October 24, 2020
These authentically designed Vests from Greece and Poland can be lavishly decorated, embroidered, appliquéd, and otherwise embellished. The styles in this pattern include a short vest for men or women from Greece, mid-calf Greek vest, and two variations of a Polish woman's vest with petal-shaped tabs along the bottom edge.
The short Greek vest is waist-length on women and slightly shorter on men. It has a narrow band collar, a button and loop at the neck, and curved front edges. The short and long Greek vests can be made lined or unlined. Fold-over braid binds the edges when unlined, and is optional when lined.
The panels of the long vest flare gracefully from a slightly raised waist. As on many Greek coats and vests, the front opening does not meet, but frames the body. Narrow shoulders and a uniquely pieced back construction are accented by a small pleat on either side of the back and small side slits at the hemline. With or without lining, fold-over braid is used for finishing.
Both Greek vests are traditionally trimmed with narrow cord or braid and bits of appliquéd velvet; several buttons and shells further decorate the shorter one. Designs for all vest embellishment are included in the pattern.
Our two versions of the Polish vest are fitted to the waist with a scoop neckline and laced front opening. Petal-like tabs finish the bottom edge, and are echoed in overlapping shoulder straps. These bodices are usually made of velveteen, and are lined. Optional embellishments include a simple soutache design, or colorful sequin and bead treatment. Other traditional decorative possibilities include embroidery or application of purchased braid.
Suggested fabrics: Medium to heavyweight, closely woven fabrics such as denim, velveteen, corduroy, silk, velvet, wool, blends, and upholstery fabric.
Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores. Please note, these suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point. If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.
I really like this double sided wool twill fabric from Bolt Fabric Boutique. The fabric could be flipped and used as a contrasting accent or maybe adapt pattern to make the vest reversible, especially for the lined short or long Greek vests.
The Polish Vest and Short Greek Vest require a relatively small amount of fabric. One could splurge and make several. Either vest would be lovely in a silk velvet. I love this teal colored velvet from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics. Velvet is also a great option for the trim and applique.
There are so many possibilities for embellishment and detail work. The pattern gives information on traditional embroidery and application of braid. However, the sky is the limit for your own creative designs. We always love to see and hear about what you are making!