Sometimes the simplest make gives you the most pleasure. Every time I wear one of these vests, I feel stylish, cozy and comfortable. It’s a simple design that brings compliments and the question….where can I buy that?
My love affair with circle vests started several years ago when I was gifted a pattern for one. I soon realized I didn’t really need one at all since it’s just a circle. But the trick is in the proportions. The patterned vest was a bit too voluminous for me, and it wouldn’t fit under my coat. So, I played around with the concept using fabric scraps and muslin and came up with an updated variation that works better for me.
These vests are a great wardrobe addition because they can be worn open or closed. This particular version is reversible, made from two fabrics sewn together, a solid and a plaid. You can finish the edge with bias binding, but fringe is great too. To fringe a vest, sew around it at 5/8″ then use a seam ripper to pull threads from the edge to make the fringe.
The short vest takes a yard of each of two fabrics. For me, the long vest can be made from a yard and 3/8.
The basic concept of a circle vest is introduced in this Thread magazine blog post. In a nutshell…
- Circumference of the circle: your bust measurement
- Distance between armhole: the width of your back from arm to arm
- Depth of the armhole: Top of the shoulder to 3” below your armpit for the depth of the armhole.
I liked this method, but found the vest to be a bit short. So, I modified it by adding 3”to the width of the circle. I did this to give the front of the vest more drape.
Here’s a double-sided flannel vest with bound edges. I used two heavy weight flannels so it’s cozy but a bit stiff. The edges are bound with fleece binding.
Here’s the long version in boiled wool.
To make the long version I added a few extra inches to the length of the oval. I eliminated the bias binding, fringing the edges instead. Here’s a visual of the pattern I drafted for mine.
I only used a yard and a half of fabric by folding the fabric selvage to selvage and cutting my oval from that.
I’m not sure which version I like the best….I’m such fan of plaids and this project is a perfect way to use them all!
It’s always so satisfying to find make a stylish and unique gift for a friend. A unique fabric choice can really make this a stand out piece in any wardrobe. It’s also a great addition to your wardrobe too. As they say, One for you…One For ME!!!
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
4 thoughts on “A Gift to Sew: How To Make a Fringed Circle Vest”
Those patterns always looked too simple to be good, but yours are great Linda – time for a rethink!
Apologies for being picky, but is it the diameter that equals your bust measurement?
I totally agree…too good to be true:) Thank-you, and yes, the diameter is the bust measurement…thanks for clarifying!
Love the plaid versions!