Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rejuvenating Old Ingredients: Post One, The Vest with the Fur

This is the first post of what will be an ongoing series, I promise (I already have a draft for the second post). The series is going to be called Rejuvenating Old Ingredients (playing off of the name of the blog). So what do I mean by Rejuvenating Old Ingredients?

Rejuvenating Old Ingredients means recycling, reusing, and repairing old used materials and in particular fabric and clothing. This is something of a trend right now with the green movement. But I am not simply talking about "going green". I am talking about something bigger. I am talking about trying to make a habit of making the things we have last longer and taking something that has been used and making it new again. In a word, thrifty. Now, (full disclosure) I am new to this concept. But the satisfaction and excitement I gained after my first rejuvenation was contagious and I hope this series will give you ideas about how to rejuvenate items in your closet or local thrift store.

So the vest with the fur? I know fur it is is a hot topic right now and has always been a topic of debate. I personally am not for killing animals just so we can wear them, though I do find some of the vintage fur coats to be beautiful (and the animal is already dead right? so vintage makes it better right?). I would never buy a real fur coat. But I simply love fur, the classic nature of it, the unmatchably rich texture, the glamor. So that leaves me with fake fur and even fake fur is said to be bad for the environment. So I went with fake thrift fur I think that is about the cleanest fur you can find.

So when I first spotted this pure white piece of fur it was not a vest at all but a jacket. I walked around the thrift store with the fur in hand but was unsure. When I tried it on it was a lot of fur so I kept walking with it and then the thought came to me I could take the sleeves of and make it into a vest, and I was sold. This is the beauty of rejuvenating ingredients you can fall in love with the fabric or certain elements of a piece but if there is some other element off; you can fix it you can create a masterpiece.

The Rejuvenation
(I apologize for the lack and quality of the pictures was not thinking about a tutorial when working on this project)

Step One: Take off the Sleeves
This coat was lined so the first step was to rip out the sleeve seam in the lining. Once this was complete I was able to reach the fur sleeve seam once this was ripped out the sleeve was removed from the body of the jacket. Then repeat this for the other sleeve.

Now that the sleeves are off you have a raw edge and an unattached lining. To fix this problem I worked with the already pressed under lining and the edge of the fur. The fur did not have as much of a raw edge due to the nature of the fur so it did not have to be folded under. I then slip stitched the lining to the fur (here is a good video tutorial for the slip stitch) the folded part will be the lining. If this is your first time with a slip stitch I would do the stitch on a piece of sample fabric like she uses in the video instead of the sleeve as it is a little harder to understand what you need to do on a arm hole.

Step Two: The Collar
The first thing I needed to decide was if I wanted to keep the collar or not. I decided to take it off I just did not like the way it laided.

Taking off the collar was a little more complicated because of the facing. I ended up just cutting the facing part of the collar away from the facing. The facing is the folded over part where the closure portion of the vest is placed. You have to be very careful cutting the collar away from the facing and cut right along the seam. For the rest of the collar I seam ripped first the lining from the fur and then the fur part of the collar from the main part of the rest. You could cut off these portions as well if you are braver than me. Cutting always makes me nervous because it cannot be undone but if you hate seam ripping and have steady hands go for it. Then slip stitch the lining to the fur again using the same technique as the sleeves and you are DONE! And have your Vest with the Fur!! If you have any more questions please comment and if you found this or any other posts useful please feel free to follow me here or Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest!

Finished Product