Wardrobe essentials: the silk vest

Each year I stumble across a piece which becomes such an integral part of my wardrobe that I can’t quite believe how I functioned without it.  This year is no exception although there were two pieces in the running (culottes are fast become my new favourite item to such an extent I’m planning a second pair!), the past week has produced a clear front runner:  the silk vest.

In my quest to find something smart enough to dress up jeans, casual enough to dress down a pencil skirt and easy enough to wear for work, I’ve been working on designing a silk vest (it has to be said using remnants/left-overs from other projects).

After much procrastination, and a couple of false starts, it was rather simple to design – I used my standard bodice block and removed the darts and elongated the body to create a boxy feel.  I definitely didn’t want a cami/lingerie feel to the vest so kept the shoulders covered.   The first version came up a little too oversized for my liking, so alterations were made to the side seams and a slight curve along the waistline was made.  Following which I was delighted, I had produced the perfect vest top.

The simple style is a quick addition to the wardrobe – a couple of hours for cutting, making bias binding and manufacture – lends itself perfectly to a versatile plain or pretty pattern, and can be worn with jeans, skirts or even a suit.  It’s so simple that last week I produced it in blue, green and finally found a project for last year’s fantastic find at Biddle Sawyer, Valentino silk!

Vest number 1 - made from silk georgette, I double lined it, which was a bit of a mistake as it made it too heavy.
Vest number 1 – made from silk georgette with double lining.  With hindsight the double lining is a mistake as it made it too structured.
Version 3 in Valentino silk, with a slightly raised neckline.
Version 3 in Valentino silk, with a slightly raised neckline.
I had to take a shot of this - it's the closes I'll ever come to owning a Valentino!
I had to take a shot of this – it’s the closest I’ll ever come to owning a Valentino!
Eliza Wyke silk vest #4 and counting...
Eliza Wyke silk vest #4 and counting…

The only question now is… which colour next?

Modelling Eliza Wyke for yesterday's celebrations
Modelling Eliza Wyke for yesterday’s celebrations
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