Fur the Fun of It!

By Cindy Vance

What does one do with a little over a yard of luscious faux fur from Silhouette Patterns?

I decided to make a finger-tip length vest. The inspiration was Let’s Sew – The Fur Vest – Episode 193 from Silhouette Patterns YouTube channel. I followed Peggy’s suggestions on modifying a blouse pattern because it doesn’t have shoulder pads like a jacket pattern usually does. My pattern choice was blouse pattern #618 Bailey’s Cape-Sleeved Blouse for the front, back and collar. I lengthened the pattern 6” knowing I could cut it off and modified the collar to a short Mandarin-collar. To ensure it fit the way I wanted, I made a mockup. Once I knew it would go around like I wanted, meeting at center front with a sweater underneath I was ready to start having fun with the fur.

Faux fur is washable, so I put it in the washing machine using cold water, gentle cycle. I also put it in the dyer, which I’ve since learned is not the thing to do because heat can melt faux fur. I don’t recommend putting the fur in the dryer unless you test a swatch first to ensure you like the way it turns out. However, the dryer on low temp did make the fur a little fluffy.  In the future I will hang it to dry.

To begin I traced out the pattern pieces on the back of the fur with chalk, ensuring I had a left front and a right front traced out. The back piece, which is usually cut on the fold, was traced out as one piece. I carefully and slowly snipped the backing fabric of the fur around each piece ensuring I didn’t cut through to the fur. If you cut the fur, it does not look good. In addition, I decided to line my vest, put pockets in the side seams and fur hooks to close it.

When it came to sewing the fur, I didn’t do anything special. I used a 75/11 stretch chrome needle only because that’s what was on my machine. I sewed a 3/8” seam allowance. I didn’t trim any fur away from the seam allowance prior to sewing, just pushed the fur to the inside when sewing seams together and when attaching the lining. Once it was complete, I found it helped to hand stitch the lining to the fur backing to make a smooth flat edge all the way around. You really can’t top stitch on the fur.

I sewed the fur hooks to the lining after the vest was done, but I didn’t think this was the best look. Ideally, they are sewn to the fur backing before the lining is attached. They would stick out between the lining and the fur. At this point, I had fully bagged the lining and I wasn’t about to go rip it out. My fix was to hand sew a 1” piece of leather trim over the hooks and eyes to cover them as if they were between the fur and the lining.  I’m thrilled with the outcome. The bust darts really do make a difference in shaping the vest and you don’t see them. It really was fun to sew, and I know I’ll get many years of wear out of my faux fur vest.

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3 thoughts on “Fur the Fun of It!”

  1. I did something similar. I made a cape for my granddaughter. I love your hint on the fur hook closure. I’ve had my piece of fake fur for more than 20 years. My granddaughter saw it and asked for the cape. I used a Vogue pattern that has slits in front seams for the arms. I didn’t use the collar. Lined of course, also hand stitched into place.

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