FINISHED! Abbey Pool Hero Vest

Sometimes things just fall together and this is one such make. Spoiler alert: I love this make and it is currently my hot tip for my make of the year. But.. there are 4 months to go so I best hold my betting til closer to the end when all the finalists are in. It has been a long time since I have been so excited by a make - I was desperate to sew a bit everyday until this was finished.
Let's start at the beginning. One of my favourite makes of this year was Jo's vest which has been sitting in my subconscious since she posted it. I adore it.  Oh that fur collar and pre quilted fabric. It is super cool.  The second thing was that I saw a dress recently made by Christine out of Liberty of London Abbey Pool and I was reminded that I had failed to buy this fabric, and that it was currently available online from Tessuti. So I quickly remedied my missing Liberty. Lastly, Toni from Make it Perfect released the Hero Vest for Women. She quickly thereafter released additional instructions to the pattern to provide for a hidden zipper. Boom. I knew right then that I was going to quilt the Abbey Pool for a vest. I had bought the fabric for a dress, but as soon as it arrived it's new destiny was confirmed.
A quick note about the fabric. It is Liberty of London Abbey Pool and is from the Spring Summer 2013 The Flower Show collection.
The Botanical Garden capsule collection was been digitally printed and features designs by eminent artists Mary Fedden, Hugo Grenville and Rachel Pedder Smith which sit alongside artworks by the Liberty Art Fabrics studio and freelance designers.  Abbey Pool is by Mary Fedden OBE, a Royal Academician and has had many exhibitions and commissions. Mary was the first woman to teach painting at the Royal College of Art, where one of her students was David Hockney. Mary Fedden’s art concentrates on the pre-occupation of the still life with a view beyond.
Back to the vest. The sewing of this wasn't too hard except for maybe the zip, but we'll get to that. I self quilted the fabric which was rather therapeutic (though I won't be doing this again in a hurry!). I roughly cut out each pattern piece - with about an extra inch added and then quilted simple lines 1 inch apart. Once I had everything quilted I cut out the patterns according to the pieces. This is a XS and I did panic at one point that I should have made a bigger size but I'm ok with the fit.  I took about 2cms off the length of it. The whole thing including the hood is lined in a navy cotton.
I added an inside pocket piece to make it neater inside as I didn't want the batting to be visible from the inside. All the versions of this pattern that I've seen have contrast ribbing for the pockets, arms and hood. I used simple self made binding rather than ribbing as I was after a simpler look and I'm really happy with how they turned out. For the hood and arms I hand stitched the binding down because I'm not super confident machine stitching the binding down and I wanted those parts - that are visible - to be as neat as possible.

Ok the zip.  I was so happy when Toni released some additional instructions to make this zipper hidden. The pattern comes with instructions for just having the zip seams exposed on the inside and so I was planning on working out myself how to hide the zip, so happy I didn't have to do that.  I worked really hard to try and match up every quilted line on the zip. I used chalk to mark the lines on the zipper which worked pretty well. If you look really close - please don't - there are a few little places that aren't perfect, but I unpicked so many times to try and get it lined up that I ended up with this as my best and final. I'm pretty happy and proud of my effort with it and I won't wear it zipped up much so I'm not going to worry about it anymore.  I didn't top stitch the zipper down as I was worried that this might get a bit messy.

Not much more to say about this except WOOHOO! It is the perfect vest moving into spring and of course goes perfectly paired with my neutral (stripes) and I can't help but feel a bit proud of myself with this one. 

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