Before becoming a mom, I always imagined myself pulling all-nighters sewing last minute outfits for my kids, and that was actually something I looked forward to. Now that I am a mom…well, there is no all-nighter (my body can’t handle it), but it was a last minute project for sure.
Apparently in Houston, to mark off the start of the Rodeo, there’s “Texan Day” at schools, where students can come dressed in their favorite western gear. When I first saw the email for “Texan Day”, I thought it was to wear Houston Texan Football Team gear, so I didn’t think much of it. Luckily a friend mentioned that it was to wear Western gear, so I set to work researching what Texan wear is all about (and this all happened 3 days prior to the dress up day)
Luckily Barnaby already owned a pair of jeans and a light blue shirt, so I decided to make him a little vest since I knew it was doable. I was also hopeful to make him some suede chaps, since that didn’t look hard either. But alas, Barnaby refused his nap the day before my deadline, so perhaps next year, suede chaps!
I took the pattern off one of Barnaby’s vest, and used cow-patterned cotton for the top and brown suede on the bottom. The cowboy vest is lined on top (because cotton fabric frays, so it needs either a lining, or a hemmed finish), and unlined on the bottom (another great reason to use suede). Making the vest with this partial lining makes it a whole lot quicker than if I had chosen to line the entire vest. If you choose to use suede for the entire vest, you don’t even need to bother with lining. The entire project took about 2 hours, so definitely very doable!
I also ended up adding the velcro straps to the front of the vest because Barnaby kept taking off the vest when I tried it on him. However, if you have a cooperative child who won’t rip off vests, I don’t think it’s necessary.
Existing Vest (used to create pattern)
3/8 Yard Brown Suede Fabric (I used this)
3/8 Yard Cow Print Cotton Fabric (I used this)
1/8 Yard Gold Faux Leather (I used this)
Black Velcro (optional)
Matching thread for sewing
Sewing machine with zigzag stitch options
Fabric glue (I use Aleene’s No-Sew Fabric Glue)
*I use lightweight paper (36″ wide) that are sold by the yard at a local art store. However, any type of paper works to make patterns. You can piece together printer paper, use butcher paper, or even cut up some paper grocery bags. I’ve used all of those before!
LEFT: Create Front pattern pieces by cutting pattern piece into front upper and front bottom. Add 1/2”seam allowance (dotted lines) to upper and bottom piece pieces as shown.
RIGHT: Create back pattern pieces by cutting pattern piece into back upper and back bottom. Add 1/2”seam allowance (dotted lines) to upper and bottom piece pieces as shown.
LEFT: Cut another piece of fringe the same length as the top of [BACK BOTTOM] piece. Place right side of fringe over right side of [FRONT BOTTOM] piece.
MIDDLE: Place right side of cow fabric over right side of fringe+[BACK BOTTOM]. Pin and sew in place.
RIGHT: Clip point at center back.
LEFT: Pin armhole of cow fabric to armhole of lining
MIDDLE: Match shoulder seams together
RIGHT: Sew armhole together on both sides and clip curve.
LEFT: Right side of vest at this point
RIGHT: Wrong side view of vest (notice bottom of [BACK BOTTOM] piece is not curved because I didn’t decide to create the curve on the pattern until after finishing the entire project!)
2. Match lower corner of lining piece to lower corner of cow fabric
3. Start pining together from lower corner up to shoulder seam
4. Stitch from lower corner to shoulder seam (red dotted line) at 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat on other side.
LEFT: Turn vest to right side. There will be an opening on the top back neckline. Clip curves within seam allowance. This allows to easily form neckline curve when pinning together(next step)
MIDDLE: Pin lining and [BACK UPPER] piece together.
RIGHT: Hand sew (slip stitch) close.
LEFT: Serge seam allowance on wrong side of vest. If you don’t own a serger, the zigzag stitch on a home sewing machine works too!
MIDDLE: Stitch down seam allowance on wrong side of vest (indicated by red dotted line) with matching brown thread. Make sure when you are sewing the fringes on the right side of vest are flipped towards cow fabric so you aren’t sewing down the fringes.
RIGHT: View of stitch from right side of vest. You will only see the stitch when fringes are flipped up.
LEFT: Cut out star pattern and glue to vest (wherever you want it). Pin stabilizer under where you are sewing the star.
MIDDLE: Stitch star to vest using straight stitch
RIGHT: Remove excess stabilizer around star on wrong side of vest. Stitch side seams together (red dotted line). Repeat on other side.
LEFT: Cut a strip of suede 2”x 7”. Fold in half and stitch at 1/4” seam allowance (red dotted line). Press open with seam allowance facing up. Stitch at 3”intervals (yellow dotted line) and cut 1/4” away from stitch line.
MIDDLE: Using scissors, flip 3”strips to right side
RIGHT: Sew in black velcro (1”x1/2”).
LEFT: On the left side of vest, sew strip with loop side of velcro facing up (yellow dotted box)
MIDDLE: On right side of vest sew strip with hook side of velcro facing down (yellow dotted box). Photo shows view from wrong side of vest.
RIGHT: Completed view
Completed Views of vest, front and back.
Hee haw! This happy litte cowboy is ready for the Rodeo! Let me know in the comments below if you made this project. Happy sewing!