DIY Denali Flannel & Leather Vest

DIY Denali Flannel & Leather Vest

Created by: Nikki Johnson of fabric.com

With the weather cooling down, all I want to make is outerwear with amazing design details. That’s where the Seamwork Denali vest comes in. This pattern is about a year old, from one of their menswear issues, and features all the details I wanted for a standout piece. Denali features an optional contrasting yoke that I knew would make this vest something special. It closes with snaps, and can be made out of quilted fabric for extra body.

I decided to give this vest as an early holiday gift to my dad (who agreed to model it for this blog post).

Vest

I’ve seen Denali made with anything from the standard flannel, to ripstop nylon for extra durability. Colette recommends wovens or sturdy knits. It would be perfect in a twill or canvas as well, with contrast faux leather or coating yoke.

I used Kaufman Shetland Flannel for the outside and lining, and Telio Perfection Fused Faux Leather in brown for the contrasting front yoke. The Flannel was really soft and amazing to work with – I think I like it just as much as Kaufman's Mammoth Plaid, which would work very well for this too.

Vest

The Perfection Leather is aptly named! It's really soft and versatile- I can't wait to use it again. These Western snaps gave the vest just the rugged touch I was looking for – and they were a lot easier to put in with these heavy duty snap pliers.

Vest

There were a few small changes I made in what fabrics were used for the different pieces. Instead of using the contrast fabric for the inside of the pockets, I used the main fabric for that as well. I didn’t like the look of having the lining peek through on the edge, since the method used is sewing them right sides together and turning before topstitching onto the vest front.

I also didn’t quilt my fabrics at all, and from what I can tell that didn’t make a difference in the end product. I topstitched everything, but the only stitches you can see are on the leather yoke. The rest of the topstitching faded into the background of the flannel.

Vest

As some more experienced sewists will know, sewing with leather or faux leather can be tricky. Some of your machines will come with a non-stick or rolling foot. I recommend purchasing one for your sewing arsenal if you haven’t already. You can get generic ones on Amazon.com, or go directly through your sewing machine dealer for one especially for your machine.

Can’t wait? If you have a walking foot, that will also make things easier. If you’re still having trouble, try sewing with a layer of tissue paper in between the leather and your sewing machine foot. That can help things glide along..

Vest

Happy fall and happy sewing!

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