How to sew a Dress-up Camping Vest

My son just celebrated his third birthday!  How that cutie pie boy is now THREE, I just do not even know.  I love celebrating my babies on their birthday’s and making them feel special. However, birthday parties can quickly get out of control and you can spend hundreds of dollars on decor, favors, cake, activities, etc.  I like going the DIY route because I can create a fun day for them but without spending much at all.

I went with a Camping Party theme and over the next few weeks will be sharing elements of the party.  Today I am sharing How to sew a Dress-up Camping Vest!

Dress-up Camping Vest, Delineateyourdwelling.com

Can we take a quick DIY tutorial break?  I seriously can not sew.  I mean, even pillows make me a tiny bit nervous.  Sometimes in the name of love for your kids you lose your non-sewing mind and just think, “Oh, I will just whip up an easy DOUBLE SIDED vest for my guy to wear while playing at his party.  Oh and while I’m at it, I might as well just WHIP UP another one for his sister.”  

Here is the good news!  1. I found an amazing youtube video that walked me slowly step by step.  (I’ll share it below.) 2. I only had to use the seam ripper once.  3. And these are just for dress-up… so although they really are incredibly easy to sew if you have any skill at all, I tried to be forgiving of myself and just embrace their imperfections.

supply list2 yards total of fabric (1 yd for inner and 1 yd for outer)
sewing scissors
coordinating color thread
straight pins

Dress-up Camping Vest supplies
As I mentioned above, I found an invaluable video from Marzipan and one step at a time, watched her video, paused it and then would do her instruction.  If you like video tutorials, then you’ll need to check hers out.

I’ll share my rudimentary steps below and please if you are a real seamstress, just close your eyes and make believe that my vest looks okay.

Using a t.shirt that my son currently wears, I laid it out on the fabric and used it as a template for the overall size.

I marked around the t.shirt at an extra inch to allow for seams and so there would be space for other clothing under the vest.

Once that basic shape is cut, use it as a template or pattern for three more cuts.  You will need two of that overall shape in your inner fabric (my tree bark fabric) and two of the outer fabric (my green polka dots.)  Cut an opening in your front fabrics (inner and outer).

To get the reversible look, I sewed the inner and outer fabrics separately.  First, put the inner fabrics right side together and pin at the shoulders.  Sew along the shoulders with a 1/4″ seam.  Next, pin the sides and sew with a 1/4″ seam.  Be sure to NOT sew the arm holes.  Lastly, align and pin the bottom of the vest.  Sew with 1/4″ seam.  Repeat this entire step with your outer fabric.

Turn the outer vest, right side out and the inner vest, inside out.  Basically, you’ll want to layer your vest as it should look when completed and then turn that inside out (so I had my green fabric inside and the bark fabric outside).  Align and pin the edges of the front opening and neck line, then sew at 1/4″ seam.

Turn the vest right side out through one of the arm holes.  Fold arm hole fabric edges and quickly iron the arm hole seams down for a crisp line.  Then pin and sew together.  This is where I had to use my seam ripper, so don’t get discouraged.  Honestly, somehow I got through this and I KNOW you all can, too!

Dress-up Camping Vest steps

Can I just shout out a sewing-hallelujah at this point!  When all was said and done, I actually ended up with a real life looking vest!  I was shocked and thrilled to say the least.

Camping Vest

The very last detail I added was a simple zig zag stitch near the bottom of the vest.  This was simply decorative.

Camping Vest stitch

Camping Vest done

Both of my kids are HUGE into imaginative play and although this sewing project was REALLY pushing my skill level, I am so happy with how they turned out.  And my little guy has hardly stopped wearing the vest since I finished!Dress-up Camping Vest, Delineateyourdwelling.com

If you liked to see the party invitation I made to go along with this Camp themed Birthday party, see below for a free download!

Camp themed Birthday Party Invitation
Camping Birthday Party Invitation, Delineateyourdwelling.com

See my daughter’s colorful FOURth Sprinkle themed birthday party, here!

23 thoughts on “How to sew a Dress-up Camping Vest

    1. Well, this vest was the LIMIT of my sewing skills… phew, it was exhausting! I’ll stick to straight lines and pillows from now on, ha. Thanks for stopping by Veronika!

  1. This is such cute idea for a themed birthday party! I would love for you to link up to the Stitch It, Blog It, Share It Link Party going on now at BehindtheSeamsSewing.com.
    ~Bonnie

  2. This is the cutest! Props to you for going outside your sewing comfort zone. It’s amazing the things we do for our kiddos. I love that fact that your son does imaginative play. My daughter plays dress up everyday. Pinning this adorbs vest 🙂

    1. Oh, thanks Katie! I’m sure it would have been MUCH less stressful had I actually known what I was doing with a sewing machine – ha. Both my son and daughter are CONSTANTLY dressing up… I love making them halloween costumes because I know they will play with them for months and months afterward!

  3. Lol, I love your admission that you can’t sew. I can’t either, though I hope to one day. I had a sewing machine that I played around with as a teenager, but never really took it seriously enough to learn how to properly use it. My grandmother used to make all sorts of clothes on her sewing machine though. I’d love to get one again in the future and thought of taking classes on how to use it. Checking out youtube for tutorials is a great idea!
    I could see this tutorial coming in handy for Halloween costumes too.

    1. Don’t completely give up the sewing machine… it’s amazing what a clear tutorial can teach you! It’s shocking I was able to make something that you can actually wear- ha! Good luck. =)

  4. I love this!! I’m thinking I need to make some for a family reunion for my grandkids. They would love one. I’d maybe add a pocket for all of the things they find and want to keep!

    All the best,
    Nina

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