A funky embroidered vest made from luxurious fabric is a great accessory that lends itself to dressing up or down. Experiment with upholstery-weight fabrics, decorative trim, eclectic buttons and embroidery designs to show off your creativity at holiday parties and family gatherings.
- vest pattern (such as Indygo Junction Eclectic Accent Vest)
- fabric & notions according to pattern envelope
- thread: all-purpose, bobbin, embroidery
- tear-away stabilizer
- embroidery design
- Decide where to place the embroidery on the vest. The featured pattern has a pocket and waistband that are perfect canvases for embroidery.
- From the fabric, cut the pocket and waistband pattern pieces, leaving plenty of excess fabric beyond the pattern edges to allow for hooping.
- Print several templates of the design, changing the size and orientation of the design with each printout. Experiment with the design placements by positioning templates over the pocket and waistband pieces until the desired look is achieved. For the featured vest, the same design was used for both pieces, but it was resized for the back and used vertically on the pocket. If the design doesn’t fit on the desired pattern piece, load the design into embroidery software and manipulate it until it fits in the allotted space. Once resizing is complete, save each design using a new file name.
- Mark each design center on each fabric piece right side, noting the design file name for each placement. Load the design into the embroidery machine.
TIP: When only slightly modifying the design shape or size, use the scaling feature to change the design size without recalculating the stitch count. When drastically changing the design size or shape, use the resize feature to recalculate the stitch count to yield better embroidery results.
- Install a new embroidery needle. Thread the machine with matching embroidery thread in the needle and bobbin.
- Hoop the fabric with one layer of tear-away stabilizer. If upholstery-weight velvet with a low pile isn’t used, hoopless embroidery is the best technique to use in order to eliminate hoop burn. Use two layers of stabilizer to ensure the fabric won’t shift during embroidery. Experiment with scrap fabric that’s similar to the type and weight of the chosen fabric to guarantee desired results.
- Embroider one design. Trim the jump stitches and remove the excess stabilizer. Continue to embroider until each pattern piece is complete.
- Remove the hoop from the machine and the fabric from the hoop. Gently tear away the stabilizer.
- From the fabric, cut out the remaining pattern pieces. Cut the embroidered pieces to size using the corresponding pattern pieces.
- Construct the vest following the pattern instructions.
- Cut enough 21⁄4"-wide velvet strips on the bias to fit around both arm holes and the vest outer edges. The number of strips will vary based on the vest size. Stitch the strips together along the short ends to form one long strip.
- Fold one binding end 1⁄2" toward the wrong side; press. Fold the binding in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing; press.
- Position the folded binding end along the vest-back lower edge with right sides facing. Align the strip long edges with the vest raw edge; pin generously. Beginning 2" from the folded end and using a 1⁄2" seam allowance, stitch the binding long edge to the vest. End the stitching 2" from the beginning fold. Trim the binding end to fit inside the fold, and then push the raw end inside the folded end. Finish stitching the binding.
- Press the binding toward the seam allowance, and then fold it over the raw edge. Press, and then pin it in place.
- From the vest right side, stitch in the ditch to attach the binding folded edge with the stitches.
- Repeat to bind each armhole and vest edge.
Vest design: Pfaff, #110502 (free design from the Creative Endless Hoop II), (800) 997-3233, pfaff.com
Indygo Junction provided the Eclectic Accent Vest pattern: (913) 341-5559, indygojunction.com.
Pfaff provided the Inspira embroidery needles, Inspira tear-away stabilizer, Endless Hoop and 4D Suite Embroidery Software: (800) 997-3233, pfaff.com.
Robison Anton provided the cotton embroidery thread: (800) 847-3235, robison-anton.com.