Friday, April 7, 2017

Faux Fur Vest Tutorial

Love this look! It's spring time now, but I made a faux fur vest in December before the moving fiasco and didn't get a chance to post about it.

Links: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

I bought my faux fur from Joann's for 40% off. It is $30-$40/yard normally; so, I highly recommend bringing a coupon! Even with the coupon, this project wasn't exactly cheap (I paid ~$20 for my fur; plus, ~$10 for the lining and thread), but neither is buying a pre-made vest from the store. It is also a slow process. If you want good results, you will need to hand baste every seam before sewing with a machine. This is because fur is slippery and can move around easily while you're trying to sew (it's very difficult to pin down), and you can push the fur out of the way of the stitches so that your seams are fluffy and not matted down.

For this project, you will need:

  • Basic Bodice Block!
  • Basic Dart Manipulation Instructions!
  • 1-1.5 yards of faux fur
  • 1-1.5 yards lining fabric (I used black silk)
  • The Basics: thread, needle, marking chalk, ruler, scissors, etc.
  • A razor blade (Note: never cut fur with scissors; you will make a huge mess!)

Drafting Your Pattern: (Note: You will only be using the back part of your Basic Bodice Block)
  1. Remove the darts from your "Basic Bodice Block: Back" by following the instructions in my Dart Manipulation post under "Combine Two Darts into One". Remove both the shoulder and waist dart.
  2. Drop the bottom of the arm hole by 2 inches, and redraw arm hole curve.
  3. Add length to the bottom. (I added 8 inches, but this is totally up to you.)
  4. Trace around your pattern, flip on the fold, and trace again to get rid of the fold line. You now have your "Vest: Back, no seam allowance, Cut 1" pattern piece.
  5. To get the front pattern piece, use the same pattern piece you just used to make the back (the one with the fold line). Find your bust line on the fold line side and connect that point to the beginning edge of your neckline. This will give your vest a V opening in front. If you want more curvature, go ahead and add some. This is your vest design!
  6. Next, find your waist line on the fold line side of your pattern. Find the halfway mark between your waist line and the bottom of the pattern and cut a curve from this point to the bottom edge of the opposite side of your pattern. (See image below.)
  7. You should now have your "Vest: Front, no seam allowance, Cut 2, flipping in between" pattern piece.

Steps 5 and 6

Making Your Vest:

  1. Keep in mind the direction of your fur. You want it to flow in the same direction on all your pieces.
  2. With this in mind, lay our your pattern pieces on the back of the fur and trace. *Don't forget to flip your "Vest: Front" so you end up with a left and right side!
  3. Add 1/2" seam allowance to all pieces.
  4. Using a razor blade, cut out the pattern pieces.
  5. Trace your pattern onto your lining fabric, add seam allowance, and cut these pieces out. Scissors are fine. :)
  6. Hand baste your two front fur pieces to your back piece at the shoulders. Right sides together.
  7. Sew over your basting stitch.
  8. Sew your lining pieces together at the shoulders as well; you don't need to baste first unless you want to.
  9. Hand Baste the lining to the fur (right sides together) at the arm openings, around the front edges of the front pieces, and neckline. (Don't sew anything below the arm openings or the back half of your front pieces yet. These will be sewn together at the side seams in a bit.)
  10. Use your sewing machine to go over all your basting stitches.
  11. Invert!
  12. Baste your side seams and sew over them. These should be the only visible seams on the inside of your vest.
  13. Fold under your lining at the bottom of your vest and baste/stitch this into place.
  14. Done!


We Moved!

Moving is pretty hellish, and this move was worse than any of our previous moves. Perhaps because we owned the house? We rented two houses previously, but it didn't seem as bad to move out. We just have so much stuff!!! And big stuff. Adult person stuff. Although, we sold our bed and our guest room bed before moving. That meant we had to buy new once we got to the new house... and assemble it. We disassembled and assembled a lot of things. My fingers were raw.

Moving Tips:

  1. Rent a dumpster.
  2. Throw all your junk you don't need/haven't used in years into the dumpster (or, if it's nice, into a box to donate).
  3. Pack less used items and decor first.
  4. Label, label, label. Don't let your husband pack stuff and not label it. It's a bad idea. Trust me.
  5. Be ruthless in your trashing/donating.
  6. Really nice things can be sold online, but don't price outrageously and just put the item back into storage because no one would pay the outrageous price you want.
  7. Take time off from work.
  8. Hire movers. It's better. Just bite the bullet and do it!
  9. Get all your boxes ready to go and furniture broken down before your movers come.
It costs us $350 for 4 hours with movers. We only had them move the "large" items, and that was a huge mistake!

They were super efficient and moved everything we asked them to in about an hour and a half. Had we had the other stuff ready to go, we could have saved ourselves hours of work, muscle pains, and the money to rent a UHaul (after realizing how screwed we were).

In summary, be prepared ahead of time and don't be a hoarder. If you can't stand the thought of donating/selling an item to a stranger, consider giving it to a friend or relative.