Designer Stitch released their first pattern of 2018 and it was also the first thing I sewed in 2018. Winter is the perfect time to be able to be able to wear a vest, although I wear vest all year round!
The Ilse Vest is designed for woven, non-stretch fabric. I chose to make mine out of a medium weight french terry that has no stretch. I am sure that if the fabric had a bit of stitch to it this would still be fine but depending on how much stretch, you may have to size down.
Some of my fellow testers made theirs out of sherpa lined fabrics and others made them out of denim fabric and were able to coax some fraying on the edges. Both of these are looks that I would love to try for future versions!
I really like that a pattern for an obi belt is included, although the vest can also be finished with a clasp option for the front. Obi belts seem top be all the rage these days and to have a pattern that takes the guess work out of making one is very handy. I decided to replace the ties on the belt with some leather lacing I picked up at the dollar store, of all place!
If you are new to sewing, this is a perfect pattern to start with. And those with a few stitches under their belt will recognize the great drafting which is standard for Designer Stitch patterns. The front bodice has darts to give the vest a refined shape rather than just being flat and shapeless. It also comes with pattern pieces for different cup sizes so no having to mess around with any full-bust adjustments for those who need them.
I have a few ideas for my next one, including a fully reversible one. I also have a nice dressy fabric in a light weight suiting that will make a great spring and fall version!
Check out the other Ilse Vest versions from the Designer Stitch testing crew and see if this vest would feel at home in your closet, too!
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