Monday, January 7, 2013

Faux-Fur Bolero Refashion, Part One

I am so stinking exhausted today.
I stayed up way too late (considering when the alarm clock goes off at our home) watching the Downton Abbey premiere. I'd like to say that I regret it, but that would be a bold faced lie.
I began working on this refashion a few weeks ago and the timing is really great considering the Downton premier. The original coat, which you can see to the left, was quite nice. I liked it a lot, but in the 10ish years that I've owned it, it has only been worn once, and as a costume accessory. The problem is that it's supposed to be a warm coat for my dresses, but the cropped length and sleeves make it extremely impractical for that use. I hadn't even tried it on in the last 7 years until John took this photo.
He had never seen it and was very surprised that I wanted to cut it up. After trying it on, I was surprised with myself all over again, since I still think it's lovely and it is super Downton-ish... but the fact remains- it was taking up useful space in our closet and not being worn. After this many years, the only sensible resort was to either donate or refashion it. And I had several ideas for what to do, and one of them was even featured in the premiere last night... so refashion won!
This will be a three part series, though the next two parts will likely be combined in the same post. Today we're taking it from bolero/cropped jacket to vest... which was insanely easy, as were the next two parts.
I simply grabbed the sleeve cut it off directly at the underarm area, right up to the shoulder. While you're cutting a straight line, the sleeve should come off at an angle. 
Next I laid the cut sleeve on top of the other before so that they would match. This isn't fail proof! I noticed when uploading images of the back that mine don't perfectly match, so I'll have to go in and correct that this week.
Once your sleeves have been cut (and you've tried them on to see if they match), run them through your sewing machine. Use a matching thread and a tight stitch right along the edge. I had to pin my lining in place first.
At this point I tried them on again, and from the front I couldn't tell that the vest sleeves were uneven, so I moved along. You may want to check the view in the back ;) if you want a really finished look, fold the edges under and hem around the sleeves again. Otherwise, you can leave them be. 
Originally, the plan was to cut the collar off, but I ended up loving it as is. You can see (kind of) what it would look like as a collar-less vest. If you want to go without your collar, just cut right along the edge and then sew the lining + fur together and leave it alone OR tuck it under and hem again for a more finished look.
RESERVE YOUR COLLAR AND SLEEVES! Don't throw anything away. I refashioned them as well and you'll see that post on Wednesday (CLICK HERE!)
hat: Banana Republic | sweater: HM, Germany | tank: forever21 | leggings: PINK | boots: Madden Girl
I've been half rolling/half standing the collar up when I wear it as a vest vs. letting them lay flat as they did when it was a jacket. I love the lines it creates and how it frames the face. I especially like how the collar looks almost hood-ish from the back when worn that way. 
In conclusion: I love it about 80 thousand times more as a vest. It's extremely warm and much more practical. It's kind of entertaining because I've never had a faux-fur vest and didn't intend to keep this. But after I slipped this bad boy on I fell in love with it and expect to wear it early and often! So cute and much more casual than the original jacket, making it so much more wearable. It'll certainly become a staple here in Michigan. And so far, this seems to be the perfect (super mild) winter for it! Yay! 
Also, I've decided to start labeling outfits in projects after several emails/comments asking where different pieces have come from. SO now you know! The jacket was originally from an online store called Newport News, I don't even know if it exists anymore. I paid about $25 for it. If you don't have a faux fur jacket but still want to refashion one into all of these pieces (you'll see more on Wednesday) then just pick one up at a thrift, antique or second hand shop. 
Stop in again on Wednesday for a post about using the scraps from today's refashion! I'm really excited about them, too. We finally stayed home this weekend, for the first time in nearly two months, so I had the ability to bust 'la vie' out. It was awesome. The next two weeks are done, which means I have to sit on them, and that's super hard for me. Once a post is done, it has to be shared! Have a great day everyone. All the best and as always, thanks for reading!
ERMS OF USE (Modified from ISLY)
This project is free for personal use is not to be distributed/republished without my consent. If this inspires a project for your own blog, that is awesome! But please remember to link back to my original post. Please do not copy this text, use the images or steal this idea for any publications. Thanks for promoting the freedom to INSPIRE! Only one image may be used- no collages, please!


  1. First off LOVE that it's faux fur project! Second, love the collar on the vest. It makes the vest look really expensive :)

    1. Always faux-fur! We love the little furry creatures in our house. You're always so encouraging! And though the goal was to take the collar off, It just can't be done. I agree!

  2. Beautiful! I really want a faux fur vest too , they're so chic! ;) And I second that... love the collar

    1. Thank you, Kate! I hope you find one very soon!

  3. How awesome! What a great refashion. New follower. Love your blog!

    1. Thank you Liz! I will have to check out yours, bloggers unite! <3


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