With all of the fabulous faux fur fabric that Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores has to offer, it is hard not to want to sew with this incredible textile come Winter! I love working with fur as it has the ability to cover a multitude of sewing sins, while still looking chic and luxurious. I decided to whip up a quick and easy fur vest this Winter, adding a shawl collar for that extra touch of softness.
What’s the best part about this vest? By lining it with fake leather – I can turn the vest to either side or have a completely different look depending on the occasion. Hi, I’m Jess Abbot from The Sewing Rabbit here to show you how to make this fur vest.
Before we get started, here are a couple of tips to help minimize fur getting everywhere in your home:
1. Place your cutting mat on a flat surface, located somewhere near the front door of your home, where it will be easy to pick up and carry outside.
2. After cutting out each pattern piece, carefully pick up each pattern and bring it directly outside to shake it off.
3. Once finished cutting out the pattern pieces, pick up your entire cutting mat and carry it outside to wipe down.
4. Vacuum up the remains, and you should be relatively close to fur free!
How to make a shawl collar vest
Skill level: Intermediate
Time Needed: 2-3 hours
● Basic bodice or jacket sloper
● 1 – 1.5 yd. Fake fur
● 1 – 1.5 yd. Lining fabric
● Coordinating thread
● Universal Regular Point needles 100/16
● Fabric scissors / rotary cutter
● Cutting mat
● Sewing machine
*Please note – if you are using a basic bodice sloper, you will need to add more ease over the body to accommodate a vest fitting over your clothes. A basic jacket pattern front and back pattern pieces will also work for the jacket sloper pattern pieces (THIS Simplicity pattern would work.) Otherwise, you can trace around a jacket or vest you already have to get the main front and back pattern pieces.
INSTRUCTIONS TO DRAFT THE SHAWL COLLAR VEST PATTERN:
1. Measure your back neckline from the shoulder to the middle (usually the fold line).
2. Determine where you want the breakpoint (where the shawl collar turns) of the shawl collar to be along the front pattern piece center. Mark an ‘X’ at this point along the front center. Draw a straight line from your ‘X’, with the line going through your inner shoulder seam, and extends beyond to the measurement you had from Step 1. For example, if half of your back neckline was 5”, the line would extend 5” beyond your shoulder seam.
3. If desired, extend the front center 1” beyond the normal front center. This will allow for additional ‘turnage’ of the shawl collar.
4. Determine how large you want your shawl collar to be in width (mine is 6” wide). From the extended line, you drew in Step 2, draw a line from the top point, at a 90-degree angle, towards the front center.
5. Draw a curved line from your 90-degree angle line, down to your ‘X’ mark.
This is your new front pattern piece.
PATTERN PIECES TO CUT:
● Cut (1) Back pattern piece on fold of both lining & exterior
● Cut (2) mirror image Front pattern pieces of both lining and exterior
HOW TO SEW A SHAWL COLLAR FUR VEST:
1. Place your lining front and back right sides together, lining up the side seams. Pin and sew the shoulder seams.
2. Bring the top of the shawl pattern pieces, where the back of the neckline will meet, right sides together. Pin and sew.
3. Pin the under the collar of the shawl to the back neckline, right sides together. Sew, and clip all curved seams. Repeat Steps 1 – 3 for lining and exterior.
4. Place lining and exterior right sides together, matching up all seams.
5. Pin along the shawl collar and front center. Sew.
6. Pin along the armsyce and sew. Clip all curved seams and turn right side out.
7. With the exterior right side facing out, line up the front and back vest side seams. Flip the exterior out of the way, and pin the lining of the vest right sides together.
8. When you get to the armsyce seam, bring the exterior front and back of the vest right sides together and continue pinning.
9. Sew and repeat for the other side.
10. Hem the jacket as desired. I folded the fur towards the inside 1”, and then again 1” to enclose all raw seams. Pin and sew around.
And you are finished!