Embellish Knit Month: Day 19 MEET CASEY'S ELEGANT MUSINGS!!!!

November 29, 2010

Today's guest for Embellish Knit Month is Casey from Casey's Elegant Musings! She will be showing use how to make a detachable faux fur collar for a cardigan. Wouldn't this be just divine for a holiday party?
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
But first, a little bit about Casey (who is absolutely lovely BTW! Right?!) Casey is the author of the darling blog Casey's Elegant Musings. She sews and designs her own dresses with a flair for retro style. Often her dresses can seen on the front page of Burdastyle.
But I'll let her tell you a little bit about herself in person....

When did you start sewing?
    My earliest sewing memory is from around age 5 or 6. My mom sewed a lot when I was little, and I used to watch her makes clothes and other little things for my sister and I. I loved how she could take a pattern, fabric and some trims and make something really pretty--to me that was magical. I begged her to teach me how to sew, but it wasn't until age 10 that she taught me how to use a sewing machine. Until then, she showed me some handstitches and let me rummage through her scrap bin for pieces to make doll clothes with. I also taught myself a lot of sewing techniques from books I checked out at the public library during my childhood--it wasn't until my late teens that the internet really started to help expand my sewing knowledge beyond what the library books could show me. So I guess I've been sewing for about 20 years now!
Why do you sew?
    I sew primarily because I love to create things and adore fashion. It's about aesthetics and catering to my own sense of style and self. But it's also got a lot to do with economy and not being able to afford the quality of clothes I admire and the fit I want with my budget. Caviar tastes on a canned tuna budget! There is something really fascinating about the whole process too--I think it's a carry-over from the "magical" view I had of sewing as a child. 

What sparked you to begin a blog about your creations?
    I started blogging back in 2004, on LiveJournal. At the time I was heavily into historic fashion and costuming; many of the friends I had met on discussion boards were also on LJ, and we shared projects, research and techniques through our blogs. My blog has morphed a bit--I now write more about vintage fashion and style, thrifting, general sewing and homemaking--and moved to my own blog-space. But I love sharing my adoration of sewing with others, encouraging them and inspiring. I have met so many talented people out there who sew--who have taught me a lot too!
What benefits, besides your lovely blog, have you experienced from sewing your clothes rather than buying new ones?
Oh golly--where to start?! As I mentioned before, the ability to customize my own wardrobe on a tiny budget has been the biggest advantage. I love scouring for the raw materials--be it fabric from a discount table or trims and notions from the thrift store--and being able to create something that fits within my personal style and fits well. It's part of the adventure! Being able to look into the catalogs, websites and vintage inspiration, take those looks and recreate them is so much fun--and really stretches my imagination and sewing abilities. I also have to say on the blogging/sewing topic that one of the biggest benefits has been the amount of knowledge I've gained from other sewing bloggers. Finding about new techniques, improving old ones, discovering new books and resources--it's been an amazing boon to my closet.

Thank you so much, Kathleen for featuring me--it's been such an honor!

This tutorial has been rolling around in my sketchbooks and imagination for oh, a good year! I finally spent some time this past Sunday working it out and documenting my steps to share with you. Now that the weather is turning cold, it’s the perfect time to pull out some fun (faux) fur accessories to add a bit of pizazz to your cardigans and dress necklines. This is a super easy accessory to make and only requires hand sewing skills! I think these would also make amazing gifts–and their easy to customize with different closures and fur types!I think the gals over at Colette Patterns and I must be communicating telepathically on a subconscious level about our inspirations lately, because they just posted a fantastic tutorial on how to make a detachable collar for a winter coat. So if a basic jewel-neckline collar isn’t quite your thing, be sure to check that out! (And yes, I realize that it can be a bit silly having mine come on the scene right after, but hopefully you’ll find one or the other–or both–useful!)

11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!

  • 1/2 yard faux fur
  • sew-in interfacing (I used hair canvas, but any heavy weight sew in should work)
  • 1/2″ wide cotton twill tape or rayon hem tape; approximately 1 yard
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • hook and eye (or other method of closure; see end of tutorial for details)
  • pattern/tracing paper
  • pencil, pen, paper scissors
  • thread to match fur
  • needles, pins, fabric shears,

