I bought some lovely fake fur recently and at $80 a metre it was not a purchase considered lightly. Reminiscing over jackets I used to make twenty years ago in the nineties, and again ten years later for a Burning man adventure, ten years on again, the fur obsession has taken a hold of me again…the autumn air slowly encroaching into season and wrapping itself around Bondi has a chill more crisp than I remember in previous years, and find myself this month counting the hours of other work to get back to my fur obsession.
I have a rough pattern I used a few Mardi Gras seasons ago for a medium sized male Star Trek Lycra Top, which I used to loosely base my jacket on. Fur is rather forgiving, and requires less tailoring skills than a jacket made of other materials. I figured a medium sized male polar fleece pattern would sit loosely enough for a size 14 female fur coat.
Over the years I’ve learnt, never to cut a project before defining the design beforehand. It pays to align the pattern pieces and match seam allowances before cutting all the pieces out…but for some reason I forwent this oft proved wisdom and whispered silently to myself “nah, she’ll be right” ..famous last words.
This was the result:
Why didn’t it look cool like my favourite jacket of 1998?
The next day my garage flooded. Forced to go through the contents and re-arrange, I happened to come across a photo of said 1998 jacket, modelled by my friend Ari:
No Wonder! The full sleeve is the same as the fluffy body. Can I be bothered unpicking and re styling the sleeve? Well, do I want to wear the jacket or not?.. I also added more volume to the back, incase I need to go horse riding (not likely in this life- why do these thoughts occur to me, and become important markers in the design process?)
I shortened the length of the top layer, remade the sleeves…but i didn’t have enough fur to do the full sleeve, hence a new design element was born.
it became this:
“You need to fix the collar” my well meaning husband responded, it looks messy..so, I made a hood, and took in the excess of the back a little.
Because of my poor planning, a two day project became a five day project. Jeeze.
But here it is
I call it “Owly” because it looks like an owl.
“It looks like something out of Game of Thrones!” the lady at the coffee shop said this morning.
“Oh? You know nothin’ Jon Snoh”
So I’m wearing this jacket now and noticing my core body temperature rise as I watch through the window a person cross the road in a T-shirt. Overkill much?
I’ll be in the mountains this Australian Yuletide, if for nothing more, making this jacket was worth it.
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