Vest to Jacket Pattern Hack (my almost-sewing-fail)

This jacket story is more like a saga. I found this amazing pink and red wool flannel at my thrift store and neeeeeded to see my jacket vision through immediately. This must-have-it-now attitude sort of backfired on me this time! Long story short, after putting in a lot of pattern hunting time, then pattern hacking time into it, the jacket was just slightly too small for me.

BUT, there is a happy ending! The jacket is perfect for my daughter. Meet Natalie's new coziest-ever-super-cute-really-well-made jacket.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

It's SO cute and seriously, the wool flannel is the coziest ever. The dark navy sweatshirt fleece I used for the sleeves, lining and hood lining is also thrifted. It was originally a very nice quality sweatshirt fleece blanket! (I've blogged about thrifting for fabrics here.) The inside of the lining is sewn so that the soft side is against her body, like a sweatshirt would be.

I could not for the life of me find a pattern for the jacket I knew I wanted to make with these two things, so I ended up using a vest pattern and adapting it to include sleeves. The Hero Vest pattern by Make It Perfect was the closest I could find (I wanted both pockets and a hood). My fatal mistake was not making a muslin! I've even blogged about why I started making a muslin every time! Ugh, Nikki. I didn't take my own advice and it backfired on me, for sure. Lesson learned, though!

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

If I had made a muslin, I would have realized how small the sizing runs. I did make my size according to the chart, but I should have cut the front and back out of muslin fabric, just to make sure it would fit. I even added four inches to the front opening in attempt to make it work (see the navy bands down the front) and it was still a little snug. But again, the silver lining here is that it's perfect for Natalie and she really loves it. She’s worn it to dance a couple times and has gotten lots of compliments, which is always a good feeling.

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

As for my changes, I added sleeves by using the sleeve piece from a hoodie pattern I had in my drawer. Then, since the vest pieces have lower armholes than a garment with sleeves would, I altered that line using the front and back pieces of the hoodie pattern as a guide.

Also, there are instructions on the designer’s website for how to encase the zipper into the lining, which I used and that worked awesome. This way, the zipper tape doesn't show if you wear the jacket unzipped.

SO, despite my troubles, I actually would recommend this pattern! It turned out so cute and I might reprint, figure out the correct size and try again. Just beware the size chart!

While I was hunting for a pattern for this project, I came across several amazing vest patterns, which I recently compiled into a blog post here. So check that out, if you’re inspired to try a vest this cold season!


The 6 Best Vest Patterns to Sew for Fall

I acquired a piece of plaid wool flannel from my thrift store last weekend and got a bee in my bonnet to make a jacket sort of like this one. Let me tell ya, I had a really hard time finding a pattern! I did find a few for men, one Simplicity and one McCall’s, but none for women.

I decided a pattern mash-up was in order. I found plenty of great vest patterns, so I would need to choose which pieces I’d add to one of them to get the look I wanted. I definitely wanted a hood and pockets and I wanted it lined, so I found a pattern that had those elements, to which I could easily add sleeves. I’ll reveal which pattern I purchased later, but I also want to share with you the six fabulous vest patterns I now want to sew up, thanks to my frantic searching for the perfect jacket pattern!

PIn Me!

I’ve found my six favorite Fall vest sewing patterns and put them in one handy place! come see the six vests you should sew for Fall and get fabric suggestions to go with them! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #fallsewing #vestpatterns #outerwear #diyfashion

This post contains affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

  1. First up, from our trusty Big 4 company, McCall’s 7695

Someone on Instagram who was watching my pattern hunt on stories, alerted me to McCall’s 7695. Ultimately I didn’t go with this one because it didn’t fit my vision for this particular project, but I promptly put in on my list for the next McCall’s sale. I’m seeing similar jackets on boutique sites (like here) also, which helps me see the many ways I could style a vest like this.

But, if sewing outerwear isn’t your thing, you can try this one:

2. Second, Burda Style Puffy Vest Pattern

I just found out today my city is expecting epic snowfall this year (facepalm), and I have frozen my way through my two winters in Utah (Hawaii living really killed my cold tolerance, ha!) I think adding a couple of warm layers might be the ticket and help me stay warm. I’ve never owned a puffy vest, but this might be the year I finally make one! This pattern seems to be basic enough and would do the trick.

Though, if I were going to buy a puffy vest instead, I'd go with this pink one (the yellow is a close second!)

3. Next up, the Envigado Vest by Itch to Stitch

I love this vest and see similar ones styled up in all kinds of ways all over the Internet. I didn’t pick this pattern for this project because I wasn’t sure how I’d figure out the sizing if I’m planning to line my jacket with a thicker fabric. I think is a great utility vest pattern, though and I’m excited to track down some twill and make one up. I have a great Fall flannel I could line the hood with, too.

Here is a similar vest for purchase (I love the burgundy color too!)

4. Burda Style Waistcoat

This pattern is so cute! I almost ditched my whole plan and made this instead, but I think it will be more useful in a solid color. I can see it being a good addition to my wardrobe in a neutral, but probably not in the pink and red plaid I’m using for this project. The peplum and the side buttons are my favorites details.

5. The runner up, Waffle Patterns Hooded Vest

I almost went with this pattern, I truly love it. But using an Indie pattern company for the first time, knowing you’re going to make alterations is always risky and in the end, again, I wasn’t sure of the sizing with the thicker lining I was wanting to use. This pattern is fabulous, though, especially because you can purchase a sleeve add-on to make it into a jacket instead of a vest, which is pretty convenient.

Since we’re vest shopping (ha!) I really like this Carhartt vest in light blue. I don’t know if it fits my life. Maybe if I still had chickens, I wouldn’t feel like a poser wearing Carhartt, hahaha! Is this something I could wear in my city-girl life??

6. The winner: Women’s Hero Vest by make it perfect

I went with this pattern for my jacket! The pattern calls for sherpa lining, so I know it will work with the sweatshirt fleece lining I’m planning to use. The hood is also lined, which I wanted. It has pockets, I like the style and it should be easy to add sleeves. I already cut out my pieces with my sleeve alteration, so I’ll keep you posted on my finished product later. Fingers crossed it works out how I want it!

Hero Vest pattern by make it perfect. Come see why I chose this pattern among 5 others, plus fabric links for sewing Fall vests! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fallsewing #vestpattern

Fabric Suggestions:

Like it said, I got my wool flannel at the thrift store, but I didn’t mention that I also found my lining there. I always shop the entire linens section for fabric options! I found a sweatshirt fleece blanket of great quality that I cut up to line my jacket with.

Finding the proper fabrics for projects like outerwear can be confusing, I know. Hobby Lobby’s Fall fashion line has some seriously amazing choices for these styles of vests right now! Yesterday I spotted several sherpa options, including a sherpa-lined buffalo plaid. They also have some great quilted fabrics, including a dusty pink one I think I might use for McCall’s 7695. When I first saw these fabrics arriving at my Hobby Lobby, I had no idea what to do with them, but this vest saga has given me plenty of ideas!

And of course there are also plenty of great options on Amazon!

I’m excited to sew up some outerwear this Fall and Winter! I’ve been pinning all my favorite ideas here, and I’d love for you to follow along and point me in the direction of any other great outerwear ideas you come across! Tips for how to keep my feet warm this winter are also welcome ;)