There’s a cartoon sketch I remember watching when I was a kid. A little boy looks out the window to see that it’s raining, bundles up in all his rain gear and runs outside, only to find the sun shining bright. This scene repeats a few more times until it is finally revealed that the “rain” is actually the sprinkler going back and forth across the lawn.
In the upcoming early days of spring, this meteorological back and forth will be all too real: freezing in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon and cloudy by dinner time. I anticipate feeling like that confused little boy chasing the whims of a sprinkler.
And so, this Quilted Vest will be my go-to for spring’s unpredictable days. A layer of Dream Wool batting will keep me cozy, but its light weight will never feel too warm. It’s like a comfy blanket that you get to wear all day long but with its clean lines and delicate collar shaping, much more fashionable!
Robert Kaufman’s Chambray Union Dot makes the outside of this vest as cool and versatile as a favorite pair of jeans, while Moda 200-count Muslin makes the inside as crisp as a spring pea, so no matter how the temperatures dip, curve, climb, or tease, you’ll be prepared too! – Corinne
- Outer Fabric: 1 1/2 yards Robert Kaufman Chambray Union, Dot Indigo
- Lining: One Yard Moda Muslin, 200 Count, 90 inches in Natural
- One 274-yard spool of Gutermann’s Cotton Sewing Thread in color 1040
- Crib size Quilter’s Dream Dream Wool batting
- One Quilted Vest template, available for free download here, printed, prepared and cut out in the appropriate size.
- An 18 mm bias tape maker
- A walking foot for your sewing machine
- A Hera marker or fabric pen
- Curved safety pins
Prewash the Outer Fabric and Lining before starting.
This pattern is also available as a printer-friendly PDF. Just click here!
Cut the Fabric
From both the Lining and the Outer Fabric, you will use the template to pin and cut…
- One Vest Back, on the fold
- Two Vest Fronts
The two Vest Fronts should be mirror images of each other. To be sure to cut them with the proper orientation, cut one with the right side of the fabric facing up and one with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, or you can fold the fabric with right or wrong sides facing each other and cut through both layers at once.
From the Outer Fabric you will also cut the Binding on the bias (at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric) in 1 5/8-inch strips. Cut enough strips so that when pieced you have a total of 4 (4 1/2, 5. 5 1/2, 6) yards.
Using a Hera marker or fabric pen, transfer the markings from the template to all pieces of the Lining Fabric.
Make the Bias Tape
Make sure that all of the ends of the bias strips are cut at 45-degree angle (this cut will run straight with the grain line of the fabric), then piece the bias strips together to create one long piece. For in-depth instructions on how this is done, with lots of photos, please check out my Denim Pinwheel Quilt project here and scroll down to the “Binding” section.
Once you have one long strip of bias tape, use the 18mm bias tape maker (following the manufacturer’s instructions) to press the bias strip into single fold bias tape.
Set the bias tape aside.
Sew the Side Seams
Starting with the Outer Fabric and with right sides facing, pin one Vest Front to the Vest Back along the straight outer edge. Sew the pieces together along this edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Repeat with the second Vest Front along the other outer edge of the Vest Back.
Press the seams open.
This is now the Outer Vest.
Repeat with the Lining.
Cut the Batting
Trim the Wool Batting down to a smaller, more manageable piece that is still larger than the Vest, approximately 44 by 29 (48 by 30, 51 by 31, 54 by 32, 58 by 33) inches.
Lay the Batting out flat on a clean, open space. With the Outer Vest pressed open and flat, center it on top of the batting. Smooth out any wrinkles. There should be about 2 inches of the Batting coming out from under the Outer Vest on all four sides.
Starting from the center and working out, use the curved arm safety pins to secure the Outer Vest to the batting. Trim the Batting so that it is the same shape and size as the Vest.
Remove pins and set aside.
Mark the Lining
With the Lining pressed flat, lay it out on a flat, clean surface.
Using a straight edge and a Hera maker or fabric pen, draw straight lines to connect the marks you made on the Vest Back and Vest Front pieces.
Using these lines as a guide, draw parallel lines every 2 ½ inches until you reach the bottom edge of the Vest.
Lay the Outer Vest smooth and flat, right side down, on a clean surface.
Lay the cut piece of Batting on top, lining up all edges.
Finally, place the Lining on top, with the marked lines facing up. Again, line up all edges.
This is your quilt sandwich.
Pin-baste the quilt sandwich with curved arm safety pins. Place the first pin at the center of the back of the Vest, making sure to pick up all three layers: Outer Vest, Batting and Lining. Then, moving outward, place pins about 3-5 inches apart, avoiding the marked lines. Pin all the way to the edges of the Vest.
Using your machine’s walking foot, quilt along the horizontally marked lines.
Sew the Shoulders
Fold the Vest along its two side seams so that the Vest Fronts fold over the Vest back with the Outer Fabrics facing each other. Line up the shoulder edges and pin in place. Sew along these pinned edges with a 1/2–inch seam allowance.
Trim the seam allowance of the shoulder down to ¼ inch.
Cut one end of the bias strip at a 90-degree angle.
Open up one side of the bias tape. Starting at one end of the shoulder seam, and with the bias tape wrong side up, align and pin the open edge of the tape to the raw edge of the shoulder seam.
Cut the end of the bias tape at a 90-degree angle so that the tape is just the length of the seam.
Sew the bias tape to the shoulder seam with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
Fold the bias tape around the raw edge of the seam and attach it to the other side using a slip stitch. For in-depth instructions on how to sew a slip stitch with bias tape, check out the Denim Pinwheel Quilt project here and scroll down to the “Binding” section.
Repeat for the other shoulder seam.
If it’s not already, cut one end of the bias strip at a 90-degree angle.
Open up one side of the bias tape. Lay the Vest open with the Lining side facing up. Starting at the center of the bottom back edge and with the bias tape wrong side up, align and pin the open edge of the tape to the raw edge of the Vest.
When you get to the shoulder seams, make sure that they are folded towards the back of the Vest.
Pin the bias all the way around the outer edge of the Vest until you meet the starting point. Trim the bias tape so that it overlaps the beginning edge 2 to 4 inches.
Starting two inches from the end of the bias tape, attach it with a ¼-inch seam allowance. Continue sewing until you reach the point where the beginning of the bias tape overlaps the end of the bias tape.
To sew the ends down, fold the extra length of both ends over towards the wrong side so that the creases of each end meet in the middle of the gap.
Press the folds and sew the two ends of the binding together at the crease. Trim the seam allowance to ¼ inch and press to one side. Sew across the gap with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
For detailed photographs of this process, check out our Sewing on Bias Tape Binding Tutorial.
Now, flip the Vest so that the Outer Fabric is facing up. Fold the bias tape over the raw edge. Sew the bias tape to the Vest using a slip stitch, as you did with the shoulders.
Sew the bias tape to the armholes of the Vest in the same way.
You’re all done!