A Dapper Vest for a Dapper Gent

I don’t know about you, but I love when a man wears a smartly tailored vest. Doesn’t matter if it’s with a suit or some jeans, I think it looks polished and sort of old-school cool.  So, I’m thrilled that my boyfriend Tim is a gent who loves a good vest, and I’m equally thrilled that I get to make them for him.

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Front View

For the newest vest in his ever-growing collection, I chose Simplicity 2346. This pattern is very simple and goes together quickly. I selected view B, with a few alterations. First, I find that a lot of vest patterns aren’t quite long enough in the back. To fix this, I added about two inches to the overall length. The second alteration was to the back sizing belt. The pattern was designed to have the back belt sewn into the side seams and extend across the entire width of the back. I decided to shorten the back belt and stitch it right onto the back of the vest. I just think it gives it a cleaner look.

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Back View

On to the fabric! The moment I saw this beautiful black and blue Scottish wool at the Salvation Army Fabric Fair, I knew it would be perfect for a vest.

I’m going to diverge here for just a second, because I need to explain about the Salvation Army Fabric Fair and how awesome it is. The Pittsburgh Salvation Army saves all its fabric donations for the entire year, and then in the Spring holds a one-day fabric fair to sell all the donated fabric. You can find an amazing variety of fabrics, many of which you can get for a song. You should definitely find out if your local Salvation Army does something similar. I’ve come away with some beautiful wools and some unbelievably cool vintage fabric.

Okay, back to the vest. I loved the royal blue stripes in the fabric and decided to orient them diagonally on the vest. I oriented the stripes on the pocket in the opposite direction for some visual interest. For the back, I used some black wool suiting I had in my stash, and the lining is a simple polyester lining fabric. The really fun thing about designing and making vests for Tim is how adventurous he is. Not only did he love the fabric, but he was totally on board when I suggested some blue button holes to match the stripes. He had only one request – he wanted “baller-looking” buttons.

Okay…but what exactly is a baller-looking button?

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Close-up of Button

Well, I found these babies at my favorite fabric shop in Pittsburgh, The Fabric Place, and they definitely fit the bill, aka Tim really likes them. In the end, it seems the criteria for baller-looking buttons are actually pretty simple: 1. Interesting shape 2. Eye-catching color(s).

I would make this pattern again, but I would probably mix it up with either two patch pockets or some welt pockets. I’m sure I’ll be posting more vests in the future – I have several wools in my stash that will be perfect for the cooler weather ahead.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Front View

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Front View

Black and Blue Wool Men’s Vest – Front View

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