Draft and sew a fun quilted vest

Meg wears her quilted vest Hinterland dress hack. When sewing, she chose black pre-quilted jacquard fabric and a chambray bias binding.

Vests of all types are having a (much deserved) moment

I’d been seeing quilted vests pop up in my Pinterest feed for quite some time; what can I say, that algorithm has me pegged. 

Vests, as a category, have suddenly become all the rage, with sweater vests, fleece vests, and the like showing up not just in my Pinterest feed, but in clothing collections and on the runway. 

Glad the trends have finally caught up with a perennial functional, fun piece of clothing that makes it easy to add layers and textures to any outfit.

After Meredith posted about her hacked Hinterland hobbit vest, I knew I’d eventually be pulled to make something similar, but open in the front, and with pockets. 

Sensing a personal need for a deep dive into a passion project, I took it upon myself to use my Hinterland Dress bodice to draft a basic vest pattern, and then make my vest using only what I had on hand. (For those who are new here, I have a pretty small stash for a sewing professional, so this self-imposed creative parameter is often just the challenge I need to get my creative juices flowing.)

I opted to use a remnant of black Merchant and Mills quilted jacquard, a remnant of a rusty colored linen, and some mystery stash chambray to make the bias binding. (Here’s a fun and easy way to make a bunch of continuous bias binding.)

The star of the vest would be a handwoven Irish wool remnant gifted to me years ago by a sewing friend.

I even had to be discerning with my thread: I had a limited amount of the off-white sashiko thread that I envisioned outlining the bias binding, so I decided to use a rust embroidery thread for the blanket stitch that affixed the wool circle to the back.

Quilted vest video tutorial

My goal for this project was to enjoy the process just as much as the finished garment, so I let myself explore possibilities and experiment with possible outcomes. I mostly followed Judith’s brilliant video tutorial for hacking the Hinterland dress into a vest, but I DID deviate a bit, which, quite frankly, is the point of pattern hacking! 

DIY Quilted Vest: Make a vest that FITS by drafting your own pattern!

The specifics of my quilted vest hack

Here are the changes I made to the tutorial, in addition to following Judith’s directions for converting the dart to ease and trueing up the pattern:

  1. I used my modified Hinterland sleeved bodice, which includes my standard forward shoulder adjustment. (Not sure how to go about that for yourself? Check out our free Hinterland Fitting Guide!) Judith uses the sleeveless bodice pieces, but it’s what I had on hand, so I went with it!
  2. I lengthened the bodice pieces by about 3.5”.
  3. I straightened the Back side seams so that they were parallel to the grainline, which gave me more ease at the waist, which is what I was going for.
  4. I lowered the armscye by about 1.25”, which gave me more space for wearing the vest over more voluminous sleeves or even sweaters.
  5. I added changed the curve along the neckline, added a curve to the lower center front as well as at the side seam.
  6. I did NOT add extra width to the front in order to accommodate snaps.
My hacked Hinterland bodice pieces.
Cover of the Hinterland Dress Fitting Guide

Our illustrated guide walks you through diagnosing and making pattern changes for 26 common fit adjustments, so all your Hinterlands will fit perfectly.

What’s more – our guide will provide you with the knowledge to fit ANY darted woven bodice!

This Guide is from the first module of our Creative Hinterland pattern making course, giving you a taste of what that class has to offer.

Looking for more help? Our Learn to Fit and Sew Bodices class provides detailed fitting instruction, as well as a complete Hinterland sew-along.

For those of you wondering about how to sew the vest, it’s pretty simple: sew the shoulders and side seams of the exterior fabric and the lining, then finish all edges with bias binding.

Keeping in the spirit of enjoying the process, I opted to sew much of the vest by hand, with the exception of finishing the edges of the woven wool circle and the edges of the pre-quilted jacquard with a serger to prevent fraying, and I sewed the first pass of the bias binding with my machine. 

The resulting vest is a pleasure to wear, and I’ve particularly enjoyed layering it over my Hinterland wrap dress (white) and the Hinterland wrap top (black), both of which are based on one of my favorite hacks that Judith teaches in our online course, The Creative Hinterland: Patternmaking for Mindful Sewists. I love the way the gathered raglan sleeve peeks out from the edge of the vest. 

If you’re looking to delve into a playful patternmaking and sewing project with tons of options for customization, definitely watch the video tutorial and see what direction your stash and personal preferences pull you in, and share your makes on social media with the tag #hinterlandhack!

Sophia, our Learn to Sew Your Clothes student, sewed her first practice seam ever!

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  1. Can I just say that I LOVE GETTING EMAILS FROM YOU ALL!!!!!! Seriously! I’m so inspired everytime, no matter who is writing….the helpful tips, encouragement and lovely pictures are so motivating! I’m a new but passionate sewist, thanks to your simple philosophy of layering styles, being a conscious consumer, and making treasured pieces that bring you joy and creativity. I’ve made several of your patterns and am slowly working through the beautiful courses you send out! Also, I’m a mom of three littles, who is so thankful for this creative outlet to push me toward much needed me-time! Thank you for all that you do!! I’m so thankful for Sew Liberated!☺️❤️

  2. How did I not know this tutorial existed till now?! The Hinterland pattern is truly the pattern that keeps in giving, love that. Could you please tell me what width bias tape you used?