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Well, Selfish readers, you’re in for a treat today because Selfish has a prezzie for you! That’s right, it’s another freebie pattern to download, and all I ask in return is that you sign your soul over to me in the comments. Sweet deal, right? Today’s pattern is for a wacky outerwear garment inspired by the Kate Spade Victoria faux fur pullover. (You can read about my own version in my last post.)
The Selfish Seamstress pattern is size XS, but should be quite easy for someone with intermediate skills to modify it for larger sizes by adding the desired amount of additional width at the center of each piece (back, front, sleeve, and collar.) It has a straight, roomy silhouette, raglan 3/4 length sleeves (or actually maybe more like 2/3) with a dart at the top of the shoulder, and a wide funnel collar that can be folded over if desired. It is also fully lined. The Selfish version does not include the front kangaroo pocket of the original Kate Spade, but it should be easy to add if desired.
- I highly recommend that you read up on how to cut and sew faux fur if you have never done so before. There are many resources available online. I put together a tutorial on BurdaStyle a few years ago that may be of use.
- Note that the seam allowances are included in the pattern, and that they are 3/8″ (1 cm), NOT the standard 5/8″ on most Big 4 patterns.
- The construction on this garment is extremely easy (just 4 pattern pieces!) but I have NOT INCLUDED INSTRUCTIONS. I therefore recommend this for advanced beginners or intermediates.
- Pay attention to the direction of the pile on the fur. For my own version, I have the pile on the body and collar running sideways (necessary for the direction of the stripes) and on the sleeves the pile runs towards the back (i.e. if you had your arms folded across your chest the fur on the forearms would be running downwards.)
- MAKE A MUSLIN AND TRY IT ON FOR FIT. You will be sad if your expensive faux fur garment does not fit. And yes, it’s a roomy pattern, but most faux fur does not stretch and the garment needs to be big enough that you can pull it on and off over your head, unless you plan to add a closure of some sort. (I don’t recommend sewing a zipper to the fur as the pile is likely to catch in the teeth unless you have some sort of buffer between the zipper and the fur.)
For my version, I used:
- About 1.5 yards of faux fur, 60″ wide
- About 1.25 yards of silk twill for the lining, 45″ wide
You can find good quality faux fur on Etsy, including Tissavel, and this brown faux mink with channels that looks from the picture a lot like the original Kate Spade fur (note: I have never purchased this and cannot vouch for its quality or texture). Gorgeous Fabrics and Emma One Sock often have nice quality faux fur as well. I got mine on eBay but it’s now sold out. You could stick with basic brown to be true to the original, but I could also see this garment working in a bunch of colors and textures, like a shaggy gray or cream Mongolian lamb (fun!), a silky black mink (classic!), a dusky gray-blue (edgy!), or leopard (trendy!) I mean, it’s a fur shirt. Don’t take it too seriously :)
Ok, so, for those of you who are drooling over the notion of having your very own fluffy-chic Kate Spade Victoria-esque pullover, snag it now or head over to my Downloads page for this and other free patterns! It prints onto 18 sheets of US Letter or A4 paper that you’ll have to tape together. And again, I request payment in the form of souls, so please transfer ownership of them to me in the comments. Happy sewing and come back and show me what you make!
IMPORTANT: This work is my creation and my intellectual property, protected under a Creative Commons license. You may not use it for any commercial purposes, claim it as your own, or resell it (I’m looking at you, Geraldine/Lorriange.)
The Selfish Seamstress Kate Spade-Inspired Fur Pullover Sewing Pattern by The Selfish Seamstress is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Big bad bully Selfish Seamstress is back at it again, ruthlessly ripping off innocent, defenseless fashion giants like Kate Spade New York! This time, Selfish set her sights on the Victoria Faux Fur Pullover, which I believe was part of the line in late 2011 or early 2012, originally retailed for $845, and long since sold out. I only discovered it a couple of weeks ago though, and was immediately obsessed with this weird, weird garment. Seriously. A shirt made out of fur. And somehow that seemed like a can’t-live-without-it garment. Go figure.
Here are the front and back views of the original. Dan just saw this photo on my screen and asked, “Is that you??” No. Really not.
