BurdaStyle called this a ‘gardening vest’ in their March 2012 issue. Personally I think it just fitted in with the theme of the photo shoot but that’s OK, with a little imagination we can all conjure up a different background….

Fishing vest!

Fishing vest! (please excuse the crimped hair – the hair is the result of Speech & Drama Eisteddfod mode – her poem was Bedhead…

A couple of months ago I came across Tanitisis and found a wonderful post about the fishing vest she had custom-made for her daughter. I was really inspired – and remembered the ‘gardening vest’ BurdaStyle pattern. It’s got the large pockets which can take little fly/lure boxes and all the other bulky essentials that a dedicated fishergirl needs – plus a pocket for lollies and another for a handkerchief…

I was a little scared off attempting a Burda pattern after reading tales of Burda woe from Pretty Grievances

And then the pattern sheet really made by blood run cold… I’ve since discovered if you treat the sheet like a Where’s Wally/Waldo book, it becomes fun in an odd sort of way!

But once you find the pattern you are after, how to trace??? Thank heavens for this post by Handmade by Carolyn where she mentioned how she traced patterns. After a quick visit to Spotlight, I came home clutching a 20m roll of white plastic party tablecloth. And all I can say is… the woman is a guru. Go and read that post… now and wail no more about tracing!

I found this pattern quite straight-forward. The wording of the instructions are a little different however I found if I took it slow and played with the fabric, everything went very smoothly.

I know this isn’t glamorous or gorgeous sewing project in any way… but I had sooooo much fun making it! And in the words of Tanitisis herself, I am “Inordinately Pleased With Myself”.

I went slowly and really enjoyed the process. It’s made from a very plain cotton drill.

I hand basted all the pockets and seams with silk thread (I know I laughed too) before I machined them. I also machine neatened the pocket front and side panels together – it made the inside of the pocket much neater (not to mention it saves thread).

BurdaStyle 03/2012 #117 Children's Vest in progress

BurdaStyle 03/2012 #117 Children’s Vest in progress.

Then I went bananas with trim. Prepare to be amazed at just how much you can trim a fishing vest…

I found these metals buttons with fish scale pattern on them.

BurdaStyle Children's Vest 03/2012 #117 - the pockets

BurdaStyle Children’s Vest 03/2012 #117 – the pockets and fish scale buttons

The inside of the vest and the inner pocket flaps are lined with a quilting cotton fish print. The pattern did not call the line the pocket flaps – clearly Burda is not into excessive trimming…

BurdaStyle Children's Vest 03/2012 #117

The fish print lining! BurdaStyle Children’s Vest 03/2012 #117

Then I decided it was a little beige, boring and boyish on the outside. So I purchased some very decadent rose braid to trim the outside neckline. I hand stitched it down with tiny stitches in beige silk thread. Then I really went OTT and stitched tape with imperial measurements inside the vest (it would have been more functional to sew it along the inside lower edge but it would not have looked as cool). I have no doubt she will try it to measure a fish on this at least once…

Inside and outside trim - the BurdaStyle fishing vest

Inside and outside trim – the BurdaStyle fishing vest

I spent a lot of time making this vest and I enjoyed every minute. What I have enjoyed even more is how much the munchkin loves it…

BurdaStyle Children's Vest - Thumbs Up

BurdaStyle Children’s Vest – Thumbs Up. The happiest fishergirl in town – the type of person whose glass is neither half full or half empty… it’s always overflowing!

I’ve now subscribed to BurdaStyle – I can’t buy it locally and the Australian suppliers of subscriptions made it very expensive, then I remembered a post by Adventures with Tigergirl. This is much cheaper than buying it at the newsagent!

BurdaStyle haven’t made this pattern available online so I’ve scanned in the magazine page just so you can see what the original looked like. This model is much more ladylike than my poppet! However my poppet is off trout fishing in Tasmania in a week’s time so this is part of her holiday wardrobe.

BurdaStyle  03/2012 #137

BurdaStyle 03/2012 #137. From BurdaStyle 3/2012, page 11

And if you were wondering if my other daughter is at all interested in fishing, the answer is absolutely not… this is how she spends her time (and no I don’t make these costumes)…

the ballet girl

the ballet girl – the littlest at the front… waiting in the wings for her dance. Their faces are blown out but I love the mood and it’s just like it is side stage…

I’ve had a rather horrendous week but finishing this and going on our ‘fashion shoot’ this morning really made me happy 🙂


I’ve just finished a new top Vogue 1247 – I love it!

And I must share with ou a little sewing project, a detachable Peter Pan collar.

I’ve loaded all my patterns available for the Patterns and Postcards swop – check them out here!


47 thoughts on “FISHING VEST!

  1. Ah, wow! That is just about the perfect fishing vest pattern, isn’t it? Silly Burda and their gardens. Your daughter looks absolutely thrilled, as well she should be. I love all the little details, especially the measuring tape!

