this method easier, and I think it's totally great if you adapt and do things the way you like best too!  Let's get started:

First, cut all the pieces as instructed in the pattern. Then sew the front to back at the shoulders with the main fabric, as shown in yellow above. Then repeat with the lining fabric. 

Open out the pieces.  Match up the main pieces and lining pieces all around the edges, with right sides together. Sew around only the edges marked in yellow above, using a 3/8" seam allowance.  This should be the armholes, the neck curve, and the front edges.  (Do not sew the underarms or bottom edges yet.) 

Turn it right side out, using a dowel if necessary on the smaller sizes.  Use an iron to make all the seam edges nice and crisp. 

Open out the pieces at the sides.  Using just the main fabric, pin the sides of the main front to the sides of the main back, with right sides together. (Main fabric is pinned to main fabric. Then using just the lining fabric, pin the sides of the lining front to the sides of the lining back.) Lining fabric is pinned to lining fabric.

After pinning, sew along those pinned edges using a 3/8" seam allowance.  

Clip the seams you just sewed to reduce bulk at the underarms. 

Fold the vest back into place so the main fabric is all on the outside and the lining is all on the inside, as shown above.  At this point, the sides are sewn but the bottom of the vest is still open. 

Open out the vest so it's easy to work with the bottom edge. 

Flip the vest partially wrong side out so you can match up the bottom edges with right sides together, and pin in place. See photo below if you need clarification. 

Sew along the raw edges of the vest using a 3/8" seam allowance, and be sure to leave a 3" opening in the very center. Clip the new seams at the points and side seams. 

Pull the vest through the opening. Use a creaser tool and iron to make all the edges nice and crisp, and fold the seam allowances inside at the opening.  Then top stitch around the entire vest and armholes to close the hole and make a tidy finish.

Add buttons according to the instructions in the pattern. 

And that's it! Your William's vest is done! 

A huge thank you to Heather Cole for taking these photos and sharing her method with us! I always enjoy seeing how different people do things, and I'm sure there are other additional ways the construction can be done too.

Whichever method you choose to use (this one or the original in the pattern), your William's vest should be no problem at all to construct.  Plus it turns out amazing!  Remember William's comes in Kid, Tween, and Men's sizes. The same construction would also work with Baby Oliver's vest that starts at newborn size. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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