How to Make a Utility Vest With Multiple Pockets

by ModernModiste
14 Materials
5 Hours

How much stuff are you carrying around with you when you’re running errands, doing household chores, or working outside?

If you need all your tools readily at hand, then this tutorial on how to make a utility vest will be very useful for you! Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Tracing paper
  • Heavy fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Thread
  • 3 zippers
  • 3 D-rings  
  • 1 keychain clip
  • Velcro
  • Iron  
  • Sewing pins
  • Fabric marker
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Utility vest inspiration

DIY utility vest sewing pattern

1. Make your utility vest pattern

Trace a hoodie to make the pattern. Watch the video from 1:17 to 2:37 to see how to do this in detail.

Sewing the front bodice pieces

2. Sew the front 

With right sides facing, lay the front yoke pieces on the front bodice pieces and sew them together, then topstitch.

Making a small front pocket

3. Make the small front pocket and pocket flap

With right sides together, sew one pocket side to each side of the pocket bottom, lining up the short edges.

Sewing the Velcro to the pocket flap

Sew one half of a Velcro square at the bottom center of one front pocket flap.

Sewing the pocket pieces together

Sew the 2 pocket front pieces together with the Velcro on the inside. Leave a gap at the top so you can turn the pocket right-side out.

Trimming the corners

Trim the corners of the flap piece and turn it right side out.

Pressing the pocket flap

Press the pocket flap. Double-fold and press the top allowance piece down on the front pocket piece, and press the seams open on the sides and bottom piece.

Double-fold and press in the allowance at each end of the sides/bottom piece and press in one long edge on the seam allowance.

How to sew a small pocket

Sew the pocket flap and side folds in place. On the sides, sew at both the edge of the side and the raw edge of the fold.

Topstitching the pocket

Topstitch the sides and bottom of the pocket flap and then sew the matching piece of Velcro to the front of the pocket.

Utility vest tutorial

Now, with right sides facing in, pin and sew the edge of the side piece that was not folded in to the edge of the pocket front.

After sewing the pocket sides to the pocket front, pin back the sides and topstitch along the edges where the pocket front and sides meet.

Attaching the pocket to the DIY utility vest

4. Attach the small front pocket

Fold in the sides of the front pocket and trace the front pocket shape onto the front piece of the vest.

Pinning the pocket to the vest

Fold under the pressed edges of the pocket sides and pin those to the front of the vest. Sew the pocket on to the vest along those pressed flaps and press.

Positioning the pocket flap on the pocket

Position the pocket flap on the vest front so that the Velcro on the pocket flap meets the Velcro on the pocket front and sew down the top of the pocket flap.

Making a larger front pocket

5. Make the large front pocket

This pocket is made the same way as the small pocket with the addition of a D-ring. 

Utility vest bodice piece with two pockets

You can see how the large front pocket is made in the video from 5:22 to 6:55.

Making the fanny-pack pocket with a zip

6. Make the fanny-pack pocket

Cut all of the fanny-pack pocket pieces as shown above.

Sewing the zipper

Use the zipper foot on your sewing machine to attach the zipper to the inside of the top and front pocket pieces, sewing on the double-allowance edge of the top pocket piece. Then, topstitch.

Sewing the pocket to the front and top

With right sides facing in, sew the pocket sides to the front and top pocket. Stop sewing at the top allowance line of the sides.

Pinning the pocket, ready to sew

Now line up the top edge of the side pieces with the top of the top pocket and pin in place. Sew that long edge.

Sewing the pocket onto the utility vest

Sew the bottom pocket piece to the bottom of the front and side pocket pieces. Attach the pocket to the front of the vest as you did the previous two pockets.

Attaching the keychain clip

7. Attach the keychain clip

Make a second D-ring strap as you did before and attach the keychain clip to it. Sandwich it between the other front yoke and bodice pieces, with right sides facing in, and sew the shoulder seam.

How to sew a utility vest

8. Create a second front zipper pocket

This zipper pocket is similar to the previous ones, with an extra flap and the zipper being positioned a bit differently. Follow the video from 8:50 to 10:06 to see how this pocket is created.

Making a DIY utility vest

9. Last front pocket

Make and attach another pocket just like the D-ring pocket, but without the D-ring. Now, both front pieces are done.

Sewing the back of the DIY utility vest

10. Sew the vest back

With right sides facing and another D-ring sandwiched in the middle, sew the back yoke to the back bodice. Trim the excess D-ring strap and then topstitch that seam.

Adding a back pocket

11. Add a back pocket

Sew and attach a simple back pocket as shown in the video from 10:20 to 10:29.

Sewing the front and back together

12. Sew the front and back together

With right sides facing in, attach the front pieces to the back by sewing the shoulder seams. Insert one more D-ring at the center of the shoulder on the side with 3 pockets.

Attaching the front closings

13. Attach the front closings

Pin the zipper in place on both sides of the front and sew it with the zipper foot of your sewing machine.

Sewing the closings to the vest

Make both sides of the front clasp closing the same way you did the D-rings and sew to the top front of the vest.

Lining the vest

14. Line your vest and sew the side seams

The lining also has a couple of pockets, but it’s made the same way as the outer vest. Follow the video from 11:08 to 12:28 to see the lining made and attached.

Turn the vest right side out and sew the two side seams closed. Then topstitch all around the edges of the vest.

How to make a utility vest

How to make a utility vest

You’re all done and now you can start organizing tools and get to those projects with new efficiency!

Leave me a comment to let me know if you made your own DIY utility vest and how you are using it.

Suggested materials:
  • Tracing paper
  • Heavy fabric
  • Lining fabric
See all materials

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