Yesterday, I alluded to a possible weekend sewing failure about which I need to come clean. Fortunately after writing a vituperative post about new nemesis Yoshimi, I’m feeling a a little better.

A few weeks ago, I decided I’d make Dan a “no reason” present. The “no reason” present is the nicest kind- no obligation, no occasion, no expectation, just a present for “no reason.” I bought the Jason vest pattern from BurdaStyle (there weren’t any projects made from it posted at the time so I was just going off of BurdaStyle’s picture) and started working on it in secret. First I’d whip it out whenever Dan went off on one of his crazy triathlon workouts, get a little bit done here, sew a seam there. Given my general lack of enthusiasm for sewing for non-me people, it was pretty slow going. Eventually I realized that Dan’s awareness of what I’m currently sewing is pretty low so I even started working on it in front of him. He had no idea. When I finally presented it to him on Saturday evening, he said, “A vest?  It looks nice.  Try it on.” Then his eyes sort of lit up as he realized it was for him.

Now before I show you the monstrosity that I created, let me explain what I was going for. I was aiming for the sleek menswear vest that I often see in the windows of Express Men, sleek and slim and done up in a rather dressy suiting with welt pockets, worn over a slim white shirt with dark washed jeans. Dan and I have admired such a vest many times and thought it’d be a great addition to his wardrobe.

Dan is a pretty stylish guy- I never have to convince him that the slimmer cut is better than the baggy one, or that pink isn’t just for girls. He’s pretty adventurous and he’ll also happily wear almost anything that I recommend and makes daring choices for himself too. Beyond that, he has the exact 5’11” tapered athletic physique that manufacturers design for. If he were made of plastic and lacked sentience, nipples, and a head, he would be a Banana Republic mannequin. In short, pretty much anything looks good on him.  Except for the “no reason” present:

Arggh. I should have known better than to make this without fitting it on him first.  But I wanted it to be a “no reason” SURPRISE. So now it’s a surprise, but a really crappy one. It’s not chic and edgy and sophisticated. At best it’s Ferris Bueller, and at worst it’s Ben from Growing Pains in the later years of the show when they all thought everyone should wear a vest or blazer all the time. It’s not sleek, it’s not fitted, it definitely can’t be worn over a dress shirt. It’s way too short (the back is REALLY short). I made this in his normal Burda size according to his measurements (which always fits him perfectly because everything always fits his mannequin body perfectly with the exception of needing an extra inch of length on sleeves) but I should have realized that BurdaStyle patterns are not the same as Burda patterns. They’re drafted and produced by an entirely different team. And the Jason vest was apparently drafted to fit a barrel, a fact which becomes even more obvious when the vest is pinned closed (didn’t put buttons on it yet.) He could smuggle cats in all the extra room inside this vest.

Dan is so happy about the “no reason” present that he is adamant he can make it work, but I can’t let him out of the house looking like this. First lesson: better to make unsurprising present that involves a muslin than make crappy present that is a surprise. Second lesson: I don’t sew for non-me people.  Why did I decide to make a present for Dan when I could have been sewing for myself?  “No reason.”

Now what?