Monday, December 16, 2013

Make a Faux Fur Vest

Ever fall in love with a faux fur vest in the store, only to look at the steep price tag and have to walk away?  I've wanted one forever but didn't want to pay over 50 bucks for a item that might fall out of fashion soon.  So what do you do?  Make one!

There are already some tutorials out there online, but in case you haven't seen one I wanted to break down the how to for you.  You'll need about 3/4 yard of faux fur and 3/4 yard of a lining fabric (less depending on your size).  I got my fur at JoAnn Fabrics.  Linen or quilting cotton works well as a lining, but you can try knit too.

Start out by making a pattern from a tshirt you own or a tshirt pattern.  (sorry no pictures for this part)  If making one from your own tee, start out by folding your shirt in half with the arms tucked in and the back facing you.  Trace the folded shirt back and add seam allowances (1/2 inch).  Make the front pattern from the back pattern, but angle the neckline into a low V.  You may also want to curve the front piece like in the picture below, but keeping it straight works just as well.

I didn't actually use the curved front pattern piece shown and instead made a more square one later.

Before cutting into the fur, a few things to know…

  • Pet your fur!  Seriously.  You want to be sure of the nap so that when you are cutting out your pattern pieces the nap is facing the direction you want it (usually down).  
  • Some furs shed a ton so you may want to cut it out outside.  I tried cutting it out with a razor on the back side of the fur to avoid the shedding, but that technique didn't work out for me.
  • When sewing the fur together, make sure to tuck the hairs inside so they don't get sucked into the seam.  If they do you can fix it later by gently pulling out the hairs that got sewn down.
  • Also when possible, sew with the fur on top of the lining pieces when feeding through the machine.  I found that the pieces fed more uniformly that way - though it was only a major difference when I used thicker fur.
Use the pattern pieces to cut out a back (on the fold) for the lining and fur, and a left and right front piece for the lining and fur.

The next steps of assembly are very similar to the assembly of a sleeveless bodice.  If you're familiar with sewing those this will be super easy!

1.  Sew the lining front and back pieces (right sides together) at the shoulders.  Do the same for the faux fur pieces.  Pay extra attention that you're sewing the front pieces on correctly so that the armholes are on the outside and neckline is in the center (make sense?).

2.  Next up, we're going to sew the neckline.  Match the front lining pieces to the front fur pieces (right sides together).  Make sure the shoulder seams are matching up.  If you have really thick fur, definitely pin or clip the fabrics together as it will shift around while you're sewing.

Too bad my lining looks the same on both sides - wrong side shown on top in picture.
3.  Sew the arm holes on each side (fabric still right sides together), leaving the side seams unfinished still.

4.  Now that you have the shoulder seams, neckline, and armholes sewn together, reach in and turn the vest right side out.

Only the side seams and bottom to finish.  The side seams will be tackled next.

5.  Take one side and match the fur front to the fur back, and match the lining front to the lining back - all right sides facing.  Make sure the bottom of the armholes line up.  Sew it up and repeat for the next side.

6.  Almost there!  Turn it inside out so that you can match the bottom hems of the lining pieces to the fur pieces (right sides together).  Sew from one front piece to the middle back and stop.  Then sew from the other side to the middle back and stop again, leaving a gap large enough for your hand to fit through.  Then use that gap to turn the vest right side out again.  Hand sew the opening closed with a blind stitch.

You may love it so much you'll make two like I ended up doing.  Trendy Christmas gifts for all!  

Use a fun lining….

Or a plain one…

Either way Good Luck!
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  1. Wow, this is cute!! Love the lining too :)

  2. Replies
    1. THanks, and so did you! I want some sparkle tights :)

  3. love how you did this!! I wanna make a lined one now! maybe for NYE :D thanks for the tutorial!!!

  4. This is awesome! I wish it would cool off here so that I could warrant a vest!

    1. Thanks - I can't's been freezing here lately! getting photos was a little rough :) could use a little more sunshine.

  5. Holy cow! How are you getting all of this done!?!? Just caught up on your blog- so impressed! Your sewing projects are amazing!

    1. Thanks! I do it all in spurts. You should see the house right now...chaos.

  6. Great vest! I love the fur and fun lining! It's a great tutorial and especially your fur tips!

  7. Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I love all your awesome pictures! You were featured today from the Create Link Inspire party!

  8. Hi there! Thank you for this tutorial! It was very easy to follow, it took me only three evenings to make a faux fur vest and I love it!