Sewing · Tops

Project 24 – A Luxury Fur Coat

I bought some white faux fur last year for the Tinkerbelle costume I made for Little Miss for Disneyland, and although I used some up making her a fur vest, I had plenty left over. I was thinking about what to do with it when I realised that for our trip to Japan, I had bought her a faux fur jacket from Old Navy, which I loved, but which she obviously wouldn’t be squeezing into next winter. It was a real lightbulb moment. So I was envisioning a super simple coat that fastened with just a couple of buttons. I don’t know the name of the silhouette, and frankly, Google wasn’t much help on this one, but I think I was looking for a swing coat without yokes (A-line, perhaps?) The design I was envisioning was so simple that I knew I could draft it myself from some existing patterns… but I thought I would just check out The Internet before I started to see if someone had already done the work.

And they had! And it was free! A chance to make a gorgeous coat for my girl without having to spend a single cent? It was a good day in my house (even if it did mean I had to deal with fluff everywhere, including in my mouth, again). So, Stef over at girl.inspired. made this gorgeous free coat with pattern for sized 2,4,6 and 8. Little Miss will be 3 next winter so I decided to make her a size 4 so she can get a decent wear out of it. (Spoiler, it currently fits Master 6 so I suspect I will be making it again in size 2 so she is covered for many years to come). As always, Stef’s instructions are excellent.

 

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The fur gets caught in the seam, so I used a seam ripper to gently pull it free. You can see the seam on the left hasn’t been fluffed; the right side has been

 

I quickly discovered that I didn’t quite have enough faux fur to line the jacket front and back in fur, to give it that truly luxe feel, but I had enough for the exterior and I had some pretty…I don’t know what, but silky feeling stuff, to line the whole jacket. Fabrics here are rather inadequately labelled in terms of content or fabric type, so a lot of the time you just have to go ahead and guess. So, I went ahead and cut out all of my pieces. Stef uses her overlocker to sew her whole garment, but my fur was, after all, on the cheap side, and it curled up at the edges, so I found it easier to machine sew. However, it was also very thin, and as I wanted this to serve as a winter jacket for little miss, I first used my overlocker to back each piece of fur with a medium weigh batting for warmth. Then, I constructed as per her instructions, except that I split the front lining into two so there was a fur facing at the front of each side. My favourite part was sewing the sleeve to the sleeve lining! I always find this step rather challenging to wrap my mind around, but Stef’s instructions made me see it in a whole new way, and I got it right first time!

 

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Here you can see the collar piece fused to the batting

 

I finished the jacket off with 2 gold buttons. I bought some 4-hole ones back from my last trip to Australia, but once they were on they got lost in the fur, so I went and bought some el cheapo shank ones from my local haby store. And she’s done! Little Miss loves the jacket and will wear it for hours in Malaysian heat.

 

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The new buttons are the definition of cheap and cheerful, and I, for one, really like them!

 

Oh- a small disaster struck when, after the first wash, a small tear appeared in the collar seam, but fortunately I was able to hand stitch it back. I think for future uses, I will simply hand wash it to avoid rips. The fabric for this was so cheap, and the jacket is so comically large, that I’m thinking of buying a little more fabric (maybe black this time? Can’t decide) to make her a size 2 so she can actually wear it next year. All in all, this took me maybe 2.5 hours to whip up, and only cost me AU20c for buttons, so really, a win. Plus, 2 more fabrics gone from my stash!

 

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Catastrophe! Luckily it was an easy save

 

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When you try to bribe a food loving child with food for a nice photo…

 

 

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Small Projects · Tops

Project 22 – Fur Vest

Today’s post is a pretty short post, because the project was a very quick one! A couple of weeks ago, my machine started making a horrible clunking sound, so I had to postpone all of my sewing until I could get it to a service centre (there is only one in this country). It was a terribly trying two week wait, but I used the time to pre-cut a bunch of stuff to sew, and thus cutting out the most dreaded part of any project.