Begin by printing off the collar pattern here. (The pattern is similar to how BurdaStyle packages their patterns for home printing. Please see this tutorial if you need help printing and assembling.) I have drafted several sizes for a basic Peter Pan and pointed collar styles for a jewel neck. Cut out the size you wish to make (closest to your garment neckline or neck measure). To make the collar pattern longer, slash at intervals and spread to the correct length. Retrace pattern. To shorten, simply fold at intervals along length to the correct measurement.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Lay the pattern on the fur, fur side down. Make sure you have the nap of the fur going in the direction you want it to lay (usually down, towards the outer edge of the collar). Pin in place and cut. If you are using a longer hair fur, be sure to carefully cut around taking shallow snips of the backing only, so as not to damage the length of the fur around the outer edges.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Using the collar pattern, cut one from the lining material.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Cut out another collar piece from the sew-in interfacing. Cut off the seam allowance (1/2″) around all edges. (This interfacing will add a bit of body to the faux fur, since they tend to be a bit too soft.)
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
With a pencil/marker, draw a series of parallel, horizontal lines, 1″ apart on the interfacing.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
With the wrong side of the fur collar facing up, lay the interfacing in the center (lines facing up) with an even 1/2″ around all edges. Pin in place.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Using a single thread, sew an uneven basting stitch to attach the interfacing to the fur. You will want to take very shallow stitches on the fur, just catching the backing. For a great tutorial on this technique, be sure to watch Gertie’s video here.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Fur side up, pin the twill/hem tape around the edges of the collar, easing around curves. Using a blanket stitch 1/4″ long and 1/4″ deep, sew the tape to the edge of the collar.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Alternatively, you can also attach the tape with a long machine zig-zag stitch around the edges.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Turn collar wrong side up and fold over edges 1/2″, following edge of interfacing. and pin to back.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
If you are using a longer hair fur, you will need to use a pin to free any bits of fur that were caught in sewing the tape to the fur.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Using a single thread, catch stitch the tape to the interfacing around all edges. The inner neckline curve will require a bit of manipulation to lay right; you’ll want to curve it slightly over one hand as you stitch, mimicking the curve of a neckline.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Press 5/8″ to the wrong side of the collar lining along the edges. Place over the fur collar, wrong sides together and pin in place. You will probably need to ease a bit over the inner neckline curve. Just pin in place as best you can at this point, and smooth as you stitch.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
With a single thread, slip stitch the pieces together along the edges, being sure that your stitches are hidden.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
There are a couple ways to make your collar detachable. Firstly is to just finish the center front top edge with a hook and eye (or button and thread loop, or frog; or nothing at all and pin it together with a brooch). Which means it can be worn with just about anything! (See above.) To further embellish your collar, you can sew on a little bow, add a sparkly vintage brooch, or a large button to the closure. Or maybe even long cord ties with matching fur pom poms!But if you wish to make it stay securely on a particular garment, you will need a handful of medium-sized snaps and a length of 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide grosgrain ribbon that closely matches your fur. (Note: I used white twill tape in this tutorial for illustration purposes only.)

11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Cut the ribbon 2″ longer than the inner neckline measurement. Turn the edges under 1/2″ and then 1/2″ again, hemming by hand or machine. Pin one long edge to neckline, right along the edge where the fur and lining meet.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Using a single thread, whipstitch with small stitches (again, I used contrasting thread and larger stitches so it would show up!) the one edge of the ribbon to the lining.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Stitch a hook and eye to the center front edge as described above.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Find the center back of the collar and the inside cardigan/neckline you wish to attach it to. Mark with pins. Sew one half of the snap to the center back of the garment neckline.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
One the collar, sew the other snap half on the underside of the ribbon strip.
11.17.10 vintage flair: make a faux fur collar!
Mark more snap locations along the garment and collar ribbon from this center point, about 1 1/2″-2″ apart. Sew on snaps accordingly.

Alternatively, if you desire something a bit more permanent (but still removable), you can always attach the ribbon and just whipstitch it to the inner neckline of the garment. I’ve seen this in a lot of vintage sewing manuals, but it still allows for removal for cleaning!

9 {comments}:

Savoir Affaire said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow!What a beautiful post! I'm going over there to follow her now...

Casey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you ever so much for featuring me and the fur collar tutorial!!! :) I'm so honored to be a part of your Embellish Knits series!

♥ Casey | blog

mimi o said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a great post and sweet idea to dress up for a special occasion!

Mary Beth said... Best Blogger Tips

It's great to see Casey highlighted here. She's a great sewing talent.

Chie - Vivat Veritas said... Best Blogger Tips

i love her blog! thank you for doing the interview with her:) so inspiring!

Anne said... Best Blogger Tips

Fabulous!!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I am loving your Embellish Knits Month and the blogs you have featured.
I was wondering where you find the "togs" and "frogs" and ribbon trims you use to fasten your sweaters together.
I live outside the US, and was hoping I could find them online somewhere.

Victoria / Justice Pirate said... Best Blogger Tips

aww congratulations on the feature, Casie.

NessyS said... Best Blogger Tips

What a wonderful event - my two "superheroes" of craft, ideas and style on the same blog together! Such an inspiration! Thank you!

For those of you who may not know, Casey also has some fabulous vintage make-up tutorials on YouTube which I can thoroughly recommend.

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