    • The tape only goes up to 9 inches but it’s a bit of fun! I’ll have to keep an eye out for a real tape that is a bit more ‘sewable’ – apparently she needs a fresh water version as well LOL
      Thanks for the inspiration, such a quirky fun project!

    • Thanks Amanda! I thought this was going to be a dull project but I had a blast… I’m trying to think who else I can make one for LOL. She was worried the flowers were too girly – than asked if she could have them on the pockets too… until she saw the buttons!!

  2. Ok, now this is just fabulous! Functional and totally cute. My favorite combo. I love the thoughtfulness of the lining and the measuring tape- just wonderful. Burda is redeemed in my eyes!

  3. what a magnificent fishing vest! It will be just the thing for the Tasmanian waters. Lucky girl to have such a clever mum. (BTW, I’m sure you COULD make the ballet costumes but sometimes it’s good to let others have a chance to play. Right?)

    • It’s already in the bag to go to Tassie!
      The ballet girl has ordered a ballet bag for her ‘stuff’ which will need to be huge – and she’s decided a special leotard & skirt might be just the thing for lessons. Jalie here I come…

  4. Dynamite, just dynamite. She will remember, and probably keep, this vest for the rest of her life! I still remember almost all of the little dresses my mother made for me. I love it! All the trims and lining are just perfect. Now, off to read a post about tracing off patterns as I am intimidated as to how to start doing this with Burda.

    • Yes I was terrified of the tracing aspect as well but the white tablecloth is so easy to see through that once you find the pattern pieces on the sheet it’s very easy to trace them off.

    • Awww, thanks. Hopefully she will stash it away with her christening, confirmation and wedding dresses! It was such fun to make, I think I will look for some more fiddly projects like this. It’s a nice way to spend time at night.

  5. Guess who’s mum loves sewing! She’ll be the envy of all her friends! Maybe you can make one for your other daughter in pink satin with ribbon ties and pockets galore to keep hair bands, nets, and spare tights in?!

    • Oh she’s already ordered a ballet bag and also spotted a leotard/skirt for lessons! I”m ok about the bag but leotards rather scare me. I was quite chuffed with how many people were fascinated with the vest at the local sewing shop, shop assistants and customers included! How would have thought a humble fishing vest could generate so much attention!

  6. Fabulous! I love it. I have been thinking of making an adult size vest like this for myself (I think there is one in the same Burda magazine). My husband has one and he uses it every time he goes overseas. The pockets are great for passports, tickets, business cards, money and even a small camera. If I had one like that I would not need a handbag when sightseeing, and therefore not worry about thieves nearly as much (some pockets are on the inside and well protected). I would have fun making it in a smart and fashionable colour 🙂

    • Yes there is an adult one in the magazine. They haven’t got it online so if you don’t have a copy let me know! The pockets are slightly different on the adult version but one would definitely take a camera! This is a really fun project to make. I found that basting down the pockets onto the vest made life much easier, the extra time is well worth it. I also omitted the wadding/padding as it gets quite warm where we live and I wanted her to wear it all year. I don’t think it’s required if you have a nice firm outer shell.

    • One can never have too many pockets can you! My girls are sweetiepies, they drive me nuts at times, like all children should, but overall we are very lucky to have two delightful, healthy girls.

  7. wow! this is even more amazing than i would have imagined! and all the little details make it so special! I bet all her friends are really jealous of this vest!
    I love all the trims The roses are gorgeous and the measuring tape is ingenious!

    Have you ever thought of attempting a ballet outfit? Or do you think you will?

    • Thanks, I’ve discovered it is very easy to become addicted to trims. I love to hand sew so trimming is something I enjoy!
      Ballet Girl (aka the Fashion Police) has ordered a new bag for ballet – which needs to be large to accomodate ballet slippers, jazz shoes, character shoes and ‘toe undies’ (yes you read that right). As well as leotards, shorts, wrap tops, singlet tops, tights, leg warmers – and so it goes on! She also wants a leotard – which makes me shudder in horror – I think I might check out Jalie patterns – I think that’s their ‘thing’.

    • I’m just waiting to wash smelly fish slime off the vest… I see it as trim… she seems it as functional!
      Thanks for popping by. And I live your Kelly skirt! Piping I have yet to try…

  8. Wow this is really cool and your munchkin looks enormously please to be wearing it. I smiled when I read that your other daughter is not into fishing and think one of mine is going to start moving away from ballet too. I’m sure you could wear a best over a tutu? Of course it would require sequins or something similar to bling it ….. Now that would be OTT lol.

    • Perhaps I could get her to do an interpretive contemporary ballet piece on a fishing journey LOL. I’m searching for the perfect ballet bag pattern now. At the moment there is no hope of her giving up dance, she’s seems 110% dedicated…. a good & bad thing! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Top 5 Favourite/Most Worn 2012 | Sew Busy Lizzy

  10. I have searched every where for this pattern and have been unsuccessful. Can you please send me a copy?!

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