Shape Shape: Reversible circle vest

The Reversible circle vest from Shape Shape by Natsuno Hiraiwa (2007 Interweave) is an unusual pattern but easy and fast to make; I cut and sewed mine in an evening.

It features on the front cover of Shape Shape.



The vest is almost a circle, made from two almost-half circles.  It has a seam at the centre back neck and another (on the bias) seam at the back waist.









The back is supposed to have an opening with buttons and buttonholes but I made mine with a seam.  It’s still easy enough to put on without a back opening.


Am I happy with it?  Well, I was kind of disappointed, but partly because I’m not sure if this style is “me” or not.  From the photo on the cover of the book, it looks like it should flare and ripple more than mine does, and yet I think mine fits properly around the arms, back and neck.

The sizing is very small.  It won’t fit the majority of Australian women.  I’m a size 8 or 10 in tops, and it was too small for me.  I didn’t make a test garment; I just used some fabric left from other projects so it was no great disaster if it didn’t work out.  I added a total of 9cm (3½”) to the circle’s circumference (I allowed a 3cm centre back seam allowance when I cut it out, and ended up taking 5mm.  I omitted the button and buttonhole at the back waist and just joined the pieces together which helped make it bigger too).  I took in the centre back seam by 2cm at the waist tapering to nothing at the hem, but it’s still not very flared at the back.

If you own Shape Shape and plan to make this vest, I definitely recommend checking the sizing.  I also suggest using two fabrics that require the same colour thread to make topstitching easier.  The instructions say to use fusing around the inner edge of the vest to stabilise it, but I stitched on cotton tape because I thought it would stretch less.  These kind of vests look best worn over slim fitting simple tops like skivvies or long-sleeved t-shirts, rather than collared shirts.

I may try this pattern again after a few tweaks.









  1. Tom on October 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I think it looks amazing! What a cool design.

    • lizhaywood on October 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Thanks, Tom. It is a clever, simple pattern.

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