How to Make a Waterfall Vest

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A waterfall vest, or draped vest, is flattering on many body types and can be made from a wide variety of fabrics to give completely different looks. A casual knit looks stylish over jeans or shorts while a sheer chiffon vest works well for more formal occasions. No matter what fabric you choose to use, you can easily make your own vest in a few hours with very minimal sewing skills.

Finished view of the waterfall vest.
Finished view of the waterfall vest. (Image: Beth Huntington)
Materials needed to make a waterfall vest.
Materials needed to make a waterfall vest. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard of knit or chiffon fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine with a 10/70 ballpoint needle
  • 8 1/2-by-11 inch piece of paper
  • Washable marking pen

Step 1:

Cut a rectangular piece of knit or chiffon fabric that is 50 inches by 33 inches.

Tip

  • This vest works well for many different weights of knits. Consider using a lightweight knit for a summer or spring vest and a heavier knit for a winter or fall vest.

Cut a piece of 50-by-33-inch fabric.
Cut a piece of 50-by-33-inch fabric. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2:

To create a hem on all four sides of the vest, use a steam iron to press all sides under 1/4 inch. Then fold under another 1/4 inch and press again.

Press all of the raw edges under twice.
Press all of the raw edges under twice. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3:

Pin the pressed edges on all four sides of the vest.

Pin all of the folded edges.
Pin all of the folded edges. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4:

Use a 10/70 ballpoint needle to sew the folded edges. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

Sew all of the folded edges.
Sew all of the folded edges. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5:

Cut a 7-by-5-inch oval from a piece of paper to use as an armhole pattern.

Cut out the armhole pattern piece.
Cut out the armhole pattern piece. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6:

Fold the rectangular piece of fabric in half widthwise. Place the armhole pattern 4 1/2 inches in from the fold and 2 1/2 inches down from the top. Position the pattern piece at a slight angle with the wider edge pointing toward the bottom of the vest.

Place the pattern piece on fabric.
Place the pattern piece on fabric. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7:

Trace around the pattern piece with a washable marker.

Trace around the pattern piece with a washable marker.
Trace around the pattern piece with a washable marker. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8:

Cut around the marked lines through both layers of fabric, and then open the vest up.

Cut out both armholes.
Cut out both armholes. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9:

To finish the edges, use a steam iron to press under 1/4 inch around each armhole. Then fold each armhole under another 1/4 inch and press again.

Press the armhole edges under twice.
Press the armhole edges under twice. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10:

Pin and then sew the pressed edges in place around each armhole, removing the pins as you sew.

Pin around the armhole edges.
Pin around the armhole edges. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Wear your new waterfall vest over a T-shirt and jeans or a cute dress for a stylish layered look.

Finished view of a waterfall vest.
Finished view of a waterfall vest. (Image: Beth Huntington)

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