Hollywood Vest by Wanett

November 11, 2013 by Wanett 1 comment(s)

Another beautiful project by Wanett of Sown Brooklyn brings us closer to the inevitable truth that winter is approaching. In her second Guest Blogger post, Wanett tells us how she modified a jacket pattern to make a quick wooly and wintery vest. For inspiration, take a look at our online wool fabrics currently on sale; Coating sale ends November 14 and Mid/Light Weight Wool sale runs from November 15-30.

For this, my second Britex project, I got to work with one of my FAVORITE fabrics (again!!):






After using that scrumptious plaid for my last project, The Woodland Stroll Cape, I wanted to KISS (keep it simple, Seamstress!!) the next effort. When keeping it simple, you need to start with the best quality materials. This incredibly soft, drape-y, lush crème colored wool more than answered. It’s highly textured on one side, smooth on the other and when combined with By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer pattern you have the main ingredients to create your own version of the perfect, Monroe inspired:


Hollywood Vest!



There will never be another Marilyn. BUT! With a few (VERY few) pattern tweaks, you (WE!) can have her vest!




To get started, assemble the following:

1 .5 yards of Midweight Winter White Wool Blend

The front & back bodice pieces of the Victoria Blazer pattern from By Hand London

Tracing paper (I buy 18 inch wide rolls, it's perfect for tracing/modifying patterns)

Pencils (regular and colored)

18” Clear gridded ruler

Fabric marker of your choice



Scissors (fabric and paper)

Optional: tailor’s ham or dress form for pressing/steaming


Pattern mods:

1| Trace the front and back bodice of your chosen size (I selected size 4) onto your tracing paper.

2| NOTE: My desired hem fell closer to the cropped rather than full length. If your preference is different, adjust accordingly.

3| It’s really easy to change the shape of the front pattern pieces. I started by enlarging my inspiration image on my computer for easy viewing. I estimated where I thought the new style lines should go and, using my clear ruler and a colored pencil, added them in.

4| Once I cut out this new shape, I wanted to see if my instincts were right. So, I pinned the pattern piece to my t-shirt to see if I liked where everything fell.

5| To make quite certain that things would work in fabric form, I knocked up a super simple muslin. This turned out to be useful as the muslin highlighted some things that the paper pattern couldn’t: the collar was too high. I wanted to adjust the edge detail.  And, I liked the length as it was but the back was a little too full.




To make the changes, I:

1| Removed 5/8 from the neckline and re-tapered the pointed edge so that it ended about 1 inch over and added 1 inch to the lower hem edge.

2| Added 5/8 to the hem.

3| Tapered the back seam a bit.

Result.  My perfect fit!





Minimal, but very effective.




With that done it’s time to cut into the good stuff!

1| I cut 2 of each pattern piece for a decadent, self lined vest.

2| I followed BHL’s assembly directions (the darted front/collar combo is SO clever!!) and pinned the two completed shells with their right sides together, leaving a small section to turn to the right side.

3| I folded the two armhole edges under about 4 5/8 inch and used many, many, many pins to hold them together while hand stitching (DO NOT machine hem like I did! This simple project is worthy of the beauty of invisible seams!).

4| I whacked it on my dress form and pressed/steamed the crease in place to help me keep this drapey wool flat for even seams.




I also hand-stitched the portion of the hem that was left open. Finally, I stitched in the ditch at the shoulder (near the collar) and back neck seams (just under where the two halves of the back collar meet) for about a half-inch to keep the layers from shifting around and added two buttons from the stash inherited from my grandma. They might even be from the same era as the original vest!


Back onto the dress form it went for a press and then….






1 Response to Hollywood Vest by Wanett

  • Jan Scott says:

    Lovely vest. However, I would not pay 12 euros for a pattern for which I cannot see either a schematic drawing or the pattern pieces. The pictures in the Victoria patterns website shows a model wearing a stylish vest and jacket but it is impossible to tell what the collar looks like or the cut of the pattern.

    November 14, 2013 at 11:59 am