Hello, blog pals
As usual, it’s been a short while since I’ve been here. Mainly, I just haven’t been able to do much sewing lately.
But today, let’s talk about a big project which I’m pretty pleased with.
A couple of months ago, I spotted some beautiful faux fur in Remnant Kings; grey, but flecked delicately with the brightest bits of orange, yellow, pink, red, purple. Luxuriously long and super soft.
After getting a few tips off Instagram on how to actually handle the stuff (thanks ladies 🙂 ), I got to work right away.
The chosen pattern was McCall’s M7257, a gift from my mum. I can heartily recommend it if you’re looking for a nice, simple design to use with faux fur.
I decided to go for the short jacket with bracelet sleeves. The only criticism I’d make is that it called for wayyyy more fabric than I actually needed (which is a pretty big deal when you’re spending $$$ on stuff like this). As it stands, I have enough left over to make something else – a stole? A muff? a mad hat? We’ll see.
While I was working, I watched Iris, an awesome documentary about style icon, Iris Apfel. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend a watch for anyone interested in clothes or fashion (most likely you, if you’re reading this!). Given her bundles of brightly coloured furs, it seemed like the right inspiration.
Now, cutting into expensive, and tricky fabric is never something which goes super smoothly for me. I had the fear. If you’re sewing with faux fur and are a bit uncertain, here are a couple of tips which really helped me:
- Always lay the fur face down! It’s almost impossible to cut it furry-side-up
- Be super careful about what way your fur lies. I almost had a hairy moment when fitting my pattern pieces on to the fur and realised one of the arms was going to be upside down
- Trim your edges. Much like working with sequins, the less bumpf you have around your seams, the easier it is to put things together
- Have a hoover handy at all times. My sewing room looked like a massacre in the teddy factory while I was working
- Keep a brush nearby, too!
Once I got going, the jacket came together pretty fast. It’s a nice simple pattern, so it was really just taking a little more time to account for the fur.
One thing which was an issue was deciding what to do with the neckline. Because the pile is so long, it was sticking up and looking a bit crazy once I’d finished. Again, Instagram pals were there to help me out, and a few suggested adding some contrast leather around the neckline.
A few attempts and unpickings later, I had a nice light grey collar and the jacket was done!
So, what’s taken it so long for me to post about it? Pics. We’re in the dark days here in Scotland, and Craig and I also had a trip to Berlin planned for November. What a perfect opportunity to get some great pics, I thought! I could see it all – stomping around Berlin in my fancy fur, hanging out in cocktail bars, posing in front of street art.
When it came to it, I just couldn’t squeeze the jacket into my hand luggage – and we had about five hours after we arrived where I’d be carrying my trusty shoulder bag before we got to the hotel. I was somewhat concerned that the weight of the strap, over that length of time, could potentially damage the fur. So I packed my trusty snood, a hoodie and a my rigel bomber jacket instead.
Now, this year has been pretty amazing for trips and my friend had suggested a quick jaunt to Copenhagen before Christmas. This time, I only had about half an hour for potential jacket damage – and I knew the temperature was around four degrees – so the jacket was coming.
One of the places I most wanted to visit was the Louisiana gallery, which is just over half an hour away from Copenhagen, up the coast. Due to the cold, we had a pretty free reign of the sculpture garden. It’s a total treat, with pieces by (among others) Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Richard Serra and Jean Dubuffet.
Here are a couple of my favourites, which I managed to sneak a jacket shot into as well:
While we were there, there was an exhibition of work by Yayoi Kusama. I’ve loved her installations for a long time and to get to actually visit some was really exciting.
Her polka-dotted rooms, mirrors and light displays are supposed to give you a feeling of what it’s like to be inside her imagination; you’re immersed in her work. It can be quite overwhelming, but it’s beautiful as well.
We were proper tourists, soaking up some of the sites – palaces, towers, the shopping streets and the many, many Christmas markets.
The jacket is super snuggly, I think because the fur is so long and thing. It made the perfect accessory for exploring Copenhagen; the most Christmassy place I’ve ever been, and a little gem of a place. I already want to go back! Here’s a few bonus pics.
The collar isn’t actually wonky, but it was sitting that way for the pic, of course. I used fur hooks as fasteners, but I might play about to see if there’s something which would make it a little more secure.
So I think for the moment I can’t promise to be more than hit or miss in terms of posting and I might fall off the blogging radar again soon.
In the meantime, I wish you a super Christmas (should you celebrate Christmas), and a happy new year, and thanks for reading!