As I mentioned in a previous post, this is one of my favourite baby patterns. Its really simple to put together and all experience levels can make it look good and people will be amazed that its homemade. I managed to teach this vest via zoom to a complete beginner. When I gift this baby vest to friends, they’re always amazed I made it, which I always find hilarious given my CV!
It is important to note that you need to mark notches and tailor tacks with all garments you make before you start sewing. You need to make sure you mark the correct notches/tailor tacks for the size you are making. See photo below for example of different notches for different sizes.
When you start the vest, you first need to finish off the sleeve cuffs and neck edges.
With garments such as this, the bindings are tighter than the main garment body so that it sits nicely when worn. The notches enable you to stitch bindings on evenly. So you stretch the neck binding to meet the centre front and outside edges. The binding is folded over the seam allowance and stitched to contain raw edges. The excess binding can then be neatly trimmed off.
If you look at your own clothing, you’ll notice the hems have a double or triple line of stitching and on the inside the stitching will look like webbed. This is done with a specialist machine called a cover stitch machine. Even a domestic cover stitch machine will set you back quite a bit of money but there is something you can use which is a fraction of the amount. A double needle is a worthwhile investment, you don’t need to change any settings on your sewing machine, you just need two spools of thread and off you go. The inside looks slightly different to the cover stitch machine but the effect on the outside is exactly the same.
Stitching together the pieces
Now that the neck edges and sleeve cuffs are finished, the pieces can start to be assembled. When stitching pieces together use a slight zig zag stitch or overlocker so that the stitches can bounce back when they’re stretched. Straight stitches will snap. The sleeve notch is vital at this point for establishing how much to overlap the back neck over the front neck and attach the sleeves all in one step.
Now that the sleeves are attached, the vest can be folded over along the sleeves with right sides facing. You then machine up the sides and sleeves in one line of stitching.
The leg binding can then be attached in same way as the neck bindings. Here all those earlier notches come into their own to make sure the leg binding is all completely even.
Hammering in the poppers looks harder than it actually is, they’re so simple and give the vest a professional finish. You can easily get packs from Ebay and Amazon and they’ll usually have the tool for hammering included. There’s no complicated holes to punch, you simply push the spikey half through the fabric and hammer in either the female (piece with the hole in) or male (the side with the pump) on the spikes and the job is done.
The male part needs the tool over the bobble to stop it being crushed while hammering but female part doesn’t need it and just be hammered.
After a good all round press, it’s finished and looks fab.
Thanks for reading