It was one of those projects that made me want to drop everything and sew. I was terrified of the thought that the weather might warm up before I could finish it. Within minutes of seeing it, I was trolling the web for the right faux fur. I found it on eBay and then waited weeks for it to slowly make its way to me via shady underground channels and very generous, helpful people because the seller wouldn’t ship here. In the meantime I drafted a pattern for it based very, very loosely (almost not at all) on the Burda 9-2007-105 jacket:
The other thing I did while waiting for the fur to arrive was worry whether the fur would be right. I was pretty sure that the pile would be soft and dense and silky, as high-quality faux fur usually is these days. But I wasn’t sure whether the woven backing would be stiff or drapey, and I really wanted something drapey to avoid this sort of effect:
When the fur finally arrived, I found myself (as usual) in the thick of a busy period at work. But rabid to make this bizarre garment, I squeezed in three nights of 10PM-1AM sewing, and it was mine…. ALL MINE. And most likely the weirdest, most unnecessary thing I have ever sewn for myself.
The fur, as it turned out, was as delightfully drapey as a beach blanket, and sooooooo soft and silky and pettable- the best faux fur I’ve ever laid my fingers on. It was so nice that I started having second thoughts about using it to make a potentially unflattering wadder, and started considering using it for a safer bet like a proper jacket. But I decided to press on with the weird fur shirt. As you can see above, I’m wearing it with my DIY long combo gloves, which I also made while I was impatiently waiting for the fur to arrive. And yes, I did make them in anticipation of wearing them with the fur shirt!
I decided not to go with the same type of faux fur used in the original- the KS version has very defined channels, which I thought might create the illusion of more bulk than necessary (think Michelin man). The fur I used has some gentle, irregular striation, but it’s much more subtle. You can see well here:
This garment is neither practical nor slimming. It’s not the easiest thing to get out of, it leaves my neck cold and doesn’t look good with scarf, and the 3/4 sleeves are just ridiculous for winter. I mean, an open-necked, half-sleeved shirt made of faux fur is possibly the most pointless winter outerwear ever. Really, as stupid as open-toed boots, which naturally, I have as well. Together they make for a stupid yet badass ensemble:
All in all, this was a really easy project because the pattern draft was right on the first try (because really, this garment does not require a very precise fit) and there was just so little to it. I used standard techniques for sewing faux fur, and it all came together easily. I did have a cold while sewing it, and all the loose fluff would send me into some bad coughing fits even though I was using the hand vac every 30 seconds.
I lined the garment with some impulse-buy Milly silk twill that I had picked up at Metro over the holidays while shopping with my cousin Evelyn. (Side note about Selfish’s cousin Evelyn: She is a bona fide fashion designer with a bona fide fashion degree, unlike Selfish, who is a charlatan who uses her intermediate sewing skills to do one-off knockoffs of upscale mass market fashion. Selfish will text her to say, “I’m going fabric shopping in 15 minutes” and Evelyn will show up without fail. She knows exactly where to go for whatever random thing Selfish wants, and supports Selfish’s every greedy fabric whim with patience and good cheer. And the craziest thing? Selfish has never seen Evelyn buy ANYTHING except a quarter of a yard of tan velcro. Clearly related by marriage.)
The silk is cream and chocolate brown in a sort of geometric zebra-ish stripe and I like the idea of one fake animal lined in another fake animal. It’s like a sartorial turducken. By the way, I didn’t buy the silk to use as lining, but I realized recently that I have a huge, huge backlog of silk charmeuse and silk twill (mostly Milly) that I’m never going to work through unless I stop being so sparing with them. So Selfish is now lining garments with designer silk that will never be seen. Talk about hashtag-first-world-sewing-problems, right?
I should note that the KS original was lined with acetate. Acetate?? For that kind of money?? Seriously, couldn’t they just charge $20 more and line it with silk? No one who would be willing to buy this thing at $845 is going to be like, “Nope, $865 is where I draw the line.” Anyway. *Mine* is lined with silk, ha ha. (In case you’re interested, I used less than 1.5 meters of faux fur, which was about $70, and just over a yard of silk, which was probably about $12. So not the cheapest project ever, but still a bargain at 1/10th the price of the original.)
I made a couple of changes from the original- first I left off the front kangaroo pocket. A pocket would be nice, but I really didn’t want any more bulk over the tummy. This garment already makes for a pretty roly-poly silhouette. Here it is without the belt:
Also I left off the twee little bow in the back underneath the collar. I don’t mind the bow so much, but it seemed very much like a Kate Spade signature. Adding it seemed like it would be just short of sewing a Kate Spade tag inside. I also think that the original might flare a bit to the hem, whereas mine is a straight silhouette all the way down. And my neckline might be a bit more open.
