I made this vest a few years ago based on a picture I saw in a Burda magazine - sorry, I can't remember which issue. The Burda vest was an everyday vest made from striped and polka dot ties. As soon as I saw that, I knew I had to make a Christmas vest from Santa ties. I've been collecting holiday ties for a few years and have accumulated quite a few. Below is a tutorial on how to make your own holiday vest.
Holiday Vest Tutorial
Supplies needed:- 8 to 12 ties. I like to include only 2 or 3 "themed" ties and the rest complimentary (either stripes, polka dots or a neutral pattern). Be sure to remove the labels on the backs of the ties.
- A vest back piece from either an old vest found at the thrift store, or a vest back pattern piece from a pattern you already have. Use a vest back that includes a tie if possible. This helps with the fitting. If your vest back doesn't have a tie, you could make one from the skinny ends of the Holiday ties as well!
- A dress form set-up to your measurements
- Basic sewing supplies - needle, thread, pins, sewing machine
First, start with a bunch a ties. Pick out 2 to 3 "themed" ties. I choose to make a Snowman vest for the first part of this example.
Next, using a dress form adjusted to your measurements, pin the ties at the shoulder seam, letting them drape down the front. Try various ties in different arrangements to see which ones you like best. Be sure to use both the skinny and fat ends of the ties and to vary the lengths in the front. Use enough ties to cover the front of the dress form leaving enough room to account for the two small "waistband ties" - approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch gap. Be sure you have enough width to match at the side seams as well. Scroll a little further down if these sounds confusing.
To obtain the width of the shoulder seam - measure the width of shoulder seam on your recycled vest back or the pattern back you will be using and adjust your ties to that width. Mine was 3 3/8".
Pin all of the ties together. Compare the widths of both fronts to make sure they are approximately the same. If they are not the same, either add another tie to make them even, or adjust your existing ties.
Next, cut off the remaining tie lengths in the back at the shoulder - be sure to leave about a 1" seam allowance.
Here's the ties cut off with the 1" seam allowance at the shoulder seam.
Next, topstitch the ties together using a complimentary thread. Below is the red Snowman tie topstitched to the blue tie.
Once all of your ties have been sewn together, whipstitch the edges together on the inside. Here's an example of why you should remove the labels before you sew everything together. I just looks a bit messy sewing over the labels. You may skip the whipstitching portion if you like, just bear in mind that the inside will not be as smooth and the inside edges of the ties may catch on your blouse underneath.
|Whipstitch edges together on the inside of the vest|
Next, sew the shoulder seams together however you prefer. I choose to sandwich the two layers together and completely enclose the ties.
Now you need to try on the vest. Cut two skinny ties approximately 12 - 15 inches long for the front and pin in place along the waistline. Pin the sides together and test the fit. You will notice that the fronts angle towards the back on the sides and that's ok. Also, for mine I opted not to include bust darts - I have a little bit of gaping, but it's no big deal - it's a holiday vest! You could easily add bust darts at this point if needed. Simply pinch in a dart on the ties and sew. You will need to readjust the sides if you add darts. Topstitch the fronts to the vest back.
|Side of vest after topstitching together|
|Inside view of the side seams. I finished the edges of the vest back on the serger|
|View of vest back|
Sew one skinny tie to each vest front along the waistline and voila! You are done!
Happy Sewing and Merry Christmas!