How to Make a Cowgirl Vest

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Whether for a costume or everyday wear, a cowgirl vest can add a spark of Western style to your wardrobe. For an authentic touch, leather is ideal, but denim could work as well. Make sure to add some flirty tassels along the bottom and chest for extra flair. This is a project that will require some basic sewing skills to complete.


Get your vest dimensions. Measure across the widest part of your chest with measuring tape. Divide the number in two and add 3 inches to get the vest width. Measure from your shoulder bone to your hip bone. Add 1 1/2 inches to this measurement to get the vest length. Measure from your shoulder bone to the bottom of your armpit. Add 5/8 inch to this measurement to get the armhole length.

Measure out these dimensions on a piece of cardboard to form the back side of your vest with arm holes. Create a curved neck line.

Make the front side pattern on a separate piece of cardboard. Make the armhole slightly larger than on the back side. Create a straight neck line.

Cut out your patterns.

Sewing and Decoration

Pin the patterns to your leather and carefully cut out the pieces. There should be three (one back piece and two front pieces).

Sew the vest back and fronts together at the shoulders and sides, allowing a 5/8-inch seam.

Cut short, thin strips of leather--all the same length--for decorative tassels. Sew or glue them around the bottom edge of the vest to create a fringe.