Boy’s Vest Tutorial With PDF Pattern (It’s Free!)

by Destri on May 17, 2012

Free Vest Pattern Size 4-6 Boys

I so wanted to have this vest pattern up before Easter, but I ended up testing for my little guy up until the night before.  Although, who needs a holiday to get dressed up, right?  I so love this style, it’s polished with a little formal thrown in, but depending on the fabric and shirt worn with it can be very fun and playful.  It’s a free download PDF pattern for sizes 4-5 and I have included a photo for every step in the tutorial making it perfect for a beginner.

Little Boy Vest Pattern and Tutorial

I wanted a summery feel for this vest so I used linen for most of it, and opted not to add buttons for a super casual feel.  If I make one for this winter I will add the buttons.  It’s fully lined, with no exposed seams making it look top notch (without a serger!).  The double lapel and faux single welt pockets are fun details that are super simple, but can be left out all together if you’d like to make the vest reversible.  Catch me after the jump for the free download and tutorial!

Size 4-5T Boy’s Vest Tutorial With Free Pattern

I designed this to be a very tailored fit for my 5 year old who wears a 5T.  It would fit a 4T great, with a little growing room.  Please be sure to read through the tutorial before cutting and sewing. 


  • all your sewing stuff
  • hot iron and board
  • thread and fabric
  • buttons if you want

Suggested Fabrics And Requirements:

You will need ¾ of a yard for the outer and lining, so 1 1/2 yards of fabric total.  You can use any woven fabric for this pattern, but I recommend that at least one is a heavier fabric for structure.  If not you can use a fusible interfacing on the fabric.  I used a cotton linen for the vest shown, but some other great options would be twill, suiting, denim, corduroy, or even a seersucker like this J Crew vest would look fabulous.

Pattern Printing and Assembly:

Click here to download and print the pattern pieces

There are five pages and you will print at 100% with no scaling, if prompted select “none”.

You can also print this tutorial using the print button at the bottom of the post.  Once you have clicked on it, it will open the tutorial in a new window, click on pictures or blocks of text that you don’t need to remove and save on ink.  You can even change the size of the text.

Feel free to use this pattern to make vests for re-sale on a small scale, I hope you make a million!  However, the pattern and tutorial itself are not to be used for resale. © Destri Bufmack for

Vest Pattern

Tape the pattern pieces together – two for the front and two for the back.  If there is a break in the lines that is okay, just line up the edges of the paper. Then cut out the taped pattern pieces along the line.

Fabric Cuts:

You will need to cut two 2 x 5 inch pieces for the faux pockets.

From the patterns you will cut:

  • two pieces for the outer front panels (fold fabric in half for two layers when cutting)
  • two for the front panels lining (fold fabric in half for two layers when cutting)
  • one piece for the outer back (cut on fold at the center back)
  • one for the back lining (cut on fold at the center back)
  • four pieces of the smaller lapel pattern from main fabric
  • four pieces of the larger lapel pattern from main fabric

Pay attention to the fabric when laying the pattern pieces and cutting.  You can see that my fabric had lines, so I needed to make sure that those were always facing the direction I needed.  This is especially important for the lapels if your fabric has a certain pattern.

Sewing The Vest:

If you are new to sewing I have a Sewing Tips Directory that might be useful.  The seam allowance is included and you will use a 3/8 inch seam allowance through out unless noted.

Starting with the lapel, take the four smaller pieces and sew two right sides together along the two longer sides as shown in the picture. Repeat on the other two and snip the corners a safe distance from the stitches.

Turn right side out, paying good attention to that corner for a nice crisp corner, and then press.

Using the photo above as a reference,  place a large lapel piece right side up, then place a smaller lapel piece with the raw edges out as shown.

Now place the second larger lapel piece on top right side down, pin to hold the smaller piece in place, then sew on the outer edges as shown with the black dashes in the photo.  Repeat for the other lapel pieces.

Snip corners, then turn right side out and press.  You can topstitch (how to topstitch) the outer edges if you would like.  Set the lapels to the side.

