I’m guilty of being one of those people who doesn’t take down her holiday decorations after the New Year. Now I have a good reason for it this year, dealing with my post-op recovery and other personal issues has made me a little depressed. For some reason, it has been more difficult than I remember it being the first time I had a fibroid removed. I still have pain on my left side, but it seems to get a little better every week. I just thought that into my 4th week now that I would be back to my normal self or at least skipping around the house a little more. I see the doctor for my follow up in one week and then I will go from there. The recovery has affected my mood and I haven’t felt the desire to sew, which has been frustrating because there is so much I want to make. Plus, I can’t lift anything over 15 lbs and my machine definitely weighs more than that.
Have you ever felt like you’re under attack? Where it’s just one thing happening after another. Well, that has been me as of late. Not saying anyone is wishing ill will or causing it, but there has been just too much to handle. And I don’t handle stress well. All of this has led me to realize that I need to make a pivot in my career and focus on doing something I love because these past few weeks have taught me that life is too short. Hopefully, I surprise myself and you all this year with some changes because of this realization. I really don’t want to be where I was last year. I want to be healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. The Horne household could use a win. We have a thing that we do in our home where we claim our victories like a job we wanted or a client we wanted to get and I plan on continuing to do that. Plus, put in the work to get there of course and it starts with this simple post.
This past November, I decided to have my very first sewing challenge. I called it Faux Fur 2019 and invited followers on Instagram to participate. It was nice to see how supportive members of the sewing community could be. To be honest, I was nervous about putting myself out there and was afraid that no one was going to participate. To my surprise I had a few ladies who joined in. There have been many challenges that I have seen over the years, but never participated because either I wasn’t a fan of the pattern or I already had my sewing agenda for the month so I was expecting much. I figured that it would be the same boat for many others, so I tried to keep the challenge as open as possible by saying that anyone could sew anything out of faux fur. It was a challenge for myself and for others who may not have made anything with faux fur or just wanted to finally use some of their fabric stash.
A few things I learned a long the way included using a straight edge razor blade to cut the backing of the fabric and not the actual fur. It helped eliminate fur from being all over the house. I also learned that if fur gets stuck in between the seams you can use a needle to gentle pull the hair out. I also learned that there were even some forms of faux fur that had a little stretch to them. And finally I learned that I could use a permanent marker to trace a pattern on the backing of the faux fur so that it made it easier to cut out the pieces and not have to worry about the pattern shifting as I cut. If you are interested in seeing videos on how to do any of these things please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to add that.
Here’s my review of the pattern and what I used:
Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, lined shrug, jacket, vest and coat
(Click here to find McCalls 7257)
Pattern Size Chosen: Medium (12-14)
Fabric Choice: Long pile faux fur
Sewing Tools Needed That Aren’t Mentioned:
- Walking foot
- 90/14 H Needle
- Polyester thread
- Straight edge razor
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? For the most part yes. It was difficult to tell if it looked like the photo because the fur was covering the corners in the photo, so always double check the drawing.
Are the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I chose not to follow the part about gathering the sleeves with the faux fur. I wanted the extra shoulder room. I don’t think I have broad shoulders, but I know my biceps always get me in trouble with blazers so I like to leave extra room in the shoulder area.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn’t want the bottom corner where it opens in the front to be curved. The image on the pattern made it look like they were at a perfect 90-degree angle, but that was a lie. The sleeves were a little short even for me and I’m 5’2″. It just wasn’t what I had initially envisioned, but I made it work.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I zigzag stitched the edges together instead of sewing 1/2″ or 5/8″ seam allowance. This gave me a little looser fit that I wanted. Other than that, I kept everything the same.
Would you sew it again? Yes, with a few alterations. I would add some length to the sleeves and square off the corners.
How long did it take? One of these days I will time my sewing projects; however, I didn’t time this one. Plus, I started before my surgery and didn’t finish until now.
Tips to avoid it taking as long: Try using a scalpel or X-Acto knife to cut the faux fur. It is also a little safer because your fingers won’t be as close to the blade.
Until next time…