Most of the time I try to sew practical things my daughter needs and will wear. Let me just tell you right now, no four year old needs a hooded faux fur vest. It doesn’t have sleeves, so it’s not like it’s keeping her warm, I have no idea if I can wash this thing, and I don’t even know if she’ll ever actually want to wear it.
But I don’t care. I love this thing. I haven’t sewn much in the past few months, what with selling our house, moving, and the holiday crazies, and I had so much fun making this little vest! Just the fact that it exists (and I have photos to prove it) is good enough for me.
I made up a pattern using a hooded sweatshirt and got the whole thing sewn up in a couple of hours (if you decide to work with faux fur you’ll want to binge sew until you’re done – that way you only have to clean up once!). I used a coupon and bought 1 yard of fabric, which was plenty. I think it was $8 using a coupon.
I *think* my daughter likes the vest. She was a little bitter I didn’t buy the rainbow pink faux fur. I know, when I’m sewing for her I should probably let her choose the material, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. I did let her pick out the zipper…and luckily for me she’s still young enough to think that was an ok deal.
This vest was really pretty simple to make – no sleeves and no hemming required. I placed freezer paper over a hooded sweatshirt and traced a bodice pattern piece and a hood pattern piece. When tracing the hood, it’s important to make sure the hood is spread out nice and flat, and you’ll notice there’s a slight curve along the bottom of the hood where it connects to the sweatshirt.
I wanted the fur on the hood to come forward to frame my daughter’s face, so I kept that in mind when placing the pattern on the fur. The very top of the hood pattern piece is placed on the fold, as you can see in the photo below. I added some extra height to the hood to make sure it would be roomy enough since the fur isn’t stretchy. Everywhere else I just added 1/2 inch for seam allowance. I cut out two hood pieces on the fold, one for the hood and one to act as a lining.
I used the bodice pattern piece to cut out 2 front pieces and one back piece on the fold. As you can see below, I added 1/2 inch seam allowance all around the pieces, except on the front edge where I added 1 inch to make sure I had plenty of room to put in a zipper. I cut these pieces out with the fur going downward.
I sew the front pieces to the back at the shoulders and sides. Then I sewed each hood piece together as shown.
I opened up the body of the vest, then opened up one hood piece, and sewed the hood into the neckline of the vest as shown:
At this point I sewed in a separating zipper (get one as close to the length of the vest as possible). Unzip it completely and lay it along the front edges, as shown below, with the zipper teeth away from the raw edge and facing down against the fur. Pin and sew in each side of the zipper.
At this point I added the lining hood. I placed the second hood piece RST with the first hood piece and sewed them together along the raw edges, as shown. Then I flipped the lining to the inside and hand stitched it to the seam where the hood and vest meet.
At this point I also flipped the zipper pieces to the inside and sewed about 1/2 inch away from the zipper, pulling the fur away from the zipper as I sewed. This helps keep fur away from the teeth as you zip it up and down, but I still told my daughter to let me do the zipping to make sure we don’t end up with a stuck zipper.
Since the edges don’t fray, I didn’t finish the hem or armholes. I actually started hand hemming the bottom, but it didn’t end up looking much different from just leaving it raw, so I decided not to bother. The inside of the faux fur is not super soft, so some kids might prefer a lining, but since this piece will always be layered over a shirt I didn’t bother with that either!