Now that we know we need to prepare for winter next year, because, you know, winter is coming, I’ve been trying to motivate myself for some cold weather clothes. Since I’m still avoiding stretch fabrics, it’s a bit tricky. But, there’s been this fabulous hack floating around for a fur vest, and as I happen to have a large amount of faux fur hanging around, I thought Little Miss might enjoy this.

To make this, I pretty much followed the directions by Horris and Deedle, which you can find here, and used the Gypsy Shrug pattern by Tadah Patterns.

I personally hate working with faux fur. I find it easy enough, and I quite like the finish this cheapo one gave… but ugh… the fur went everywhere. I used some of the leftover fabric from Little Miss’ Gisele Kimono, because I thought it was a lovely subtle colour to go with everything. The only thing I did differently from the tutorial, was to add bias ties, although if I’m honest, they weren’t cut on the bias, merely folded like bias tape. I made a size 3, to fit her for next winter, and I cut the ties about 23cm long, losing about a centimetre at either end with the hemming and seams.

 

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This took me less than an hour to whip up, even with a multitude of children popping in for celebrity visits. After more than 2 years without winter, and as a lover of summer, I’m actually a little bit excited about winter coming next year!

 

 

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I can’t wait to see her wear this over cute little dresses and tops

 

Tops

Project 11 – Giselle Kimonos for Miss and Me

As I alluded to in my Fox Dress post, I did in fact buy new fabrics in the UK. Don’t blame me! I have slim pickings here and I just couldn’t resist the opportunity! Anyway, it will please you to know that I have sewn up almost all of my new fabric, so I barely added to my stash.

I cunningly offered to take my Grandparents out for afternoon tea, at a place which also has a fabric shop I wanted to check out (they were hardly duped, I did disclose this, and as my grandmother also sews, she didn’t resist). I had searched online and found the most adorable flamingo voile that I really wanted to pick up. In case you were wondering, the shop was Backstitch at Burwash Manor. I already knew what I wanted to use the fabric for: a Giselle Kimono by Violette Fields Threads for myself. I also had planned to make one for Little Miss, so when I found a beautiful soft voile in pale pink with black and gold spots, I couldn’t resist. This little shop also had a wonderful array of notions, trims and patterns, so I also grabbed some picot bias tape, an item that is most definitely not available here in Malaysia.

The pattern can be bought in Child, Tween or Misses sizes, but I bought the bundle pack as I knew I wanted to use at least 2 of the sizes (my step-daughter arrives soon and there is a decent chance I’ll also be sewing up a tween one). Construction was very simple as  I followed the instructions exactly for Little Miss’ one. The pattern includes a few options, such as ruffle or no ruffle, and straight or hi-lo hem, or a combination of these. I made hi-lo, no ruffle for both of us. For Little Miss’, I used the picot bias tape to finish the bottom and sleeve hems, which made things even quicker, as there was less folding and pressing. I made hers in a size 3, as VFT patterns tend to run a little small for kids, but given the large amount of ease in this, it is huge on her.  That’s probably just as well, since she refuses to wear it at the moment.

 

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Here, despite my terrible photos, you can see the gorgeous fabrics. They’re so wonderfully light that it doesn’t matter how hot it is, you don’t feel any hotter for the extra layer

 

For mine, I followed the instructions exactly, except that I also topstitched the facing down on the back panel. It does leave a visible line of stitches but I prefer the way it sits, especially since it is a much larger, flappier facing than the kids one. I finished this by trimming the bottom and sleeves with a beige lace that I had from some trip to the haberdashery store or other.

 

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This is the sleeve with the trim. I hemmed as usual then attached this with two rows of stitching to make it sit nicely

 

Let me warn you right now, the following photos are rough. I asked my husband to take photos during the day but he came home and took his pants off and couldn’t go out into our very exposed front lawn again, so I ended up with late-at-night-under-fluoro-lights photos instead. And my own are no better, as it was a windy day and our lawn is being replanted. So sorry. I’ll try harder next time.

 

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If I make myself another, I will probably make a longer length. This was a Small overall. And I’ll wear make-up…and do my hair…

 

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Probably the most flattering photo I have of this. It’s gorgeous, I promise! Here you can see the hi-lo hem, and the creases to prove I really have been wearing it all day!