New Year’s Sewing Resolution: November Fake Fur Vest

  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
New Year’s Resolution - November Fake Fur Vest

I am now embarking on the 11th month of my year-long resolution to sew one wardrobe item each month during 2012, and I can easily say I have enjoyed every minute of my sewing marathon this year.

As the months get colder, I wanted to make myself a snuggly and cozy vest by emulating some of the wonderful and warm fake fur vests that are so prevalent in the stores these days.

Fake fur is easy to purchase online from various sources, from faux fox to rabbit or gray chinchilla to polar bear (all fake, I hasten to add!!!). I chose a Russian White Husky Fur for my vest, which I purchased online, sight unseen, and it was just as the photograph and description described.

I decided to use some of the pattern pieces I drafted myself for my May project - a self-drafted hoodie. I used the back piece as is, as well as the front piece which I cut in two, to create an opening to the vest. I re-drafted the front piece slightly for a more tailored look, by tapering the sides towards the waist slightly. I got an idea of how I wanted my vest to look by searching for images of various other vests.

I lay my fabric down with the wrong side facing, and checked the direction of the fake fur. It is very important to make sure the fur is laying in the correct direction when you cut your pattern pieces so that it points downwards on the finished garment. All pattern pieces must be cut in the same direction.

I drew around my pattern pieces directly onto the backing of the fake fur with a marker. Since you cannot cut this fabric on the fold, each pattern must be drawn in its entirety onto the back of the fur.

transferring pattern

To cut the fur, I used my Fiskars Heavy Duty Detail craft knife. When you cut the fabric, you only want to cut the backing, not the fur (otherwise you will end up with fur everywhere). I used my craft knife to slice through the backing, then simply pulled the fur apart cleanly.

using the craft knife

I started to piece the vest together at the shoulder seams. In order to sew the front and back pieces together cleanly, it’s a good idea to trim the fur at the seam allowance before sewing the pieces together. I allowed a ½” seam allowance, so I used a small pair of scissors to trim the fur ½” from the raw edge. I then pinned the pieces together and sewed up the seams. The seams are virtually invisible, once sewn.

seam trimming

 I then pinned the pieces together and sewed up the seams. The seams are virtually invisible, once sewn.

neat finished seam

Once the two shoulder seams were sewn together, I sewed the front to the back at the side seams. I used the same method of trimming the fur within the seam allowance before sewing each together.

Depending on the length and type of fur you’re using, plan on there being a large amount of fur in your work area or stuck to you! It may be useful to keep a vacuum cleaner on hand to keep the mess under control as you work.

fur from trimming the fabric

I decided to keep my vest unlined, so I simply trimmed it to the desired length. The raw edges did not need to be finished since they do not fray. I prefer to wear my vest open at the front, but did hand stitch a couple of hook and eyes to the front for a closure at the waist, for options.

Hook and eye
finished vest

Supply List

Fake Fur (I purchased 1 yard which was enough for one vest with fabric leftover)
Pins
Thread
Sewing machine
Vacuum cleaner