I have been liking and wanting a military style sleeveless jacket/vest since last year. I couldn't find one that fit me very well. They were too long on me and I didn't want to buy something at retail prices. It didn't occur to me to make my own until my daughter decided she didn't want these army green pants anymore.
These pants were just the right color and they had great pockets too. I started looking all over Pinterest to find ideas for turning pants into a vest. There were a lot of ideas. I was inspired by this picture. It looked easy to adjust to the pants I had to work with.
Here are the green pants. They had a basic zipper and button closure at the waist. There was also an internal drawstring at the waist that I used later. The drawstrings at the bottom of the legs guided this entire project. Keep reading to see how.
I started by cutting the legs off and cutting them open along the sides. I just followed the side seam. There was an opening for the drawstrings on the sides, so they were not damaged by cutting the legs open.
I then put the two legs together so I had one big piece of fabric. It doesn't look like a vest yet.
I flipped it upside down. Now the drawstring is at the top. It will make a great collar/neckline. But it still doesn't look like a vest.
Here is a close up of the side. I didn't make a round armhole. I opened the seam and then stitched the raw edges back down. It will make a nice armhole. This wouldn't work on formal tailored clothing but on a casual jacket with a looser fit it will work well.
The next step was to add some pockets. I cut them off the back of the pants and left about 1/4 inch around them.
I used an iron to press the raw cut edges under the pocket.
I used my machine to stitch over the seams already around the pocket. I was just sewing over the seam that was there. It was an easy way to attach the pockets and avoid taking them apart.
Here is the finished vest. It is a nice layering piece for cooler days.
The drawstring is pulled together the back to make the shoulders fit well. The front of the drawstring is looser, forming a collar of sorts.
The narrow tie at the waist is actually the drawstring from inside the waistband. It is stitched down on the sides. It was a quick and easy matching belt to close the vest.
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.