The latest on the Seventies coat saga: After digging around in the Garment District yesterday, I have decided to go ahead and make my coat, and -- tentatively -- to make it in faux fur.
There is so much faux fur to be had, readers, but I found the widest selection on 39th Street at what used to be H&M and is now called It's a Material World (!). Parenthetically, they say they're under new management but it sure looks like the same old lousy management to me, as well as same staff, same stock, etc. This is one of those stores that's always a mess and stinks of cheap incense. I counted more than a dozen sticks burning there yesterday and I could hardly breathe. The fur is upstairs (it's a two-level storefront space) and the incense smells even stronger there. That said, they have dozens of bolts of faux fur, some of it absolutely wild and wacky and totally fun.
What I hate about this place is that the prices seem random. Is the faux fur really $20 a yard, or might it be $15 if I made a fuss, or spoke to a different salesperson, or had big breasts? I don't like to bargain in fabric stores, do you?
I also saw some faux fur at Chic Fabrics and a few other places on 39th St. (even Kashi at Metro sent me to 39th St. -- he hates stocking the stuff since it takes up so much space), but nothing can compare to the quantity at It's a Material Word, so I guess that's where I'll make my purchase.
If I do the whole coat in fur (and not just the front facings and collar), three yards should do it. I have some fabulous instructions about working with faux fur from an online class at Pattern Review that Kenneth King led a few years ago. I have all the recommended supplies, including cold tape (this was one of the mystery notions I quizzed you on last summer; nobody guessed it right), electric razor, wig brush, and afro pick.
King recommends using a pattern with a self facing in front, rather than a separate facing. You want to eliminate as many seams as you can and keep it simple. My coat pattern (I'm leaning toward the classic McCall's 2979 from 1971) has separate facings and a notched collar. I spent some time yesterday looking at photos of faux fur coats for sale on Etsy. Most have notched collars, the best looking ones anyway. I think (hope) I can handle it.
I love this one with the pelts running horizontal beneath the waistline. A faux fur Seventies coat can't be too busy and ideally mixes a few different furs and has a fake leather belt at the very least.
Here are a few more gems in the tacky/fabulous category. The faker, the better!
Other than these notched collar coats that look like something straight out of Superfly, the other popular style is similar to my Miss Vogue Pattern (8144).
OK, so this coat is listed as unisex and the guy is hot, but is this not a man in a woman's coat in your opinion? (For sale on Etsy here.)
I also love this version -- I think it's by Jordache or Sassoon, or one of those classic Seventies/early Eighties brands one associates with what were originally called French (and later designer) jeans.
Now I just need to get my energy up. Michael and I are actually invited to a Valentine's Day theater-related party next Tuesday, so if I could get this done by then, that would be great. I'm a little nervous about this faux fur thing, I won't lie to you. I've worked with thick polyfleece but this is a different ballgame.
Anybody worked in faux fur before? Did you have to vacuum constantly? Did you wear a disposable face mask? What were the results like? I'd love to know!
Have a great day, everybody!
PS -- Our cabaret show, Noah's Very Unusual Insight got reviewed! (Read it here.)
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!