Honestly, I don’t know if people think “WTF??” when they see me walking down the street in this, but I love it in all of its weird, furry glory. Dan was initially skeptical when I showed him my plans but was won over by the final product, perhaps because he likes to hug me when I am wearing it. It’s really the only good thing about hugging Selfish since she DOES NOT hug back.
That’s pretty much it for the Selfish Seamstress Kate Spade Victoria Faux Fur Pullover Knockoff. Oh, except for one thing. If there are any XS ladies in the audience who are jonesing for their own KS fur pullover knockoffs, I would suggest keeping an eye on my blog in the coming days, particularly the downloads page. I may just have a little something for which you should prepare to express tremendous amounts of gratitude and worship. Start shopping for your fur now!
P.S. I got a bunch of comments on my last post about the nail polish I was wearing – it’s OPI “Germanicure” and it’s one of my favorites. Highly recommended.
Oh my goodness, selfish readers, I cannot believe the outpouring of warm wishes in the comments on my last post. Thank you so very, very much for your many kind notes. Reading them almost makes Selfish wish that she had even a tiny little heart instead of a hard lump of rock in her chest, because if she did, she would surely have been very moved by all of your touching sentiments and congratulatory wishes. And so, as a gesture of something akin to gratitude, here’s a little present to you- a DIY project so quick, simple, and trendy, you’ll either say, “Now why didn’t I think of that” or “Duh, I already thought of that. You always think you’re so smart, Selfish Seamstress, but you’re really NOT.” (Also, there were some questions in the comments on my last post, so I’ll address them at the end of this post- stay tuned.)
While I was in New York, I happened upon these fantastic long leather and knit gloves at Kenneth Cole (I didn’t do much shopping on my last trip, but Kenneth Cole is so conveniently located in Grand Central that I can’t help but zip through from time to time.)
Now, $128 is not sooooooo ridiculous for leather gloves, but these are not the most practical style for everyday wear, as they’re not that easy to wear with, oh, say…. sleeves. So even with the 20% off everything sale they were having in the store, the math still wasn’t working for me:
$128.00 * 0.8 + NYC sales tax = still too expensive for novelty gloves
But I loved how edgy they were- a ladylike shape with a sort of urban industrial mix of materials. Some other $$$ examples:
A New York Times bit showcasing long gloves featured the Rochas pair (third from left) which retails for almost $1300 (undoubtedly looks much better with an arm in it)
This pair of leather and cashmere cable knit gloves from Barney’s is $280.
And this pair from Asos can be yours for a mere $220.
And a pair from Echo Design for a comparatively reasonable $98.
What’s funny in retrospect is how it *didn’t* immediately occur to me to DIY these. I mean, “I’ll just make them” was my first thought when I saw the similarly mixed media Helmut Lang combo pants. Instead with the gloves I was all like, “Hmmm… how can I justify this purchase?” (In fact, perhaps the only thing that didn’t stop me from splurging on these at the Kenneth Cole store was the fact that I obviously had to splurge on this at the Kenneth Cole store:
But that’s a story for another day.)
And what’s funnier still is how when it first occurred to me to DIY these gloves, my initial thought was “Oh! All I have to do is knit a couple of long ribbed tubes and stitch them to a pair of RTW gloves!” And it wasn’t until much later that it I thought to myself, “Or, duh, I could just use socks. You always think you’re so smart, Selfish Seamstress, but you’re NOT.”
Okay, so by now most of you can probably take it from here. But in case you want some step-by-step instructions, here you go.
First, you’ll need some gloves. Leather or faux leather would be ideal for replicating the designer look, but I didn’t have any that I wanted to use for this project. I found an old pair of Totes smooth fabric gloves that my mom gave me but that I never wore much. They have some faux leather accents on them, so I thought they’d work well:
Then you’ll need some knee socks or over-the-knee if you want them really slouchy. You could get creative here with cables or Fair Isle socks, stripes, whatever. You could also use leggings or heavy knit tights, kids’ leg warmers, or slim sweater sleeves. I first went digging through Dan’s sock drawer, but when I didn’t find anything I wanted (why doesn’t he ever buy anything that *I* want to cut up and wear??), I went out and got a pair of heavy knee-high black angora blend socks (came in a two-pack with a white pair so there’s some white lint on them):
Now, measure a consistent length from the top edge of the sock to somewhere above the heel (I got 12.5″ out of mine) and mark them. I used pins because I don’t think chalk was going to show up on this fuzzy knit:
And cut at your marked line. (Dan photographed my “action shots” which is why the pictures with my hands in them are so much nicer than the other ones!)
