Possible alternative titles to this post could be 1) “How many times can silk be seam ripped before it falls apart?” 2) “The vest that almost cost me my sanity” or 3) “A bunch of pictures of me awkwardly looking at myself in the mirror”
Oh, and if you are wondering the answer to the first alternative title, it’s two. Silk can be seam ripped two times before it pretty much disintegrates.
I’ve always been a little late to join in on fashion trends. I mean, it was a solid three years before I bought a pair of skinny jeans after they came out as mainstream fashion and I’m still terrified to even try on anything labled ‘bodycon’ (although, I’m pretty positive I’ll never be into that look for me). However, when I saw how amazing this DIY Faux Fur Vest looked on Caroline of Sew Caroline, I knew this was a trend I could get on board with!
I quickly made a trip over to Colorado Fabrics where I picked up some super soft faux fur and a great navy silk charmeuse. Sew Caroline’s tutorial doesn’t call for a lining, but the silk I found made me feel fancy so I decided I would add one.
I pretty much followed Caroline’s tutorial to the tee, but when I got to sewing the long band of faux fur around the entire vest, I discovered that my sewing machine couldn’t handle sewing through three layers of faux fur (whomp, whomp). So, after seam ripping out the bobbin thread-vomit from my vest, I sadly scrapped that step and moved on to assembling the lining that I thought would be ‘fun’ and ‘easy’ to add in.
I cut and sewed my silk lining together the exact same way as the faux fur pieces and I was thrilled with how my machine was sewing the silk. Then, I started sewing the lining to the vest, right sides together. In my head (given, it was 11pm) it totally made sense to me that I could just turn it through an opening at the bottom. Apparently, it doesn’t work that way and I ended up with some crazy, non-turnable disaster on my hands. I spent almost a whole hour trying to figure out why I couldn’t turn the darn thing right side out. I literally sat there and turned it right side in, looked at it totally unable to understand why it wouldn’t work, attempted to turn it right side out again, over and over. I even tried seam ripping another hole near the arm opening to try to turn it through, as if it was getting hung up on the narrow shoulders. After that failed me too, I was totally baffled and called it a night.
The next day I decided I should probably Google how to line a vest, and that’s when I learned I assembled the whole darn thing incorrectly! I should have followed this genius tutorial for how to line a vest instead of just winging it.
So I had to decide what to do next. I had learned seam ripping silk was hard. Seam ripping faux fur was hard too. And seam ripping silk stitched to faux fur was a freakin’ nightmare. I was so close to just going out and buying more faux fur and silk to start over, but the whole “I’m going to adhere to a sewing budget” New Years resolution thing kept me from doing that. I decided that undoing the whole thing to sew it together again correctly would probably cost me my sanity, so I went out on a limb and just ripped out the stitches in both arm holes (which, by the way, took TWO HOURS!). Miraculously, I was finally able to turn the vest right side out.
With the end in sight, I finished off the seams by folding the faux fur sleeve edge under a half inch and folding the silk under a half inch (which was pretty much completely perforated through from all my sewing and seam ripping) and stitching the two together.
I would definitely recommend NOT doing what I did, but I’m really pleased with the final result! Although, when I showed Andy my new vest, his response was something about it looking like cavemen clothes. Sigh… men…
Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography