Ok, so I’ll fess up…this self-drafted faux fur jacket was actually made over a year ago. You see, I always did intend to share it and then other projects took precedence and then I kind of forgot all about it…especially as it was stored right at the back of my coats cupboard. Then I discovered it again and I did a quick photo session at the same time as the midi skirt that I showed you before Christmas. I think one of the reasons it had gone to the back of my mind was that I always kind of thought of a furry coat as something just for nights out (and lord knows we’ve been short of nights out this last year), so I was keen to just throw the coat on in a casual way with a sweater and jeans to see how I felt about it, and I liked it…why was I keeping it for best??
So, here we are and I’m writing this post trying to recollect all the sewing methods that I used for this project. First off, it’s quite a deep pile fur that I picked up in London from the Goldhawk Road a few years back. It was in my stash a while before I made it up. I only had about 1m of it too, so I had to be careful with what style I made.
A Simple Design For My Self-Drafted Faux Fur Jacket
As I was short of fabric, my only option was for a plain edge-to-edge design with no collar. For my starting point, I used an oversized blouse pattern with straight sleeves (so strictly speaking it’s not so much self-drafted as adapting a basic pattern). I divided the front pattern into two and drew in a simple round neckline, then I added an extra inch down each front edge for hems. To give the sleeves a better shape I created a shallow elbow dart in the pattern too (I did elbow darts in my Lisette coat if you want to about read about how I did it).
My fur fabric has quite a firm backing so I decided not to interface it at all and just set about cutting it out. Have you ever sewn up faux fur? Well, to cut out you have to do it in a single layer and I recommend doing it from the back of the fabric. Lay your fabric fur side down and using pointy sharp scissors just make shallow little snips in the backing fabric only. This way the fur pile remains all intact.
As well as those elbow darts that I mentioned earlier, my pattern has bust darts in it to help it hang better. In order to get rid of as much bulk in the darts as possible, I cut all of the dart intakes away except for a small seam allowance. To sew up the darts I stitched by hand pushing all of the fur pile inside and away from the seam allowance with my fingers. Afterwards from the right side, I used a pin and teased any trapped pile out of the seam and you can barely tell there are any darts there at all.
I actually ended up sewing the whole thing together by hand as I felt I had greater control over the seam allowances and could use my fingers to keep pushing the pile away from the seams as I stitched. By teasing out the fur down each seam they become almost invisible. As you can see in the photos.
All of the hems around the sleeves, front edges, lower edges and neckline were all simply folded in and slip-stitched in place.
I think the apple green lining makes a nice little colourful surprise on the inside. I made it up just using the same basic pattern shape pattern and once again I slip-stitched it in place. I placed the folded edge of the lining so that it just covered the raw edges of the fur. After I’d sewn it though I realised that the lining kept wanting to bounce forwards along the front edges and wanted to peek out so it was visible. I ended up doing a kind of decorative running stitch to hold it down and then I used a fancy braiding for a lovely finishing touch along the hemline.
For a coat that has quite a visual impact, it was really easy to make with no closure, no interfacing and no facings. If you’ve never tried sewing with faux fur before you should give it a try, it’s really fun!
I think I definitely need to have a go at styling some more casual looks with my coat and try to get some wear out of it.
Have you got clothes that you normally wear dressed up that might look good worn casually instead? Tell me in comments and maybe we can bounce ideas off each other.
Okey dokey, I’ll finish off by saying that hopefully, I’ll have some new pants to show you next week. I had hoped that I would have them finished in time for today, but I was ferrying elderly relatives back and forth for errands and then working through a few pants toiles before starting on the main sewing. I’m tentatively optimistic that they are working out well though and all will be revealed next week so keep a lookout for the Friday post.
See you soon!
Pin For Later
Love this, and it will go so well with your new trousers!
Thank you, Sue! Oh yes, it will!
I love this ‘fun’ jacket. As a rule, I find it very difficult to make a fitted jacket with a front closing that doesn’t ‘gape’. Would you be able to address that issue in a future posting, please?
Thanks, Angela. Oh, do you mean a button front that gapes in between buttonholes? As in it pulls open or dow you mean something else?
Love this jacket, Diane: the simple style necessitated by yardage limitations really looks fantastic with this bold faux fur!
Thank you for details on construction: I would never have thought that you hand-sewed the entire jacket, although perhaps a good bit of real furs were sewn that way at one time? And I really appreciate learning about the darts hidden in the bodice and sleeve, as you can’t see them in your photos. Really lovely construction and fit and looks terrific on you!
(I don’t know whether I would have the patience to hand-sew all seams and edges though it is clearly worth it… I have applied satin binding to all edges of a lined velvet bolero jacket using a tiny running stitch or pick stitch, but I haven’t sewn all seams by hand before. My Italian mother-in-law, who studied dressmaking and women’s tailoring formally in the early 40’s, only used her machine for seams, and all else was done by hand. I’m grateful to have a silk-linen dress and jacket she made for me, as well as her diploma hanging in my sewing room!)
Thank you so much, Joan! Yes, I keep trying to think if I did sew any of the main seams on my machine and I may have done a couple and of course the lining was constructed on the machine, but the rest was handsewn :). How lovely that you have the dress and jacket made by your mother-in-law.
Beautiful jacket and lovely plush fur. Always enjoy your posts and detailed techniques. Timing for me was perfect. I am finishing a long tweed vest with lining and will use your hand stitch and braid technique today. Thank you.
Oh, thank you, Pat! I’m so pleased you’re going to use my braid detail idea 🙂