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Ugly Christmas Vest

The holidays are around the corner and we just couldn’t help ourselves!

It’s hard not to get in the holiday spirit with all the awesome pics of holiday decor and ugly Christmas sweaters popping up everywhere! So, we were super inspired to make our very own custom printed Ugly Christmas Vests!


To get started we came up with a couple of basic ideas of what we HAD to have like: cats (cats are life!), It had to be TACKY, & a tribute to all things Christmas!

Here are a few sketches we came up with but we definitely branched out a bit once we got to the computer.

Optional Step: Uploading Vest Pattern 

We wanted to do this so that we could see the full vest pieces as we were creating our designs and really be able to work within the space we had.

To do this, we took our vest pattern over to our scanner, since our pattern pieces were larger than the scanning beds we had to scan it in pieces and save them onto a USB.

Once we had all parts of our pattern piece scanned, then we put them back together in our editing software and (if needed) resized it to the correct size. You can do this by measuring the side seams and shoulder seams of your actual pattern and adjusting your scanned version till these measurements match.

Then using the pen tool we traced out the pattern so there was just a clean outline to create our design in. Repeat steps to create your pattern piece for your vest back pattern. Once you’re done with this SAVE it, you can definitely use your new digital pattern to create festive vests for any occasion!

Decorating Vest

Now that you have your vest pattern pieces traced, you can use them as guides to color and decorate as you wish. You can create your own decorations or use sites like Pixabay to find free-use images to decorate your vest with.

Canvas size vs yard size

When reassembling our patterns the canvas was made very large to give us some wiggle room as we made our adjustments. Now that we’re done we have to make sure that the size of our workspace would fit on our fabric, if the workspace is too big then the image will print off the edge of the fabric and we would not have all the pieces we need to finish our vest…sad face…

So our current workspace/canvas was created at almost 70″ x 40″ 150dpi, which is which is WAY to big, we could leave it as is and turn this to fit on 2 yards of fabric but it would be a waste as much of the fabric will be unused. We resized our workspace to reflect the dimensions of one yard of Premium cotton, which would be 54″ x 36″.and our vest fits PERFECTLY into one yard! YAY!

Save your design as JPEG or PNG.

Upload & Print

To order your fabric go to My Fabric Designs and click on the Upload button on the homepage. On the next page select your design file and wait for the Order Page to load.

Use the diagram below if you’re at all unsure of what to set your order screen too.


  • Will give you the repeat options available for your size image,
  • Note: Large images may have limited tiling options

Fabric Design Info:

  • This is where you can see the upload size of your design
  • Always double check that it is the size you wanted your image to print at


Cut & Sew


  • Custom Printed Vest Fabric 1-2yds
  • Lining
  • Matching thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • McCall’s 2260

We designed our vest so that we would be able to cut right along the edge of our design, if you haven’t done this you will need to pull out your original paper pattern to trace & cut out your vest pieces. You should have a set of (2) front panels & (1) back panel in your printed fabric and another for your lining.

Pin the shoulder seams of your printed fabric together and sew. Repeat for lining. Pin your partially assembled vests right sides together. Using the diagram below as a reference of where to sew on your vest, you are essentially sewing up everything besides your side seams. Read the instructions with your original pattern to find how wide your seam allowance needs to be, most commercial patterns are sewn up at 5/8″ seam allowance.

You will need to clip small triangles in your seams around the curves and the in all your corners. If you do not do this, the fabric will not lay smooth when turned inside out in the next step.

Once you are done clipping your seam allowance, you will now understitch as much of your vest as you can. You will not be able to understitch the section around the back neck or narrower parts of the shoulder straps as you will not have enough room for your machine to stitch into, just sew as far as you can. Also stop your stitch an inch before and after any corners as this may cause extra bulk that may cause problems when you turn out your vest.

To understitch, press you seam allowance over towards your lining and a sew through the layers about an 1/8″ away from your original seam, this will help keep your lining in place and out of sight as you’re wearing it.

Now it’s time to pull the front of your vest inside the back panel and match the side seams of your front and back panel together. Pin them as shown below, matching the green fabric to the green and the printed fabric to the printed and sew in the round.

Repeat steps on the other side but make sure to leave about a 5″ opening in the lining to turn your vest right side out.


Last Steps! Turn your vest right side out, hand stitch the opening shut and press.


And your done – now you have your very own Ugly Christmas (not quite a sweater) Vest to proudly show off!


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