Except that I knew it had to be less dressy/hipster and more sporty than the one pictured above. Of course Mr. Pinds totally agreed with this idea and declared that it needed to be made in a khaki canvas to be a legit explorer's vest. A couple of weeks ago we visited Joann to pick out the fabric and found the perfect khaki canvas and then found the perfect lining: a black and red checked flannel aka lumberjack fabric.
We decided to use pockets with bellows on the back and for the front bottom pockets so the little guy could stuff them with all of his spy gear (some of which we gave to him for Christmas). Mr. Pinds also insisted that I add a loop to hold the flashlight that we were including with the vest. After all, a good explorer needs the perfect storage for his tools.
This was my first time making and working with bias tape. The Appendix of Little Things to Sew includes instructions and tips for making and working with bias strips, so I had no problem at all!
I was worried that the vest would be complicated and take a long time to complete, but it was actually pretty easy to put together. Making and attaching the bellowed pockets took the most amount of time, but it was worth it in the end to have sturdy and large pockets. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that all of the patterns are squeezed onto three sheets of paper and, since they overlap, you have to trace them instead of simply cutting them out. Somehow I didn't realize this until I started working on the project and the added step took more time than I had originally planned for.
I stitched a Hawk Mountain patch onto the back of the vest. Part of the little guy's present is that we're going to take him to Hawk Mountain in the spring for some mountain climbing and exploring.
Overall I highly recommend Little Things to Sew and the Explorer Vest pattern. The instructions are great and they include really informative and helpful pictures and diagrams. Plus the patterns are so classic and adorable that I want to make everything in the book! Someone just needs to have a little girl now so I can make the red riding hood cape!