Transition to spring: DIY dress & vest

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Spring is springing, all over the place!  I love this time of year: sunshine, warmer weather and lots of layering opportunities when it comes to fashion.  Check out this comfy dress and faux fur vest I made for a contributor post.  I can’t get enough of this outfit I call “loungewear-masquerading-as-real-clothes”.

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Today’s DIY includes two projects that work great for layering during these transition-to-Spring months…

This fitted knit dress is one of my favorite lazy day go-to pieces. It’s SO comfortable and easy to wear but throw on a dress in a cute print and all of a sudden you look put together. Wear it alone on the warmer days, but add boots, tights and a cardigan to carry you through any chilly days still ahead.

I just traced off a RTW knit dress that I already had but the Alcoy dress pattern would work great for this!

Now on to the vest: my favorite part! Fur has been everywhere this winter season and I was itching to create a cozy vest from this super soft faux alpacaThe instructions below describe how I used this cardigan pattern and altered it to make a vest but this drapey vest pattern would be even easier!

A few notes:

*I didn’t want the vest to be too long since fur is such a statement fabric, so I cut the front pieces about 8 inches shorter than the pattern piece.  I also decided to use a cotton knit in black for the back piece to keep the emphasis on the fur in front.

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*Be warned, cutting into fur is messy business! You might want to take it outside to cut your pieces out (or have a vacuum handy) but after it sheds all the loose pieces along the raw edges, you can leave them unfinished without anymore unraveling.

1. Follow the pattern as instructed to cut out front and back pieces, attach the front pieces at the collar and then sew them to the back. Leave the fur edges raw, but hem the back piece by turning it under 1/2”.

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2. To finish the armscye (armhole), cut a 1” strip of black knit fabric long enough to wrap around the circumference of the vest’s armscye plus 1 inch (this is your facing). Then pin the facing to the RIGHT side of the armscye, wrapping around the entire opening, with raw edges even.

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3. Stitch the facing to the vest, overlapping the short ends where they meet. Fold the facing over to the inside of the vest and press well. Then stitch the facing to the vest, 1/2” from the folded edge; trim any remaining seam allowance close to the stitching.

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And that’s it! An easy project with a fabulous fabric that gives a great effect for minimal effort. And wait till you cuddle up with this thing! I’m planning on keeping it stashed in my car all year long for throwing on in chilly movie theaters.

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