I don't live out in the wilderness, nor do I call the Urban Jungle home. To be honest, I don't even like outside. Yet, I was drawn to making the Envigado Vest from Itch to Stitch...
This was one of the most fun projects I've done in a long time. I found the rose embossed nylon/poly mystery fabric in a bag of stuff my aunt gave me last summer and then planned/purchased the hardware to coordinate. There are a number of interesting details, including the option to bias bind your seams, which elevate this item from just a core-warming-weather-shield to a fashionable layering garment.
Envigado Vest is an unlined vest with a lined hood option suitable for light to medium woven fabrics. Closely fitted with front/back princess seams, a drawstring waist and bust cup sizes, Envigado maintains a feminine and flattering silhouette. It is full of details that add up to a garment people will think you purchased at a store. The pattern instructions are incredibly detailed and easy to follow, making this much less difficult to make than it appears.
As always with Itch to Stitch patterns, this file is a layered PDF. You can print all the sizes, or only a selection of sizes for both the print-at-home and copy shop files. Additionally, you'll find:
- Sizes 00-20, each with A, B, C, D, DD cup size options
-Front and back princess seams
-Lined hood option with drawstring
-Waist drawstring casing for shaping
-Large, lined front pockets with snaps and flaps
-Full length zipper and snapped zipper flap
-Unlined bodice with optional Hong Kong seam finish
As usual, my first muslin was straight off the printer and based on my measurements. I started with a 10D bust and graded out to a 12 at the waist and hips.
This is a pretty great start. The fit through the waist and hips was very nice. However, the upper bodice was too big. As you can see, it is wide across the upper chest and back.
I cut a new muslin using an 8DD graded to the same 12 for the waist and hip.
This is definitely looking better.
On this version, I've stitched in the waist casing lines to get a sense of proportion, and I'm finding that it is sitting too low for me. The front shot looks good, the back is much better, though I still have extra length above the waist.
When looking at the side view, it's easy to see that the fullness of the princess seams is a touch too low. The measurement from my shoulder to my bust point is a little bit shorter than that of the pattern.
The adjustments I needed to make to customize my fit were pretty straight forward.
1. "Petite" shortening through the arm hole across the upper chest and upper back of 1/2 inch.
2. Shortened 1/2 inch above the waist at the Lengthen/Shorten line so the casing matched my waist.
That's all. Really. THAT'S IT!
The Pleasure Of Creating
Crafting your Envigado Vest will take time. But that is not a bad thing! The end result is worth all the planning and effort you put in. You will want to read through the instructions and gather all your supplies to have on hand.
Test your interfacing for adhesion, especially if you are using a nylon or outdoor-type fabric. Cut out all the pieces, make your bias binding if you are doing Hong Kong seam finishes.
Let me just stop here for a second and really encourage you to go for the HK finish. Yes, it adds a considerable amount of time to the sewing process... but it's not hard! There's a terrific tutorial on it HERE and HERE.
Trust the sewing instructions. Great care went into making sure the order was logical, making sure the amount of handling raw edges was minimized (as many nylon fabrics fray terribly) and making sure the detail was just right.
As you work through each step, the main body comes together before you know it.
Then another layer as you add the zipper, collar and (optional) hood.
I always used to look at jackets with zipper flaps and think that was such a hard detail. Turns out I was really wrong. The method in the Envigado Vest pattern is super simple.
TIP: Pin the top and bottom edge of the flap to align with the top and bottom of the vest. Then pull it taught and pin along the length, evenly distributing the flap against the edge of where the front meets the zipper tape. If you start pinning at one end and move toward the other, you will think your flap is too long (it's not) and will be very annoyed.
It is my opinion that adding the zipper flap to this vest is one of they KEY details that screams Ready To Wear... in the very best of ways.
Aside from the zipper flap, there is one other place you need to resist the urge to pull too much and that is at the armhole binding.
You may think when you line up the raw edges, that the binding is too long, but it is not. It is designed to ease it a bit on purpose.
By contrast, after you fold the binding in and stitch the second edge, you do not want to ease it. You will want to pull the vest fabric to match the stretch of the outer edge of the binding.
Combined, this gives you a wonderfully smooth armhole, without puckers or bunching from the outside of the vest. This can be tough, especially with nylon fabrics. A slightly longer stitch length can help.
Pockets, flaps, snaps, cording, hardware... Take your time with these details.
Um, I may or may not have purchased cord stops that were too small for the diameter of my cording. Not to worry, I made it work!
It's important not to rush through this part, because in the end, you have this:
Final Photo Love
Here is my Envigado Vest in all her glory!
Sew Your Own Envigado!
Making my Envigado Vest was both enjoyable and satisfying. The test group was made up of people, like myself, who feel comfortable taking on most any sewing challenge as well as ladies who never work with woven fabrics, or have never attempted a garment such as this vest. Every single one of us finished, and all of the vests came out beautifully. You can see all the tester versions HERE. I'll bet you can't guess who those less experienced seamstresses are by looking at the final garment!
Lean in, follow the instructions and join the Itch to Stitch Facebook Community for support!
I shopped these places for my supplies. I have no affiliation with any of the vendors below:
Wawak: Zippers and bulk thread
Fashion Sewing Supply: Interfacing
Pacific Trimming: Hardware such as cord stops and cord ends
Amazon: Snap Kit and Grommet Kit. The sellers for these seem to fluctuate,