Constructing the Vest

Because the vest is partially lined, it goes together somewhat differently than either the dress or the baby gown of the previous two chapters. The lining finishes the front edge and the front armhole and, if done correctly, can hide the side and shoulder seam allowances as well.

Hemming the Back

Because the back isn't lined on this vest, the lower back, back armholes, and the back of the neck all need to be hemmed. Press these raw edges under ⅝″, and then press the raw edge under within that allowance.

An alternative is to use narrow seam binding. This will allow you to clip and trim the seam allowances at the curves. Your choice will be determined by how casual your vest is — the hem will look more casual than the more polished binding — and whether or not you can match the back fabric with the seam binding. Refer to the different choices for finishing the neck edge of the baby gown in Chapter 16 for details on using the seam binding.

Stitching the Side Seams

When the armholes, neckline, and lower edge of the back are finished, you can sew it to the front pieces. Put the right sides together. The front pieces will still have their ⅝″ seam allowances and will be larger. Be sure you center the back sides between these allowances. Sew ⅝″ seams, and press them toward the front pieces. Grade the seam allowances by trimming the front's allowance to about half of the back's.

Do not stitch the shoulder seams yet. Leaving them open now allows you to turn the lining to the back when you sew it to the front in the next step.

Adding the Front Lining

Before you sew the front lining to the front pieces, turn the side seam allowance and the shoulder seam allowance of these lining pieces toward the back and press them. Pin the lining on top of the front pieces, right sides together. The side seam fold you just pressed on the lining should match the stitched side seams, and the fold at the shoulder should be ⅝″ below the raw edge of the front pieces.

Stitch around the armhole and down the front from the neck and across to the side seam. Clip and grade the seams. Using the open sides, turn the lining to the back. Press the edges. Blind-stitch the lining to the side seam, being careful your stitches don't show on the back fabric.

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