I browsed a couple of pattern books, without luck, so I decided to wing it, get fancy, and make my own pattern (instructions below). Not hard.
This project took about an hour and a half. Great project for a beginner or an easy-peasy project for anybody else :-).
If you have any questions about the tutorial, leave a message and I'll be happy to help!
1 yard of faux fur (or more depending on how long you want it. I'm 5'10 and a yard was plenty for me)
1 yard of lining
Thread in the color of the fur
1. Make the Pattern: Your pattern will essentially be a rectangle in half-shirt shaped (obvi :-) ). Lay a sleeveless shirt/tunic on craft paper, and trace half of it. (By half, I mean that I started my line at the top of the shirt in the middle of the neck, and holding the shirt flat, I traced a line around one side, making an indention for my armhole, and stopping my line in the middle of the bottom hem). You will have three sides of the rectangle, so to "round" it out, use a ruler to draw a straight line to connect where you started the line and where you ended the line. This "rectangle" is the "inside rectangle."
Using the ruler, trace a one inch line around the edge of the inside rectangle to create an "outside rectangle." (For beginners, this is known as the "seam allowance." When you cut the fabric, you have to leave a little extra so you have room to sew. You will cut the fabric on the outside rectangle and sew the fabric on the inside rectangle). Once you have the outside line traced, your pattern is complete. This one piece of paper will serve as the pattern for the front and back of the vest (but be mindful that you will have to adjust how you place it on the fabric when you cut the front and the back).
2. Cutting the Fabric:
[IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER: Make sure when you cut, the fur is laying in the right direction, i.e. when you pet the fur from the top to the bottom, you want it to be smooth. The ends of the fur should be pointing down]
Fold your fabric in half, inside out. (Since faux fur has lots of fluffies, its easier to cut if you flip the fabric inside out. And have your lint roller handy, because you will have a fluff-fest).
BACK: For the back of the vast, pin the pattern to the faux fur on the fabric fold, with the INSIDE LINE lined up to the edge of the folded fabric. If the outside line of the pattern is on the edge of the folded fabric, then you will end up with an extra two inches of fabric on the back piece of your vest, and the vest will end up bigger than you'd probably like. You can see in the picture below, the one inch paper seam allowance is hanging off the fabric. This is what you want.
FABRIC FOR VEST BACK = INSIDE LINE OF PATTERN on EDGE OF FABRIC FOLD
FRONT: After you cut out the back piece, there should be enough width left to cut out the front pieces. For the front of the vest, pin the pattern to the left over fabric. You WILL NOT want to cut the front pieces on the fold (or else you'd end up with a sweater vest). You will cut the fabric based on the OUTSIDE LINE.
For my vest, I wanted a little bit of a v-neck, so using the ruler, I measured from the middle of my shoulder to mid chest, then added a line that length to the pattern, folded the pattern on that line, and cut out the front pieces.
FABRIC FOR VEST FRONT = OUTSIDE LINE OF PATTERN you will cut out 2 SEPARATE PIECES.
3. Lay the back piece on a table with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay the two front pieces on top of the back piece with the right side of the fabric facing down-right side to right side.
4. Pin the front pieces to the back at the side and shoulder seams, and sew the shell together.
***If you don't want to line the vest, then you can stop at this step, and your vest is complete.
|Oh, Hey Selfie!!!|
5. Follow steps 1-4 and cut/sew the lining. The good thing about the fur is that the edges don't fray, so it doesn't have to be surged. The lining does need to be finished though, so on the bottom edge of the lining, sew a half inch hem.
6. Attach the Shell to the Lining: With the right sides of the fabric facing one another, insert the lining into the vest.
Pin together and sew the perimeter of the fabric, leaving the bottom open. (I used these instructions).
7. Finishing the Sleeves: Once the vest is right-side out, you will need to connect the lining to the shell with a zig-zag stitch. Flip the lining inside, and pin it to the shell, then run a zigzag stitch around the edge. If you use a slick-y fabric like I did, an iron helps the fold stay in place so it won't slip while you sew.
And there you go! A sassy new leopard vest lined in hot pink!! I love it. So happy with how it turned out!!
I hope these instructions are helpful! If you make one, tag me on instagram (@betsykturley) so I can see too!!!