Inspiration - Puffer-Style Trailblazer Vest

Take your Trailblazer Vest to the next level of cosy by adding a layer of insulation to make a puffer-style vest.  Stylish and practical, a puffer vest will keep you warm on all your adventures!  

When sewing a puffer-style Trailblazer Vest, a layer of batting is stitched to either the exterior vest fabric or the lining fabric.  In the examples pictured here, the insulation is stitched, or quilted, to the exterior fabric of the vest, however it is also possible to quilt the lining fabric of the vest.  


The simplest and quickest way to make a puffer vest is to start with a pre-quilted fabric.  Many fabric stores carry cotton and nylon fabrics that are pre-quilted to a layer of polyester batting.  Just cut your pattern pieces and sew!  

Quilting fabric yourself opens up a wide array of fabric choices.  For example, cotton, twill, wool suiting, corduroy, flannel, denim, and nylon ripstop would all be suitable choices for quilting.  Really, as long as the fabric is an appropriate weight and doesn't have too much stretch, the sky is the limit!  Just keep in mind that multiple thick layers can make it difficult to sew some parts of the Trailblazer, so you may want to avoid using two thick fabrics in addition to batting.  

This vest is a wonderful combination of two different types of quilted fabric: denim and wool.  The contrast thread used for the quilting adds a lovely design element:  

Of course, at Twig + Tale, we love upcycling textiles, both for the environmental benefits and for the creative opportunities.  The natural choice for a puffer vest?  A sleeping bag!  The vests in the top photo were both sewn from one sleeping bag! 


When it comes to quilting the fabric for your vest, there are many possibilities for stitch patterns.  Straight, horizontal lines are the simplest and work well for a puffer vest.  

A check or diamond pattern is another classic choice.  We love how the diamond quilting pattern on this vest takes its cue from the fabric print, and is repeated on a smaller scale in the corduroy yoke.  If you choose to quilt a patterned fabric, you may find the stitching inspiration right in the fabric!

This vest uses stitching styles to subtly highlight different parts of the vest: a chevron pattern on the front and back, horizontal lines on the yoke, and vertical lines on the side panels:

 Of course, quilting lines needn't only be straight.  It's entirely possible to add unique shapes and curved quilting lines.  These curved lines add an interesting design element to a solid-coloured fabric:

With so many possibilities for fabric and quilting design elements, we're sure you will make something truly unique and special!  Have you made a Puffer Trailblazer Vest?  Please join us at the Twig + Tale Facebook group to share photos.  

Did you know that the Twig + Tale blog is home to a number of tutorials for customizing your Trailblazer Vest?  Read more here:

~Images by Rachel Osterday, Kristie Comarmond, Jocelyn Buggie, Verinne and Diane Cullum~