This Slouchy Gilet was a free pattern with in last month’s love sewing magazine (issue 18). I’m not sure if the pattern is available elsewhere as it’s not listed on the Simple Sews website but I’ll try and find out and update the post later.
Working on a Gardening Project means I spend half my week outside. Iit’s lovely through the Spring and Summer but can get awfully chilly in the colder months. I’m usually layered up with outdoorsy fleeces and waterproofs which, although very practical are not the most stylish options. The slouchy gilet seemed the ideal pattern to add a bit of ‘me’ to my working wardrobe.
There were a number of confusing things with the pattern. The envelope said it was designed for knit fabric only, however the feature in the magazine suggested both knits and wovens. Feeling very Autumnal I was drawn to the Tartan but was initially hesitant as I thought it may be too heavy. It draped beautifully though and I really liked the idea of a Tartan waistcoat (we’re off to Scotland next year so maybe there was some subliminal thought process involved) I decided to risk it.
The second issue was working out the sizing, going by the chart my measurements fitted a size 16. However, the instructions stated that there was no ease built into the pattern so the measurements given were actually the garments final measurements. I knew that the gilet would be worn on top of quite a few layers (vest, t-shirt and jumper) so would I need to add about 3-4 inches of ease, just to be on the safe side I decided to cut a size 20.
The gilet is fully lined, I used some pink tartan to give it a bit contrast. It went together pretty easily, just a matter of sewing the panels together. I actually sewed the zipper on the wrong side but luckily had only basted it in. The fabric didn’t take kindly to unpicking though and has stretched out a bit where the zip is.
I used my own method of construction. The instructions started out OK but then got really confusing and rather over complicated. I sewed the outer and inner shell separately including the collar (which stems from the side panel so no fiddly extra collar pieces) I used my regular machine throughout and relished the opportunity to leave my seams unfinished (it felt incredibly wicked after all the French and bound seams I have been doing recently) I then bagged the whole lot, stitching right sides together all the way around and leaving a gap in the hem to turn it through. I gave it a good press and topstitched all the way around the outside, in the process closing the gap in the hem. To finish the armholes I turned each layers seam allowance of the inside and topstitched around the outer edge.
Overall this was quite a cathartic project, it was very quick and easy to put together so really a bit of instant sewification. I think I could have sewn a smaller size as it has come up a bit big. The final measurement came out as 48-46-48 compared to the 45-38-48 on the pattern envelope. It would be really easy to fit properly though as there are four seams available for adjustment. In the pictures I’m only wearing a t-shirt underneath, a few more layers do fill it out a bit. There is a little bit of bagging around the front edge, this is purely down to my slapdash pinning and sewing, if I had taken my time to smooth out both layers this wouldn’t have happened but I was on merrily on a roll at the time.
(Bonus Cat Bum Bomb)
I like the pattern and would make it again. It’s worked well using a heavier fabric, both inside and out (this is particularly important to me as warmth is my number one priority!) Although it would work better in a medium weight fabric like the jersey or linen suggested in the magazine. I’m not too sure about how it looks zipped up but I’ll only wear it this way if there is a particularly cold wind. I like how it falls when it’s left unzipped, it has a lovely waterfall effect and both sides are perfectly symmetrical. I’ve worn it every day I’m on the project and it’s definitely a lot more stylish than my old fleece waistcoat!