this craft thing

this faux-fur vest: sewing tutorial

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you missed out on the opportunity of living in the Neolithic Age?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to huddle by the fire with your hairy, ape-like partner beside you, draped only in the furs of the great mammoth for warmth?

Well, wonder no longer. With this DIY faux-fur vest, you can experience the fashion of humanity’s dawning age, with the comfort and style of a modern woman of the city.

I present to you, the EasyLux Cave Lady Vest.

When I made this vest a few months ago (and promised to post a tutorial right after, oops..), I looked through quite a few tutorials online to find one that would keep me from failing too hard. The blogs all had beautiful ladies wearing beautiful, handmade vests. An overwhelming majority also mentioned their partners making comments about cavemen fashion. And I’m thinking, “how could that be true, when these vests are obviously super fashionable?”

So, no surprise at all, when I finished making the vest and showed Butt Toast, the first words out of his mouth were, “what’s up, cave lady?”

Nonetheless, I’m standing behind my fashion choices, hashtag noregrets.

Especially when it only costs relatively-not-that-much to make! In Vancouver prices, which isn’t the cheapest, this vest cost me just under $20 CAD. I scrimped on the lining, but got a very soft faux-fur with beautiful striations going across it. (Make sure to get a fur with the lines going the right way when you’re shopping!)

Making the outside “fur part” of the vest is the easiest thing. But getting the lining just as you like, that takes some patience. Maybe about 4 hours of patience in total. If you don’t care what the inside of your vest looks like, you can totally forgo the lining and have a new vest in less than half hour.

I found Two Many’s detailed tutorial super helpful, so if my explanations are too crap, make sure to check out her site for more help!

Step 1: Shopping

I got a very basic, thin polyester lining. It was brown to match the outside, and around $4 per metre. You can use any lining fabric you like, as long as it’s thin. Flannelette (like pajama pants) is probably the thickest I would go.

You’ll need about 0.75 metres of lining material and faux-fur. I literally put the fabric against my upper body at the store to see how wide i am, and then doubled it for front and back.

Step 2: Make a pattern

I made my pattern from a loose fitting t-shirt and some old gift tissue paper. Fold the sleeves in on the t-shirt so it resembles a tank top (I guess you could use a large tank top too…) and trace about 2-3cm around it. Cut out the paper and that’s your pattern!

(You can see that I only had enough tissue to do half of the shirt, so I had to trace half of the pattern onto the fabric first, flip it over, then do the other half. It works, but things would probably be easier if you were tissue-rich.)

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto your fabric 

I started with the fabric that will be the back of the vest. After tracing it onto the lining and the fur, I cut the pattern tissue so the collar in the front dips down more before tracing that onto the fabrics (what a super tissue saver). You should end up with one wider piece for the back, and two front pieces, on each fabric.

Step 4: Cut your fabric

Cutting fur. It’s kind of a pain in the [body part]. The little severed hairs will get everywhere, and that’s why you can’t cut fur with scissors. I used an exacto knife and cut it from the backside, where I traced the pattern. In this way, I barely had any flying fur fluffs.

It helps if you are pulling the two sides apart as you cut it. As you can see, I used all my available limbs to hold down the fabric while pulling and cutting.

Step 5: Sew the shoulders

With the right sides facing each other, sew the shoulders together on the lining. Then, sew the shoulders together on the fur, with right sides facing each other. Make sure you’re sewing it so that the collar parts are on the inside, and the sleeve-holes are on the outside!

Step 6: Sew the collar

Now line the lining and the fur piece up, with their right sides facing each other. Sew the whole collar/ neckline together (including the little bit of the back pieces).

Step 7: Sew the armholes

Sew just the curvy part where the arms come out, on the front and back pieces. Don’t sew the side seams just yet.

Step 8: Turn the piece

Reach your hand into the piece and turn it right side out. The furry part should be on the outside now, and with only the side seams and bottom that are not sewn.

Step 9: Sew the sides

With the right sides out, pick one side and take the lining front and lining back pieces, line them right sides together, and sew along the side seam. Do the same for the fur pieces on that side. Then do the same for the other side.

Step 10: Sew the bottom 

Turn your vest wrong side out again, and sew the liner and fur together along the bottom seam. Leave an opening somewhere along the seam that is slightly bigger than your fist.

Step 11: Turn your piece 

Turn your piece right side out again through the opening (for the very last time!) and sew the opening together with a blind stitch.

Step 12: Pull out the hairs 

Some of the hairs probably would have gotten sewn in to the seams, so just pull them out with your hands so the edge looks more natural (as cave people would have had it).

AND THEN YOU’RE FINALLY DONE! Can you believe it? I can’t believe it! What a process! But it just goes to prove that saying, “he that can have patience can have a fur vest”….or something like that.

And one more, just to show how you’ll feel after you’re done with this DIY!

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions! I would be happy to *try* and help πŸ˜‰



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  • Reply
    Scribbles & Bits
    January 28, 2017 at 4:47 am

    This looks really awesome and you look great in it! I’m afraid I would actually look like a great wooly mammoth in one and Mr. Scribbles would TOTALLY call me a cave woman, but a girl can dream!

    • Reply
      January 28, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Haha thank you very much! I’m sure you wouldn’t look like a wooly mammoth, but just the comfort of having this warm fuzzy thing on you all day might be worth the risk of looking like one πŸ˜‰

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