Convert That Old Fur Coat into a Stylish Vest!: A DIY Guide
Most people won’t argue that vintage fur coats are one of the most timeless and stylish pieces of apparel out there… but that doesn’t necessarily mean a fur coat is the right addition to your wardrobe! What happens when you inherit a fur coat that, try as you might, simply doesn’t fit in with your general style? Or what do you do when you’ve simply grown bored with all the possible ways you can coordinate with your fur coat?
The answer may be simpler than you think. All you have to do is transform the coat into a real fur vest! We caution you that you should only attempt to follow this guide if you have ample sewing experience and knowledge. Fur coats can be challenging to work with and easy to ruin. That being said, here’s how to kick off the transformation process.
Start with the Sleeves
Converting vintage fur coats into real fur vests is a delicate process, so you will have to work very carefully. To start, you’ll want to look into the sleeves. Open up the coat by the shoulders to do this. Ideally, you should be able to find an opening with a seam inside, right where they join to the shoulders of the coat. This seam will be your beginning point. Use a seam opener to unstitch the seams inside the sleeves until they are completely open.
Use a pair of fabric scissors to start cutting away at the fur on the outside of the coat. Do not cut the fur completely off. Rather, you’ll only want to cut up to a half-inch toward the seam. Doing this helps to make your alterations look more natural, as well as offer better support for the sleeves of your new vest.
Fold at the Lining
Take the leftover lining still attached to the coat and fold it so it lies against the fur, on the flat portion of it. Once you have these two sections lined up properly, you can take a needle and thread and stitch these two parts to one another. Be sure to follow this step for both sides of your real fur vest. The fur of the coat will generally be much easier to work with than the leather backing, as there are already holes within the former side of the coat where the fur is attached. This ensures your stitching will be much more thorough and durable.
When in Doubt…
If any of these steps are confusing to you, it never hurts to seek out professional help from a furrier near you. An expert will have all the knowledge needed to properly transform your vintage fur coats into stylish new pieces of clothing, all with much less risk of causing damage to the fur itself.