Friday, 25 November 2016

Waffle Dropje vest in star canvas

This project was imagined behind my eyeballs for months.  I thought of all the positives of the Dropjes that I did last year and all the reasons they DID NOT work.

It went like this:
The size 34 for my friend (see here) was a stretchy cotton with stretchy lining.  It was so amazing and cozy.  I really need that stretch!  I was just figuring out how to bag the lining though so I added some unnecessary facings. 

The size 36 for me (see here) was so fluffy, but it was too square.  It was too solid.  It was unflattering.  I did use the size 34 length and that was just barely the right length.

So I thought: I need to have some stretchiness but it needs to be small.  Plus I have this stunningly fabulous star print canvas from Miss Matabi's etsy store and I want to do something amazing with it.  And THEN I realized that this annoying fragment of stretch silk was a perfect contrasting shade of yellow.  And I got thinking: if I made the hem and the side panels from a stretchy knit, and used the stretch silk lining, I would get the stretch that I wanted while being able to use my little piece of star fabric.  Also by having a stretchy bottom it might be more fitted.  That was my plan. 

Yes, the lining sticks out just a tiny, I think I didn't snip enough around the bottom of the armhole.  But it's just a tiny bit, I both understitched and topstitched

I had to jigsaw the pattern pieces and cut painstakingly and the hood ended up being in two pieces and on the crossgrain. 
I also for the first time EVER actually used topstitching thread.  Whoa, it's really thick!  And scary!  No hiding mistakes here - I think a lighter colour would have been a bit better, or purple, but there wasn't a lot of selection. 

I put together the exterior while waiting for my dad to send me the lining, which I stupidly didn't bring with me when I moved.  I wanted to get the two parts together before going to Europe so I could make sure to get a good riri zip in Munich.  There is a nice shop which will shorten zips and it has a great selection.  I also thought just maybe something from my stash would work - the rest of my stash was also still living in Munich.  So it didn't quite get done, in terms of the lining being ready, but I did get a few zip options in Munich so I could choose the best one.

Then I got nervous I might mess it up so I dithered by making a bunch of things I didn't care about.  It sounds like all I do is sew lately but I promise I do other things too.  Luckily after making the Halifax Hoody x2 I was really on top of sewing buttonholes for hood strings and putting in separating zips...

I sewed the hood together before the armholes.  Don't do that!  I guess the burrito method for the armholes would have been much easier but I did manage and then understitched and topstitched (invisibly.)  I ended up going with a lighter weight zip so that it would not get in the way of the beautiful star pattern.

Nothing else shocking on construction.  I put some lightweight, slightly stretchy interfacing on the edge of the hood and along the zipper of the silk lining, so that it would be a little stronger where the zipper and the hood string go.  I used fusible web when it got to folding the hem and stitching it in the ditch, plus I used way more pins and attention than I think I ever have before.  It was necessary because the rib binding is way more stretchy than the body of the vest, and in fact there was a 2cm spot near one side where I didn't catch the hem binding properly and I think I went back over it six times with increasingly bad results, because it kept pleating instead of sewing straight.  I needed the support from sewing the entire bottom together otherwise I might have even considered hand stitching that hem up. 

I'm really happy with my vest.  It's exactly as I pictured and while it's not quite weather-appropriate I've been finding ways to make it work anyway. 

Thanks for Meredith at No Basis in Reality for yet another photo shoot! 


  1. that looks great - might be my favorite of things you have made. the yellow lining is perfect with the fabric.

    1. thanks Beth! I think it's one of the few projects that came out exactly as envisioned.