Monday, June 14, 2010

Green Pepper Rogue River Vest

I finally got the chance to do some sewing for myself. Last week, I started a photography class offered through the Smithsonian; it's called "Capturing D.C. Digitally" and involves a LOT of walking around the monuments on the Mall for four successive Thursday evenings. At the first class, I had all my camera equipment in my Professional Tote, as well as my purse. What a hassle! I was constantly putting them down, picking them up, fearing I'd lose them... Not fun! But then I had an idea...
When I was in Puyallup for the Expo, I picked up the Green Pepper Rogue River Vest pattern.(PDF file). Even though this is a fishing vest, it sure looks like a photographer's vest to me. So I decided to make it, in time to use at the second class.
The pattern is very well done, and the instructions are fabulous. The pieces went together flawlessly, and the markings are very accurate. And I learned a new skill: shortening a separating zipper!!
Here's the front view:
The outer fabric is a heavy green cotton twill from JoAnn's; the lining is a cotton from my stash (not drapery lining for once!).
Back view:

Pockets!!! Does this thing have pockets!!! Thirteen pockets on the outside.
Some are Velcro, some are zipped. And there are ten more pockets on the inside.
See the horizontal pocket on the lower edge of the lining? It's only attached along the top edge, so it flips up to reveal MORE pockets:

I do have one beef with this vest: It runs on the large side. I followed the instructions to use my measurements over clothing to determine the size, and made it up in Large. I could have easily made it in Medium. It really is a bit too big:
Of course, the real proof is in how it worked. Last Thursday, I stuffed all my photo equipment into the various pockets, along with my Metro card and other personal items. I had pockets to spare, and the vest performed wonderfully. It was very comfortable (with one small exception: the back neck rubs me just wrong, so I'll be adding a small piece of polar fleece to cushion that area), and I felt like a member of a Press Corps just wearing it. Other people in the class even commented on it.
I might make this vest again, in a smaller size, and maybe just a hair longer. And I'll probably leave off the center front buckle. And add an elastic-topped pocket for my water bottle. But I do highly recommend the pattern.


  1. I made this vest for my DH maybe 15 years ago and I agree it's great and fun to make. You're right in that the back neck definitely needs padding. RTW fishing vests have a curved piece of foam covered in fashion fabric or a piece of hair on lambswool sewn on the neck

  2. I like the vest. My husband said "oh a fishing vest!" Now I love D.C. and all the photo opportunities, sounds like a great class. Evening class good time for sunset shots.

  3. Live the vest. Such an innovative idea.

  4. I have been scouring the net looking for an appropriate pattern to use for a 101st Airborne paratrooper uniform costume for my husband, and I'm thinking this vest could play a role in the final product. Thanks for sharing the thorough pics and description! well made! I'm a photographer too, so that added to the fun.


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