Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grey days ahead: Burda 09-2009-123

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful suggestions last post. Some great ideas that I will explore further.

My neighbour Jenni was right - I really DID want to make myself a faux fur waistcoat. For me, sewing is a hobby - I make pretty much anything I feel like. I can't bring myself to sew anything that doesn't intrigue me in some way: hey, that's what shops are for. Of course, I need to remind myself of this frequently. Because frequently I go shopping and think, "what! a hundred bucks for a merino top, I could make myself one of these for $20." That's when I need to take myself firmly in hand and say, "yes, but you won't make yourself one for $20. You'll make yourself another coat. Just you wait and see." So far I have been right. So far, I have a coat for every day of the week and am steadily progressing towards one for every day of the month.

You know, fun fur is a bit of a misnomer for this kind of fabric, because so far I'd put it top of my list of things not to sew when you're tired and frazzled. The presser foot gets stuck on the bulk and slides all over the show, it also drags on the faux suede side. I had better luck with movement when I switched to a walking foot but I still had a hard time sewing a straight seam.

If I wasn't so proud I'd show you the mess under the collar but I like to maintain the illusion that I am a sewer in control.

I am going to put some rivets to attach the ties to hold it closed. It's just still a little too warm so I'm wearing it open, but the thick fabric doesn't want to lie flat on the body. Here's the technical view which shows the ties: (courtesy of their website)

This is a really fun little waist coat. I can see myself getting lots of wear out of it - at first I was worried that with all the grey in my hair, and my skin which is also losing pigment, that it would pale me out too much. But there's a kind of resonance in repeating the colours of the body, so I think it looks OK.

I did have trouble sourcing the fabric, because although there is a lot of faux fur on the market this time of year, there's not much that also has the faux suede backing, which is necessary for this style.

You can see I diverted the FBA to a dart in the shoulder. I didn't want a side dart, because I wanted to preserve the vertical lines of fur. I thought about converting to princess seams, but as anyone who ever has to make 2 darts because of an FBA will sympathise, sometimes you really just want to make up the pattern as close to the original as possible. I shortened them as much as I could without causing a ridge.

The back: all I needed to do was shorten the darts.

Costings: Faux fur with faux suede backing on special at Smart Dress Fabrics $25, tracing paper $1, thread 50c = $26.50


  1. I like all that grey myself. One of my favourite sections of Susannah and Trinny books is their colour coordination charts. I just went to their grey page. Some of the accent colours are shocking pink, dirty apple and hyacith blue (which looks like jacaranda purple to me). If you think it is too much grey you could always add a bangle or scarf in an accent colour(or wear shocking pink lipstick??).

    I love that you sew for fun, not just for necessity. Great vest, I love it.

  2. That is a fun little waistcoat. The grey is really nice.

    I was just thinking to myself today that I need a vest (as we call waistcoats here).

  3. Yeah, that really is a fun little vest. I'm constantly surprised by what takes your fancy in burda. I wouldn't have thought you'd sew one like this but it's a very special little piece of german fashion now that it's all sewn up. Bravo!

  4. Does this make you the black sheep of the family? Seriously, I like the vest and have toyed with the idea of making one myself. Not really cold enough for one in Sydney though.

  5. Your waist coat turned out great! I can imagine that "fun" fur wasn't much fun to sew, lol.

    I know what you mean about baulking at buying certain items, but, on the other hand, not wanting to sew them either!

  6. What a great vest! I'm not a vest person myself, but I would wear this one. Nice!

  7. Very cute and I love the way you have it styled with they grey tee and jeans. Fabulous! If it wasn't over 80 degrees here in Texas I
    d be running out for some faux fur myself.

  8. Great vest! Sewing with fur-type fabrics scares me. Yours looks really nice.

  9. Love it :-) I think the whole look is really flattering.


  10. I love the jacket, and I love the color. I think the grey looks fantastic. And I understand what you mean about sewing the coats, except for me it is dresses. I sew a ton of dresses when what I need is pants.

  11. That will be so perfectly warm to wear to Dunedin next month. Maybe even a little too warm. It's a really nice outfit you've put together there.

  12. This is a great vest. I really like the grey on you. I think the monochromatic look is a flattering one.

  13. you're rocking that waistcoat. Well done you for giving the faux fur a go. I still have trauma in the back of my mind from a very failed leather skirt circa 1987 which puts me off sewing anything so grippy and not so fun.

  14. Not that your hair looks grey at all but I've always thought it's a colour that comes into its own when you go grey-very complimentary I mean. Our older sister who has experience in this area has recommended to me a book called 'Going Grey, Looking Great' so I must get it out of the library. Vest looks greyt.

  15. The grey looks terrific, monochromatic and stylish. I love the waistcoat although it does make me think how cold it must get in NZ!

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