This DiY no sew vest for kids is so easy to make! All you need is a piece of fabric and a pair of scissors. In about half an hour or less you can have a simple vest to match any outfit.
Nine weeks left until Christmas! Are you getting nervous? If you’re following my 12 weeks of handmade Christmas gifts series, this is week four. The first few projects required some basic sewing skills, and I know I promised that most of these would be easy.
Today’s project is perhaps the easiest piece of clothing you will ever make. And it’s cute.
I’ve got two sizing options for you: child and adult. It is based mostly on height, so if you’re really tall, you might need to modify the concept. This pattern is also very forgiving, so if you make a mistake you can probably adjust it.
How to make a no sew vest
No sew vest supplies
I recommend jersey or knit, something that won’t fray if you don’t hem it. Soft is good. You could go for a fluffy fleece or flannel for extra warmth. For a child vest, you need half a yard. For an adult vest, two-thirds of a yard. I used navy jersey because I made this one for Sniffles (10). I wanted her to be able to wear it to school, and they have uniforms.
- tape measure
- white pencil/crayon (for dark fabric), dark pencil/crayon (for light fabric)
No sew vest instructions
Start by taking some measurements. You’re going to make a rectangle. The long side of your rectangle is the distance from wrist to wrist when standing with your arms sticking out. If you need to measure in secret, this measurement should be roughly the height of the person, minus 10-12 inches. The short side of your rectangle is 18 inches for a kid vest or 24 inches for an adult vest. (This is the back, from neck to waist, if you are really tall/short and prefer to measure.)
Cut out your fabric to these measurements. Be sure not to stretch the fabric as you go.
To make the armholes, draw an oval on a piece of paper that is about 6 inches high and 4 inches wide. I measured the vector, then free-handed the curves. You could easily draw one on the computer and print it or maybe find something to trace.
Cut out your oval. If you freehanded it and your oval is really uneven, fold it in half and cut out using the better side.
Next, measure the distance from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. For average kids, this should be about 10 inches, for adults around 12 inches.
Fold the fabric in half, matching up the two short sides. Lay your oval on the fabric near the folded edge. For a kid vest, it should be 3 inches from the top edge and 5 inches (half the shoulder blade distance) from the folded edge. For an adult vest, the oval should be 6 inches from the top edge and 6 inches (half the shoulders) from the folded edge.
Trace your oval with a pencil or crayon, then carefully cut it out. Again, be sure you don’t stretch the fabric.
That’s it. No need to hem, line or even sew the vest. This project takes 30 minutes or less.
Tips to dress up your now sew vest
If you have time and want to sew, there are a few things you can add to really dress up this no sew vest.
- Use two fabrics to create a reversible lined vest.
- Add a pocket.
- Use a decorative stitch, such as a blanket stitch, to finish the edges in a contrasting color.
- Add embroidered details or decorative buttons.
Leave a comment or send me an email if you need any help making this no sew vest. Do you have a creative variation on this project? I’d love to see it.