Cowboy Vest Tutorial

Howdy Pardner! The discovery of some long lost toys after cleaning the basement, has spurred a new interest for my son. Cowboys! We have borrowed books from the library about the rodeo, watched clips from old westerns with Daddy, learned about how cowboy hats are made, and then, we just had to have a cowboy costume of our very own.
Now we share our fairly simple vest with you here.
 You'll need,
  • An old pair of  pants you don't want any more.(or any other cowboy vest like fabric)
  • A t-shirt, tank top or vest, that fits the vest wearer well, to trace.
  • Matching thread.
  • Tracing pen or pencil.
  • Fabric Scissors.
If your pants haven't been used for another project already, like mine, you should be able to use a side seam as the seam in the middle back of the vest. Use the t-shirt as a guide for the vest. Pay particular attention to the neck line and arm holes. I traced the arm holes at the seam where the sleeves are attached with a pencil first, making dots as I lifted the sleeve, then cut along the dotted line.
 You need to do this for the front and back, folding the shirt one way then the other to trace it, since the neckline for the front and back are different.
Now, sew the two back pieces together, if you weren't able to use the side seam of your pants. Then you sew the side seams of the vest from the armholes, down. Your vest is basically done here, you can try it on and make any adjustments.
To make fringes make a small zigzag around the armhole where you want the fringes to stop then snip snip snip. You can make more fringes in the same way on the bottom and around the front and neck of the vest if you want.  Or attach ribbon that is fringed like this.

The front may require some shaping since we traced it from a t-shirt meant to be closed all the way to the neck. Just trim away a nice curve from the front middle to the shoulders to make it lay flat. I had my son put the vest on then just cut away along the line that the fabric folded at. (Um, it's probably safer to mark the line then take off the vest to cut it, I don't want to be responsible for any boo boo's.)
My son wanted all fringes removed so I cut them off the arms and rolled all raw edges under then I used a decorative stitch to hem them.
And there you have it, the 6 Berries Cowboy/Cowgirl Vest (because of course little sissy will be needing one soon, maybe pink, definitely fringed.)

A quick update: My son has since moved on to dinosaurs, as I mentioned before. Wouldn't you know it, I actually invest a little time into a costume and today, I have to beg him to try it on for one last photo shoot. The mustache was all it took to convince him though. I made it out of felt and a piece of soft elastic last year and it just goes so well with this cowboy outfit. Don't you think?


  1. Love the mustache

  2. Aw! But it's the best costume ever. Dinosaurs ruin everything :(

    I'm enjoying your blog though and added it to my Google Reader :)

    Take care, Julie

  3. Thank you.

    Yeah, those pesky dinosaurs are everywhere, boys!