Ilse Vest by DesignerStitch Patterns

I really only apply to test garments that I think will work for me and my style and occasionally I get it wrong. In this case I applied to test* the Ilse Vest by DesignerStitch Patterns ** (Affiliate link) as I had this vest on my Pinterest board for ages and wanted to recreate a similar look. Finding look-a-like fabric on the other hand was proving difficult.


I then shopped my stash and was going to use some brown herringbone fabric with faux leather binding, however I couldn’t find matching faux leather binding.

I thought about it and decided to try my luck at one more fabric store, otherwise I was on the hunt for some blankets. Which in itself is laughable as we are in the middle of summer.

By now I have tested lots of patterns from Ann and her testing process is quite streamline with great comraderi amongst the group and often minimal, if any pattern changes during testing. The pattern comes in a large range of sizes AUS 6-26 with separate cup sizes – B, C, D, DD(E) and printing with the layer option. There are really only 4 pattern pieces not including the belt. Ann’s experience in the drafting and fashion industry is evident by how patterns fit and also the thorough and clear instructions.


I eventually settled on this black and white plaid (polyester/acrylic). I didn’t realise until I was fussy cutting that it doesn’t actually have a pattern repeat so I tried my best to match the vertical and horizontal lines. The construction was extremely fast, especially as it’s not lined. In the end I found some faux leather look stretch fabric, the kind you would use to make leggings, to make my binding. Because of the stretch I didn’t bother cutting it on the bias. I think I cut it about 2 inches wide from memory. I wish I had used a walking foot to attach my binding as there is some twisting which I have tried my best to iron straight.

I also decided to make the included obi belt as my closure. I wish I had interfaced my belt however because of the stretch fabric it doesn’t keep it’s shape. For the ties I used black ribbon in the corresponding finished width of the ties because I didn’t want to tackle my black stretch fabric to make the ties.

I’m excited for when the cooler weather is upon us as I will have a great layering piece to wear.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to DesignerStitch Patterns


Maternity Crossroads Vest by Twig + Tale

The Crossroads Vest by Twig + Tale had already gone into testing but they put the call out for a couple of pregnant testers for the add-on features. I was 39 weeks pregnant at this time, hoping baby would stay put until I had it finished.


Thinking ahead to when I would probably actually wear the Crossroads Vest, as we were heading into summer during testing, I tested* the maternity version using a warm marble grey platinum fleece (polyester) and multi coloured printed rayon #4 chevron (100% rayon) as the lining. I made the flutter sleeve with the curved, dropped back. I went for the simpler version as I thought my sewing time may be cut short. The flutter sleeve was not a good option with this thicker fabric as it sticks out away from the body but I’m okay with that.

The Crossroads vest features a double layer across the chest with a petal shape and as aforementioned the maternity option. It is actually the perfect add-on to the Women’ Pathfinder Vest which in itself has lots of options.

It is a really quick vest to sew. Everything matched up perfectly and the fit was spot on. The are highly detailed instructions with photos at each step. I think my rayon stretched a bit and therefore is a bit longer at the back curve. Again, it’s something I can live with as it’s kind of a run pop of colour.

As you can see, the vest fits both at 39 weeks pregnant and post pregnancy and I will be happy to take this for a test run as our colder weather sets in, but hopefully that is a while away yet.


*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.