Now will work on the faux pockets.  Take the two 2×5 inch pieces and iron the 2 inch sides over 1/4 inch.  Then iron in half with the right sides out and 5 inch side together.  Take the two outer front panels and lay on a flat surface, right sides up.  Pin the pieces with the folded side down as shown in picture.  As for placement, I was about 1 inch from the side, and keep in mind that you will be sewing the flap up.  Eyeball it, pin up the flap if needed and just make sure it looks good to your eye.

Sew the pocket right along the top, lining the presser foot with the raw edge of the fabric.

Press the pocket up and then sew the sides as close to the edge as you can.

That’s it! Easy peasy.  Now just repeat on the other side.

Now we’ll assemble the front panels. Lay the two front panels right sides facing up, and place the lapels in place as shown in the picture. I gave plenty of wiggle room on the lapel, so you will have a little overhang on the edges of the vest panels. This just makes it easier when sewing.

Now place the lining on top, right side down.

Pin where the lapel is and sew as illustrated with the white dash in the picture. 3/8 seam allowance.

Now open up and press like shown.

Then fold back over with right sides facing together and pin at the arm holes.  Sew around the armholes and down the vest front leaving the shoulder and sides alone.

Cut out notches a safe distance from the stitching (example below) around the curve of the armhole, turn right side out and press.  Repeat on the other side and you’ll have to pieces like above.  Set aside.

Moving on to the back. Note that the lining I used for the front panels is my main fabric for the back. I used a lightweight cotton for the lining in the back.

Lay the outer back panel right side up, and the lining right side down.  Pin at shoulders and arm holes.

Sew around the neck and armholes only, leaving the sides and shoulders alone.

Now cut little notches out a safe distance from the stitch along the curves as shown.  If you have pinking shears they work great for this step.

You’re almost finished!  Now take the back panel still wrong side out and lay on a flat surface with the lining face down.

Take a front panel and with the front side facing up as shown, sandwich in between the lining and main fabric of the back.  Pull the shoulder of the front panel up to meet the top of the shoulder of the back and line up the arm holes, pin in place at the shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

Now sew at the shoulders as shown making sure to get all layers in the stitch.

Now turn right side out and press at the shoulders.  At this point your vest will look like this.

Now we are going to sew up the sides. This part is a little hard to explain but it’s super easy and when you are sewing it will make sense. You will turn the vest so the lapels are facing in, and the back lining is out.

Line up the side seams, and pin so that the front outer and the back outer fabric are together, and the lining of the front and back are together.  Line up at the underarms as a starting point, and then down the sides.

You will pin so that you can sew with the right sides together.  Sew up the sides starting on the front side, then all the way to the back. Repeat on the other side.

Press the seams open.

Now turn right side out, it will look a little wonky as you can see in the photo. Line up the bottom edges and sew along the bottom making sure to leave an opening on the back center for turning right side out.

Turn right side out, making sure to get the front points nice and crisp.  Fold the edges of the small opening in the back to line up with the seam, press and pin.  Press the bottom edges and run the iron over all the vest at this point to prepare for top stitching.

Now up under the lapel on the edge of the neckline is where you will start the topstitch (tutorial for topstitching).  You can see how I have my foot pulled up under the lapel.  Just sew down the front, across the bottom (this will sew up the small opening in the back) and back up the other side.

You can also topstitch the neckline and arm holes.

Free Pattern and Tutorial 4T Lapel Vest

Give it one more steam press along the topstitching and you’re finished!  Doesn’t it look great? So polished, yet relaxed.

If you want to add buttons, just extend the front panels 1/2 an inch where the buttons and holes would go on the pattern before cutting to add a little more ease.

I am thinking of adding this vest to my pattern release this fall if there is enough interest.  So let me know.  Maybe even a sport coat?  Tell me what you’d love and I will see what we can come up with!

If you have any questions leave them here in the comments and I will answer them there.

Thanks for reading and sharing friends, it’s the only way we can keep the fun stuff rolling!


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