Embellishing a “Conversation Piece” Vest

Pat Winter © 2005

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I wanted to share a vest I crazy quilted and embellished. I cut out the muslin using a vest pattern I had laying around. Any pattern you prefer will be great.

I decided on a bird theme. I transferred bird images from my Dover copyright free books. Then I chose my colors, light olive and medium purple. Most of the fabrics I had purchased from Karen South. She hand chose them to my preference. I used the five sided piecing method to piece both sides of the vest.   
I didn't want a flashy vest, but I also didn't want my work to go unnoticed so I used several embellishing methods to make it more interesting. I chose the natural bird scene images for a touch of Victorian.   
I added a beautiful hand made doily appliqué my friend Trisha gave me.   
I made a Russian Punch Needle Topiary design with silk ribbon embroidery roses and a bird fetish.   
I glued on a painted pansy charm which I rarely do. Since it was a vest which will get limited wear, I thought the glue may hold up just fine.    
I also had tried my hand at the burned silk pansy which my friends Janice and Barbara are so good at. Mine isn't very nice, but it needed to be included.    
I decided I needed to do something “off-the-wall”, so I drew a butterfly and sparsely did an outline using Russian needle punch again, this time adding a few sequins and beads. I like the results and will do this again.    
I added a little glimmer in my embroidery stitches using Kreinik metallic threads and beads.   
Naturally I had to make a dragonfly from beads. I made it from wire then tacked it on the vest.    
I added lace here and there on seams and tacked it down using flower beads, bird fetishes, and silk ribbon embroidery Fargo roses.   

A few hand dyed appliqués and gorgeous trims from a friend, and my vest was complete and very interesting to study. I finished it with a dark purple lining fabric and the back fabric is suede cloth. Wearing this vest will surely invite conversation.

Fabric Packs
Dover Copyright Free Clipart
Kreinik Metallic Threads

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