Americana Plaid Hero Vest

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I’m so happy with how my Hero Vest by Make it Perfect came out. I had been contemplating the vest for several weeks, so when IndieSew offered an outerwear sale I didn’t think twice. I spent my thinking power coming up with fabric combos instead.

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Just like so many wardrobe essentials, vests are one of those items I don’t normally get to wear because they aren’t long enough for me. So that’s over now and I’m jumping on the vest bandwagon – and the plaid-wagon before it goes out of style. I’m so glad I did, this is so warm! It’s perfect for our very windy climate.

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I added my standard 2″ to the bodice and 1″ to the hood. That tells me the pattern fit is on point. But then I needed a 24″ zipper. That is one of the reasons it took me a while to get started on this vest. I literally own over 100 zippers, but I still didn’t have one long enough. I was able to get a matching 24″ zipper from Zipperstop on Etsy. I also bought a 25″ reversible jacket zipper for my next vest. This pattern is fully lined, so it can be reversible if you make it with the concealed zipper option, which I did, and then use a reversible zipper.

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For this vest I used Robert Kaufman Mammoth Plaid Flannel Americana. You can find it at Raspberry Creek Fabric right now. I lined the vest with this minky sherpa. The trim and waistband are midnight navy cotton lycra*. My only regret is that I didn’t increase the waistband width since I didn’t use ribbing like the pattern calls for.

So sherpa, and plaids and zippers, Oh my! I took forever cutting this because I wanted the plaids to match up perfectly. Then I started running out of fabric when I got to the pocket lining because I was trying to save some for this dress and a scarf. They ended up being ever so slightly off, which ultimately makes the whole side seam look off, when it’s really just the pocket lining.

Solution? Stick your hands in your pockets. It’s cold anyways.

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I’d never worked with sherpa before. That was interesting. It’s basically a knit, but really thick, so at times I felt like I was just shoving it through my machine similar to how my daughter shoves food into her mouth. But it came together cleanly. My daughter on the other hand…

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I ended up putting the zipper in twice. The instructions give a handy tip for making sure the seam at the waistband and bodice line up evenly across the zipper, so I got that right, but my plaid was off by about a 1/8-1/4″ inch. I then applied that same technique to the plaid and marked the zipper where each plaid stripe started and stopped, just like this.

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I also added topstitching to the zipper. Ta da! Look at that plaid matching!

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I like the hood style with the strip down the center. I’ve only ever made hoods for hoodies and this is the first time I’ve had an outerwear hood fit comfortably like this, so that was nice..and comfy…and soft…oh so soft.

I normally shy away from binding because it is a pain, but a knit binding on a woven fabric comes together quite nicely because of the structure from the woven and the ease from the knit. The binding gives a very professional finished look and precise detail to the pockets.

I got a quilted knit for my next vest and I plan to pair it with a solid so that it is a little more versatile and also comes together quickly. I’m still not sure what I will use for a solid. Maybe a denim? We’ll see, I’m up for suggestions! I also plan to make deeper and longer pockets next time. Currently my long hands put a lot of pressure on the pocket seams. I also want the depth so that my phone can nestle in there and be all snuggly and warm, just like me.

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  • Only links listed with an asterisk are affiliate links. As always all opinions are my own.
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