Make a simple Vest – Free pattern

Learn to sew a vest with double welt pockets

2 easy ways to make a vest 

Method 1: Vest From old jeans

Denim is one of the sturdiest fabrics for dressmaking. It is also one of the prettiest. You can make countless things from denim salvaged from old jeans.  A vest is one of them. It is a piece of clothing you can make from a single jeans (provided it is big enough). Here is a sewing tutorial.

You need 3 pieces to sew a vest – the front pieces (2 nos) and a Back piece.

Mark the front pieces of your jeans with the pattern given below. If you cannot get the width of the pattern from a single side, join pieces from the remaining parts of the denim.  Remember that the front pieces should be mirror pieces.

sew jeans vest


Cut out the back piece as in the picture below.

You can cut the piece from near the hem of your jeans so that you do not have to sew hem for the back piece. If you are using the hem, reduce 3/4 inch from the length of the back piece in the picture above.

jeans vest sewing tutorial

jeans vest DIY


Bind the neckline of the back piece.

make a vest

Bind the front neckline with binding. Do this for the two front pieces.


Join the shoulders of front pieces to the back pieces. Bind the armhole with binding.  Sew the hem

You can make the vest close with buttons or snaps. I chose to add buttons as show and close with snaps.

For that you need to sew the buttonstand and facing for the other side. 

Cut 2 pieces of fabric one 2 inch wide and one 2 1/2 inch wide; length should be 1/2 inch longer than the area.

Sew them to the edges. Remember to fold the edges to the inside as you sew.

Fold one the pieces to the inside and sew in place.

On the other side you need to make a stand for your buttons – fold it to the outside and sew in place.

Attach the jeans buttons.

A jeans button is a no sew button – you make a hole and press it close. And remember you need to protect the button with a plastic thingy.

Related posts : 10 things you can make with old jeans; Different types of jeans; What is a vest; Free clothing Stitching patterns 

Method 2: Vest sewing pattern

vest pattern

This is a pattern to sew a lined waist length Vest with double welt pocket on either side.  You can make this vest in less than 2.25 meters of cloth, lining included.

Step 1 Pattern 

Cut out the pattern pieces according to the pattern below. It is better to mark on a paper first and then cut on fabric. This is especially because the front panels are made based on the back pattern. So cut the paper pattern for the back bodice first, then make the front panel patterns on paper again , and then cut from the fabric

Back pattern

You need to measure the Bust round and also around the place where you want the vest to end. You can either make it shaped or straight down from the bustline. 

vest pattern

A – B = 19 ” This is the length of the vest I have taken. You can increase this or decrease this according to the length you want for the vest.

A-D =3″ This is the neck width. 
A-C = 2″. This is the backneck depth.
D-E= 1 3/4″ . This is the shoulder seam

E-F = 3/4″. This is given for the shoulder slope.
A-G = 7 1/2″ Make a line 7 1/2 inch from the top edge. This is the bust line

K-J = 1/4 of bust round + 1 1/2″ ; Measure this on the line K-J

Mark 7 1/4 inch on the top edge. From there mark down to the bust line. They meet at H.

H-I = 1″; From H mark 1″ diagonally to I

Mark the armhole in a curve touching J-I-F

L-B = 1/4 of waist round + 1 1/2″. If you donot want shaping at the waist but a loose waistline you can mark straight down from the bustline 

how to sew vest

For the front bodice panels 

Keep the back pattern on a larger piece of paper ( because the front pattern is about 3.5 inches longer and 1/2 inch wider. ) 

Mark the extra on the paper and cut out. Keep the front pattern on a folded fabric and cut the pattern; even though the front panel can be cut individually using the fold fabric, this way is better so that you get mirrored pieces.

But If you are not spatially challenged like me and never make the mistake of cutting  two similar peces instead of mirrored pieces for front lapels, go ahead and cut individually

The differences between the back and front are that the center has 1/2 inch extra as well as the bottom edge is 3.5 inches longer as in the pattern below. Then the armhole is drawn to the inside as in the pattern. The blue line denotes the front pattern ( & Red the back pattern)

vest sewing pattern

Ofcourse I practise all the easy ways and never follow the rules and marked directly on the fabric – in which case donot frget about the extra 1/2 inch on the center

vest sewing pattern

vest pattern

Step 2 Make the welt pockets

Decide on the placement of the pockets on the front panel. You can place it horizontally or diagonally. Mark the placement as a single line on the right side of the front panels of the vest.

For women’s vest the pockets are usually 6 inches width. Checkout the post on making welt pockets for more details 

Take a piece of fabric of width 3 inches and 8 inches for the welt fabric.  Take a medium fabric which will retain the shape when folded for making the welt pockets. Mark a pocket opening of 6 inch length and 1/2 inch width on the back side of the welt piece

make your own vest

Keep the welt piece wrong side up  on the pocket marking of the front piece, right side up. I have decided to place this a little diagonally on the front panels some 2 inch from the center edge . Stitch along the horizontal lines you have marked ( back stitch at the start and end) – DONOT stitch the short sides of the box.

vest sewing pattern

Cut open the middle line and the diagonal markings

vest sewing simple

Take the welt piece through the hole to the back

make an easy vest

On the back fold the welt piece so that two lips are formed. Pin in place. Do finish the edges of the welt piece before stitching or it will look as horrible as mine does 

sewing a vest tutorial

Turn the pocket so that the side seam allowance is exposed

vest sewing pattern

Stitch it together with the small triangular piece you have cut earlier on the garment on either side of the pocket

vest making pattern diy

Make such pocket on the other front panel as well

vest pattern

Step 3 Stitch the lining

Keep the lining piece on the back piece,  right sides together. Stitch along the neckline, bottom edge and armholes. Leave the shoulder and  side seam unstitched.

vest sewing patterns

Clip the seam allowance every 1 – 2 inches for smooth turning. Turn the back bodice right side out through one of the side seam. Top stitch the neckline, armhole and the hem, ensuring that the lining is neatly rolled to the inside and not visible outside. Try pressing first and then stitching for best results.


vest sewing pattern

Do this for the front panels as well

easy simple vest pattern

make a vest

Remember to clip the corners and seam allowance.

Stitch in the ditch along the top lip of the welt pocket , the top fabric and lining together so that pocket has a structure

womens vest pattern

simple vest sewing pattern

Step 5 Stitch back and front together

Keep the back bodice of the vest  and the front panels right sides together. Pin at the shoulder and the side seams. Stitch in place

simple vest sewing pattern

Step 6 Attach Buttons.

To match the chenille fabric I have added some wooden buttons. You can sew any buttons.Checkout the post on sewing buttons here

women's vest sewing pattern

Make thread loops for the buttons.

vest pattern free

easy vest pattern

Related posts : Different types of vests ; How to make a battle vest

batwing shrug

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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