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Kayte Terry’s Vivienne Vest How-to

Nov 21, 2008

by Kayte Terry handmade and vintage goods

Transform a basic piece into a wardrobe statement or an inspired gift. Kayte Terry, aka loveforever, shows us how from her book, Complete Embellishing. Download the full project instructions here, or follow along below.

Vivienne Vest
I love argyle patterns, but sometimes they can be a bit, well, stuffy. With its frayed edges and yarn embroidery, this vest is more punk rock than prep school, à la Vivienne Westwood, one of my favorite designers. If you don’t like vests, this pattern can easily be adapted to a skirt, a dress, or even a tote bag.

Chalk-backed dressmaker’s paper
Lightweight cardboard

Paper scissors

Tailor’s chalk

Old plaid wool skirt or 1⁄4 yd. (.23m) plaid wool fabric
Vest in wool or synthetic knit
Fusible webbing
Sewing machine

Matching sewing thread

Worsted-weight yarn in three colors
Size 18 chenille needle

Step 1:  Enlarge a basic diamond pattern to desired size. Use dressmaker’s paper to transfer diamond onto cardboard. Cut out template. (See “Transferring with chalk-backed dressmaker’s paper” on page 30 of Complete Embellishing.)

Step 2:  Trace around template using tailor’s chalk onto plaid wool. Make sure that fabric weave is parallel with edges of diamond. Cut out three diamonds. Then fray 3⁄4 in. (19mm) fringe on all edges.

Step 3:  Mark a line down center of vest using tailor’s chalk.

Step 4:  Cut fusible webbing for each diamond. Remove paper from one side of webbing. Following manufacturer’s directions, use iron to fuse webbing to wrong side of each diamond. (See “Appliqué” on page 56.)

Step 5:  Remove paper from webbing. Place top diamond on vest approximately 2 in. (5.1cm) below neckline. Have points of diamond on chalk line. Use iron to fuse diamond to vest. Fuse middle and bottom diamonds to vest along chalk line, making sure points of diamonds touch slightly.

Step 6:  Using straight stitch, machine-sew diamonds to vest 3⁄4 in. (19mm) from all edges.

Step 7:  Referring to photograph, use chalk to draw stitching lines for embroidered diamonds. Use running stitch and yarn to embroider fabric diamonds along stitching lines and chalk-marked diamonds. An embroidery hoop isn’t necessary. (See “Running stitch” on page 20.)

Thanks to Kayte for sharing! In other loveforever news, if you’re in the New York area, catch Kayte and the whole {New New} crew… that’s the New York Etsy team… in person at their Handmade Cavalcade, the one-of-a-kind holiday shopping event on December 6. Kayte gives us some highlights:

The first 200 shoppers who RSVP at will receive a complimentary goody bag on the day of the event. Shoppers who arrive before noon will receive exclusive coupons for discounts at and after the event, and everyone who attends will have the opportunity to enter into a free raffle to win creations from participating vendors. Plus, we’re going to have fun cocktails and snacks!

For more great projects from Kayte, check out her book, Complete Embellishing… and this Ribbon Embroidery project she shared with us this summer.

More How-to Projects on Etsy’s Blog


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