One thing I’ve noticed about myself since I started sewing is that I tend to take more risks fashion-wise when I’m making something versus buying it in a store. I always appreciate every facet of fashion (OK, maybe not always, but often) but I used to be wary if certain things would suit me.
I never thought I would ever wear culottes out of the house, but here I am rocking it – and all because the sewing community gave me the confidence I needed!
Now I’m trying out the faux fur vest. It’s been on my to-sew list for about a year, but I was too slow last winter to actually make one and by the time I was ready, I couldn’t bear to think of working with fur when it was blazing hot outside!
I bought some beautiful white faux fur at SAS last year. It’s really bulky and it took up a lot of space in my stash, so I decided to sew with it first.
I feel like a beautiful polar bear princess in it!
I was searching for a good fur vest pattern for a while, and I was excited to see Simplicity come out with the 8219 lined faux fur pattern. I didn’t feel like figuring out how to line it myself so I’m happy Simplicity took all the guesswork out for me.
I sewed the length of View B and didn’t add any closures. I also graded from a size XS on top to a S at the waist/hips. I’m not a tiny lady, so I’m wondering how a more petite person would be able to fit this to their frame if I’m taking up some of the smaller sizes. Oh, Big 4, your sizing still makes me scratch my head!
This was my first time handling faux fur and it’s really not as difficult as one would think. It’s definitely as messy as one would think, though!
Since I bought the fur at a mill end store, it wasn’t exactly in pristine shape. There was a certain… smell… to it and there was a stain on the wrong side. I ended up hand-washing the whole thing in my bathtub with mild detergent and let it hang dry. That took FOR. EV. ER. But it smells nice and is so soft now! Totally worth the labor.
When it came time to cut the fabric to the pattern, I remembered reading something online about tracing the pattern piece on the wrong side of the fur.
I took a plain black marker and went to town. It really helped since I couldn’t imagine pinning the
toilet tissue paper to that beast of a fabric (quite literally) and cutting it without totally shredding the pattern pieces. One thing to note is when you cut out the pieces, do NOT use a rotary cutter! Especially on fur this long! Use fabric scissors and slide them through the fur to cut the backing instead of cutting the backing and fur together. This will create less of a mess!
The pattern suggests trimming the fur off the seam allowances (or 3/8 inch in on a 5/8 inch seam allowance) to make sewing easier. It also makes the seams less bulky. But that was probably the messiest part of the process! I had my vacuum cleaner ready but the fur still got in my nose and mouth (how?!) and I’m sure there’s chunks hiding from me somewhere in my sewing room.
After all the prep, it’s a pretty quick sew even with the lining. I didn’t have to change my sewing machine foot while sewing the fur, amazingly enough. I just had my foot tension set at 3 so the fur wouldn’t get pushed all over the place.
Did I mention that I am super stoked that this pattern has POCKETS?!
Pockets make everything better, right? Here’s a close-up of the lovely purple pockets:
…OK maybe it looks like I’m ripping an animal apart…
At least I didn’t use red fabric! The purple fabric is actually a satin I bought from SAS to use during my DIY wedding madness. I used this purple for my bouquet and ring pillow and still had a good yard + left over. I am so glad I had leftovers because look at how beautiful it is for the lining!
Reminder to self: Bring sunglasses when posing at high noon in the desert.
I am super happy with how this came out, even though it makes me look a little fluffy. It is so soft both inside and out that it seriously feels like I have my cats wrapped all over me. I might just have to live in this thing.
And just for good measure – here’s me tapping into my “Polar Bear Princess” vibe:
Not only was I feeling the faux fur vibe so much that I made one for myself…. I had to make another one!
I bought this Nicole Miller designer fabric at Joann’s on sale for $20/yard (yikes!). I got only one yard because I knew it would end up being a cropped fur vest. I used View C without closures or pockets.
I instantly fell in love with this fabric when I saw it. It’s an amazingly soft short silvery faux fur on one side and faux leather on the other. I figured it would be a super fast and easy sew since I wouldn’t have to line it.
DD said, “It looks unfinished” and it technically is. I had this grand idea that I could just cut out the pattern pieces and sew the shoulder and side seams and have this instantly gorgeous vest. I also forgot that seam allowances were included in the pattern pieces, so I had to go back and trim 5/8 inch away from the edges. Maybe the unlined look doesn’t translate well because the ends kind of curl in. :-\
… but look at how pretty the fur is!
It took me a minute to figure out how to get this fabric through my machine. The faux leather stuck to my normal foot, so I tried putting Scotch tape on the bottom of the foot to let it slide across the faux leather better. Well, that didn’t work. So I busted out my trusty walking foot and that did the trick!
I’m wondering how else to style this vest. I think it might look good with a long, flowy bohemian dress – which I don’t have. Hmmm. How would you wear it?
And of course no Sew RED-y post would be complete without more jumping photos. 😉
That’s pretty much a wrap here! Have you jumped on the faux fur trend? Is it even still trendy???