My original travel vest was a ScotteVest with something like 22 pockets (pockets within pockets – all for specific purposes). I loved having all the pockets, but the vest was just a tiny bit snug if I was wearing a fleece underneath and when the pockets were loaded the vest pulled forward and was uncomfortable on my neck!
So I made my own travel vest by adapting a jacket pattern. Turned out very well and I’ve worn it lots both for travelling and for out and about when I’m home. The vest lets me go without a purse since I can put the things I want with me (credit cards, some cash/change, cough candies, kleenex, iPhone…) in the pockets. However I quickly realized there were a couple of things I’d like to change on the vest – I had installed a zipper that went to the bottom of the front opening – can’t sit in it – it’s just a one-way zipper so I have to leave it open to sit comfortably. Second, only half of the pockets had zippers – I immediately installed some velcro after the fact, but it’s difficult to open those pockets – you have to really tug. And the neck (with collar) had the same problem as the ScotteVest – too high and when the vest was loaded it dragged my neck forward.
So I modified the vest – cut off the collar (couldn’t do that with the ScotteVest because of the metal zipper and I didn’t have any fabric to create a binding), and bound the neckline. I also added a couple of buttons as toggles at the neckline so I could leave the zipper open and still have the vest closed. Much better.
But I still thought I’d like to rectify the other details that bugged me when I wore the vest.
The zipper starts at the waist – (still a one way zipper) – I can sit without having to unzip the vest. (Oh, I stitched in a key ring while I was constructing the outside front in the right outside pocket so my keys can’t fall out!)
And I put zippers on seven of the eight pockets – I left the deep pocket on the left side without a zipper – handy for dropping in change, or kleenex, or sales receipts! What you can’t see is I also put two hidden pockets in the facing/lining seam (as I did in the Jean Jacket). Those are the most handy of all – they’re large enough to take my passport (in an RFID shielded envelope) tucked under my arm against my body without showing). So I have ten pockets in all.
The only thing I’m not happy about is how the fabric drapes – the twill is stiffer than the faux suede I used on the first. The vest doesn’t move quite as nicely as the original.