Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Paranoid's Perfect Travel Vest: Upcycled Men's Shirt #26 or So



The latest take on upcycling men's shirts sourced from my favorite thrift store right around the corner.  (to see earlier upcycling go to Repurposed Men's Shirts). I travel a lot and when I do, I always don a trusty travel vest with lots of pockets, some of them hidden. This time I'm traveling to a hot and humid location so I've used two 100% cotton men's shirts, jigsawing them together to make an unlined, lightweight vest. If you want to try a similar upcycle project, start with a basic vest pattern ( I like loose and oversize) and play with your upcycled fabric, piecing it together so you have enough for your pattern sections. Then with any leftover material, go crazy with pockets.

Front exterior pocket

The pocket above uses a piece from the front of one of the upcycled shirts, re-using the shirt's pocket to create a double pocket for the vest.

Front exterior pocket

A second exterior pocket (originally a section of shirt sleeve), extends from the front of the vest past the side seam towards the back. A dividing seam separates this giant pocket into two more serviceable pockets. There is a final, absolutely mandatory external pocket, sized to fit eyeglasses.

Three external front pockets

There are also two hidden internal security pockets. 

Security pockets

The first, more traditionally placed, keeps passport, air tickets, some cash, and ATM card handy. Includes a velcro closure

Traditional security pocket

The second, completely hidden, is invisibly stitched inside the upper back of the vest. This is for credit cards and larger amounts of cash. This pocket also has a velcro closure. The closures are there so that when it's necessary to take the vest off for airport security, stuff in the security pockets doesn't come tumbling out.

Hidden security pocket
This is the fourth travel vest I've had. I also use them at home to avoid carrying a handbag, and with heavy use they tend to wear out quickly. To see how I cannibalized one travel vest make repairs on another, see Extreme Mending (Uber Boro).


  1. Love the way it looks and all of the handy pockets!

  2. Very creative, thanks for sharing all the making details and inspiring ideas. In searching for a vest pattern I was attracted to your post title because I don’t like traveling!


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