I made this vest in the late 90s. I didn't really know what I was doing and there was no such thing as wash-away stabilizer, so there was a lot of paper picking to be done when it was finished. I still love it and wear it often, but was feeling like it was time to make another one.
Find a print you like and make a whole lot of strips.
I cut my strips (not on the bias!) in 2" widths, sewed them together, pressed the seams open, and then pressed the whole thing while folding it in half. I'd love to tell you exactly how long your roll of sewn strips needs to be, but I can't. I eyeballed it. The good news is if you don't have enough, you can make more.
Ignore that shoe in the corner. You can see the fold here.
Now, open the folded strip and fold the edges toward the center. You don't need to press at this point, but you can if you like.
Fold the two new edges to meet each other and stitch down the edge, finger folding as you go.
This is a little better view of the stitching the folded edges together.
When you're done, roll up your now very long strip of stitched fabric and set it aside.
You will need a vest pattern with no darts and no closure. You may be able to use frog closures or something unique, but there will be no way to put buttonholes in the front of the vest. I like this one:
I did round off the edges at the bottom; it will make bias application later much easier.
You will also need fabric for the back of your vest that complements the strips as well as a yardish of wash-away stabilizer. You will use this for making the front of the vest. You will be using a lot of thread making the front. A child's vest uses at least one bobbin's worth!
Part 2 coming soon!