About Face - tips on making reverse items

Yesterday I assembled the vest.  Since all my aprons and bibs are reversible it would stand to reason that I would make a reversible vest.  Once the top shoulder seams were sewn and pressed open it was time to attach side A to side B.  It is more important to have the two sides laying completely flat against each other than it is to line up the edges exactly since one side might be a tad bit smaller than the other.  I always have the smaller side facing up when stitching so that the sewing goes thorough both fabrics.  Now, I pin along the edges making sure to leave an large enough opening that I can turn the garment right side out through.  On the vest, I left the opening at the neck edge.  Once I have stitched along the edge, trying to maintain a uniform seam allowance (the vest has a 1/2" seam allowance), I clip the corners to a 45 degree angle to eliminate the extra fabric and also, I clip into the seam allowance every inch or so along any curved edge.  This will help the garment lie flat.  How it is time to turn the garment right side out through the opening.  Once I have done this, the next step is to pop out all the corners.  There is actually a wooden tool with a point on it made made for just doing this but I find a lead pencil with a dull point works just fine.  I gently press the point into the inside of the point coaxing it out until it is a sharp, thus giving the item a clean professional look.  Next the edge needs to be pressed.  There is no short cut here.  This seam needs to be completely flat and at this edge the fabric tends to fold in on itself.  To get this edge flat, I gently roll it towards me and then back until the seam is completely flat and then I stem press it.  Taking the time to flatten this seam and pressing it as I go along assures me a nice clean and straight edge and once it is edge stitched, a very clean professional looking edge.  Before I machine stitch along the edge the opening needs to be folded to the inside (the same seam allowance as the rest of the edge seam) and pinned.  The last step is to machine stitch all along the edge which will also close up the hole I used to turn the item right side out through.  I try to maintain a uniform distance between the stitching and the edge.  I then press the item, both sides and clip all the dangling threads.  The photo is of a corner after I finished edge stitching.  I spend almost as much time pressing and pinning as I do sewing.  I work out all the kinks at the ironing board BEFORE I sit down to the sewing machine.  I have my ironing board and iron set up right next to my machine. 

This vest will be closed at the side using fabric tabs.  On my first vest, I had 2 tabs closing each side on both sides, a total on 8 tabs.  It was a EXTREMELY difficult lining them up and also, making them since they are small.  I also noticed that every thing I tried did not work, the tabs themselves came out looking a little wonkie.  The fewer I would have to make, the better so I came up with the idea of making 4 of them, sewing velcro on both ends of the tabs and velcro at the appropriate place on the vest (both sides) so they could be switched over depending on which side of the vest was being worn on the outside.  Well, the best laid plans of mice and men.......I attached the first tab at the arm hole and it was VERY clear that this would not be stable enough to hold the sides in place and also, the tab did not lay flat so I had no other option but sew the double tabs onto both sides.  I discover this rather late in the day, in fact it was past dinner time and I still haven't started dinner OR figured out how to make less wonkie looking tabs so it was time to quit for the day.