Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY - Cargo Vest

I'm sure I've said this before but this DIY is so easy that anyone and I do mean anyone can do it.  All you need are two items. There is no gluing, sewing or waiting involved in this DIY.  Once you are finished, you'll have a vest you can wear year round!  A cargo vest has been on my wish list for some time.  I started by looking for one that fit my pear shaped body on every website available.  I found lots that I loved but none that would fit my generous hips. I finally decided that I should stop searching and start making.  Then the search began for a military shirt or light jacket.  I really wanted solid olive but I've been searching for a couple months and keep coming up empty.  Finally on Saturday, as {msL} and I headed home from The Sweet Life of Alexandria we decided to make a stop at my favorite thrift store (Goodwill Alexandria). This store just so happens to be close to an Army base. Also being close to DC means there are lots of military men and women in the area. I didn't find a solid olive jacket (I'll keep looking) but I found a camouflage jacket that worked perfectly and fit!

The jacket was on the long side, which I liked and didn't have any patches.  Sometime patches are great but I wanted a plain vest that I could dress up or down. Bonus that I wouldn't have to remove any patches.


Military Shirt/Jacket      $6.29

Scissors                already owned
TOTAL                             $6.29

No need to measure or mark this shirt.  I would be cutting right along the seam of each sleeve.

1. Select your shirt or jacket.  I chose a light weight shirt because I wanted to be able to wear this vest year round. 

2. Turn the first sleeve inside out.  This step allows you to see where the seams fit on the inside of the shirt.

 3. Make a starter cut along the outer seam.  Be sure you are only cutting the sleeve and not the seam or the shoulder. 

 4. Turn the sleeve right side out and continue cutting.  Cut as close to the arm seam as possible.  Make sure you aren't cutting the seam stitching or the rolled edge of the shoulder. You don't want the jacket to come apart.

5. Clean up the edges.  You might need to use a smaller pair of scissors to get under the edge of the seam.  The shirt I chose is made of rip stop fabric.  It tends to fray a bit and I wanted to make sure I got all of the stray threads and edges.

6. Repeat steps 2 - 5 on the second sleeve.  While you are doing this. you could start planning your first outfit.  I mastered cutting in kindergarten so it doesn't take much thought. Also, because I have a little ADD and don't take Ritalin, my mind tends to wander.

The finished vest!  See, I told you this was the easiest DIY ever!  You can put those cutting skills from kindergarten to good use.

L to R - Debra, Marthia, Jessica, and me

I wore my vest to the DC Big Flea Market on Sunday. As you can see I had to throw it on with some sequins to offset the seriousness of the camouflage. I attended a tweet up and I'm writing an article for GalTime.com.  It will be up later in the week.  Best of all I met new friends; Debra Cincioni of Moms of America; Marthia Sideshostess for the day and singer extraordinaire; and Jessica Johnson consultant and anti-human trafficking activist.

The best comments on my vest were from older men who were obviously former military.  I love it when my clothing makes an impression.  I'm sure my $6 vest will get lots of wear. It's a fun addition to my wardrobe and one of my quickest DIYs ever.

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