Monday 19 May 2014

Gilet trip - how to DIY a knee-length gilet

Forgive me for putting a damper on the fabulous summer weather - now that it's finally here - but this knee-length furry outerwear trend, heralded by Topshop Unique, among others, is what fashionistas are already fighting over!

You will need...

...and a sewing machine.

NB: Negligees with narrow or spaghetti straps won't work - make sure yours has built-up straps (at least 1" wide) and is at least knee-length, as you'll have to factor in seam allowance.



If the thought of a pattern and sewing machine fills you with dread, rest assured, it's not as hard as it looks but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by promising you a walk-over.


5-6 hours.

Hip hip gilet...

Lay the negligee flat on some pattern paper so that the seams run along the sides. Pin it down and trace along the seams.

On one side, prod along the front neckline - or back neckline, if it's lower, but that's rarely the case with wide-strapped negligees - with a pin in a dotted line.

Remove the negligee, trace along the dotted line on one side so that your outline is asymmetrical. Cut it out and cut along the middle, so that it is separated into two halves. These should look something like this:

Fold the faux fur in half with the wrong side (the non-furry one) facing outwards. Place the back panel with the centre line along the fold and the front panel next to it. Faux fur is a relatively thick fabric, so use the patternmaster to mark out a 1.5cm seam allowance on the fabric. Cut the pieces out. You should have one large symmetrical back panel and two front panels. If you are working with long-pile fur, you should trim it down inside the seam allowance, so that it is easier to sew (and less likely to break your sewing machine!).
Fold your negligee in half along the centre front and cut along the line, so that the front is still symmetrical. Pin the lining inside the faux fur gilet, with the seam allowance of the latter and edges of the former folded inwards - no raw edges should be exposed. Slip stitch the edges together, stitching inside the fold of the lining so that the stitches are invisible.

Remember to slip stitch the armholes in place. If the negligee you're using doesn't have sleeves, the edges should already be finished, meaning that no folding is required and they're easier to stitch.

Remove the pins and you should be left with something resembling this:

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