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Autumn Leaf Ladies Vest

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  • For this project Very Easy Vogue® V8713 was used. You can use any simple lined vest pattern of your choice.
  • This pattern called for 1 yard of face fabric 60" wide. Check your pattern and size for appropriate fabric. 100% cotton twill was used for the fabric of this garment. A quarter yard extra was used in this project to test sew the designs.
  • This pattern called for 1 yard of 60" wide lining. 100% polyester lining was used for this garment. Check your pattern and size for appropriate fabric amount. Polyester lining was used to cause the tails on the back of this vest to glide over the cotton shirt underneath rather than to have it cling to it.
  • Regular sewing thread to match garment.
  • Approximately 1 yard 20" wide of poly-mesh or no-show stabilizer.
  • Black embroidery thread for the top and bobbin.
  • 4" x 4" embroidery hoop or larger.
  • Regular sewing machine.
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • A small square of fusible knit iron on interfacing to iron behind buttonhole.
  • 1 button
  • Target Stickers available through
  • Great Notions embroidery designs

  • Designs used in this project

    Final Product: What You Will Create

    Planning the placement of the designs is half the fun of making this vest. Before the vest was cut the placement of the falling autumn leaves was done by:

    Step 1:
    To ensure that the sketchy one color leaves would stand out well enough on the fabric a few test sews were done on the extra fabric purchased for this project. After sewing only three designs it was deemed that the designs were appropriate for this fabric.

    Step 2:
    <>Print out multiple copies of the designs from your embroidery software. Multiple copies are needed as many of the leaves are used more than once in the project. How many of each design is up to you. Print the number of the design over the face of the design as you will be cutting the designs out and will need to know which design they are. Cut around the designs in the approximate shape of the design.

    Step 3:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Lay the leaf cut outs on the pattern piece in an arrangement that pleases you. In this sample design 9813 was used at the top of the shoulder, 9822 was placed at the bust line, 9823 was used at the waist line, 9811 was placed at the hip line and 9819 was placed at the bottom of the vest. Turn each piece pattern in a direction that pleases your eye and gives a graceful flow to the overall pattern piece. Pin the leaf layouts to the pattern.

    Step 4:
    On the upper left back on the garment designs 98119816 and 2 copies of 9819 were used to cluster the leaves. The leaves may overlap a little. Design 9811 was repeated at the lower right of this upper yoke. Pin the leaf layouts to the pattern.

    Step 5:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    On the lower right tail designs 9816, 98199823 and 9811 were angled from the upper left corner to the lower right corner of this pattern piece. Pin the leaf layouts to the pattern. When you are placing the pattern cut outs on the fabric allow for the seam allowances that will be used to construct the garment.

    Step 6:
    Pin and cut out your vest pattern with the leaf layouts attached.

    Step 7:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    We are now going to use the Target Stickers to reflect which designs we want to use where on the vest and in which direction we want them to be sewn.

    Step 8:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Removing all but a few pins from the pattern piece, the pattern was lifted to lay a Target Sticker directly to the garment. Using the crosshairs printed on the leaf layout piece, the Target Sticker could be placed with the top arrow going in the direction needed. The corresponding design number was written on each Target Sticker so the correct could be sewn.

    Step 9:
    Hoop a square of the poly-mesh stabilizer and spray lightly with temporary adhesive spray.

    Step 10:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    There are two ways to line up your embroidery design on the garment. You can:
  • Lay your garment on the hoop
  • Rotate the design in your machine software so the top of the design is pointing in the same direction as on the Target Sticker

  • Or:
  • Lay the garment on the hoop so that the arrow is pointing up to the top of your hoop. Then you do not have to rotate the design at your machine.

    Step 11:
    Load black embroidery thread in both the top and bobbin of your embroidery machine and stitch the design. Black bobbin thread is suggested as in anytime with black work, if your tensions are not exactly proper, black bobbin thread will prevent any white from showing on top of you work. Stitch the design.

    Step 12:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Trim the poly mesh stabilizer from around each design as it is sewn. Even if you use a larger hoop and can sew more than one designs at a time, trim the stabilizer between all the separate designs. This will prevent puckering that could occur in the garment.

    Step 13:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Iron all embroidered pieces from the back side.

    Step 14:
    Complete your vest according to the pattern makers instructions. The linings will cover up the stabilizer and back side of the embroidery to make an elegantly finished product.

    Step 15:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Photos to assist you with your layouts. Front of garment.

    Step 16:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Back of garment.

    Step 17:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Close up of upper right shoulder.

    Step 18:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Close up of lower right front.

    Step 19:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Close up of upper left back yoke.

    Step 20:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Close up of lower left back tail.

    For the love of embroidery...
    Pat Williams

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    Meet The Author: Pat Williams
    Award winning Digitizer, Embroidery Educator, Author and a Consultant to the Industry, Pat Williams has 20 years of experience in the embroidery industry. Pat has won multiple awards for her digitizing expertise including the 2007 Impressions Awards Grand Championship, Best of Show as well as the 1st and 2nd Place Awards.. Pat’s love of digitizing has afforded her the opportunity to write many articles for Impressions magazine in the United States and Images Magazine in Europe. She also has authored her own digitizing training CD series, “Digitizing Steps to Success.” In 2001 Pat was named “Embroidery Educator of the Year.” For many years Pat lead digitizing seminars at the ISS Shows in Long Beach, CA and for Compucon software. Pat retired from the commercial embroidery arena in 2010. She now resides in Sierra Vista, AZ. She can be reached at

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