Finish the cut edges to prevent fraying. I used a cover stitch on my machine. You could also zigzag the edge or use some sort of Fray Check type product.
My stitching caused the edge to ruffle a bit, but it shouldn’t matter.
Now, if you want, you could also cut the glove to make it shorter, or you could angle it (in which case you’d probably want to angle the cut of the sock) but I went for the simplest option which was to leave the glove as is and just stitch the sock into it. If you do decide to cut the edge of the glove and you don’t want any raw edges to show, what you probably want to do is put the glove and the sock with their right sides facing each other and edges lined up (i.e. right-side-out glove inserted into inside-out sock) and then stitch and flip the sock right side out. But since I wasn’t cutting the glove, I did the following:
Turn both the glove and the sock inside out:
Pin evenly all around:
And baste, easing the sock and glove as necessary for a smooth join. Be sure when stitching that you’re not stitching through and picking up both the front and the back of the glove, thereby sewing the glove shut at the wrist. Gloves that are closed at the wrist are not conducive to wearing.
Now carefully turn the whole thing right side out:
And stitch the glove to the sock. If you have a sewing machine with a sufficiently skinny free arm you can do it on the machine using a zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch. My machine’s free arm is a bit… how shall we say… “big boned” … so I did this stitching by hand. I didn’t stitch along my basting- I just used the basting to hold everything together. Instead I stitched invisibly very close to the edge of the glove, just on the inside of the hem. And the final product:
A pair of socks and a pair of old gloves, frankened into a reasonable facsimile of super expensive long mixed media gloves! (Incidentally, does anyone remember that Halloween episode of Community in which Troy and Abed exchange Pierce’s hands with his feet and then he can’t grope the butt that they attached to his chest? So awesome. Creating hybrid sock-gloves made me think of that episode. Also, Community is back next week! Excited though tentatively so because of the changes in writing staff and showrunner. Digressed!)
Perfect accessory for your cape, three-quarter sleeve coat, or in my case a wrinkly knit poncho:
And super quick to make too. I think I have a pair of old tan leather gloves somewhere so I might try another pair with brown cable knit socks, though it’s not really the sort of thing one needs a lot of in one’s wardrobe. If you make any, come back and show me how they turned out.
Ok- and response to some of your questions and comments:
- Hahah, I think it’s cute that some of you think wedding planning is what’s been keeping me from sewing and blogging :) Our wedding planning was pretty much just this: “Mommy, can you get some food for our wedding?” “Dan, go make some tissue paper flowers for the decorations.” “Make sure I get TWO slices of cake. It’s MY WEDDING.”
- @BMGM: I still don’t entirely know what skirt stiffener is, whether it was just a synonym for interfacing, or whether there was actually a product you could buy that was specifically referred to as “skirt stiffener” – but it definitely wasn’t horsehair braid. The stiffener is cut from the same pattern as the skirt, basted to the skirt, and then the two layers are treated as one, like interlining.
- @Jo: Glad to hear that you were able to make the kimono sleeve adjustments. I don’t have any pictures, but I think I did the same thing as you- trial and error until it fit smoothly. I’m sure there is a logical and correct way to do this fit adjustment, but I have no idea what it is!
- @Isaspacey: Thanks for the terminology! And I love that phrase- “mounting a skirt.” Sounds like 1950s innuendo.
- @Rena & Hellene: I am a jerk. I totally haven’t gotten the pictures of you guys and Desi and me from when we met at Metro! Post is coming eventually, and yes, I am an a*hole for being so lax about it! Hugs to you guys!
- @Phoebe: YES! Sharp eye there, sister! Dan was wearing a barong for our reception, sent to us from my cousin in Manila. Our reception food was Filipino and deli, a nod to our Philippine and Jewish roots :) Funny how non-Kosher a meal can become once you have a lechon in the mix, btw.
Thanks again, everyone for all of your kind wishes for our future and the compliments on the dress. Now go make some gloves and come back with chic results!