Friday, 21 January 2011

Old Fashioned, but due to make a comeback I’m sure – Muffs!

A day off work means plenty of crafting and blogging. Blissful!

In December I was up in Soho in one of my favouritest (is that even a word?) cloth shops looking for inspiration for 2010 Christmas presents. I wanted something that would feel and look special but that would ultimately be enjoyable and not ridiculously time consuming to make. Now I love the Cloth House shops as they are like sweet shops for adults; pricier than some places totally, but the patterns and range of cloths are of a fantastic quality. I tend to go around prodding and poking materials to get a good idea of what they feel like and everything stopped when I came across the most enormous rolls of a fantastic chocolately red with silvery sheen faux fur. Luscious - I could have happily made a bed out of it!

Anyway with the snow and the cold and the fact that I had the nicest fabric around I figured that a muff would be the perfect way forwards. After a reasonable amount of searching and trialing I found these instructions from burdastyle the most straight forward and accurate.

This is how they turned out...

I did make a few additions/ changes of my own though:

1. Instead of using a lining fabric for the inside I just used a second layer of the fur. What’s the point in using the lovely furry fabric if you hands don’t get the tactile benefit!

2. I ended up hand stitching both ends shut. In the end my sewing machine wasn’t quite heavy duty enough to sew two layers of fur together. You cant tell it was hand stitched which is a bonus.

3. I added a length of ribbon to each end of the muff as I was sewing it up so that if you want to you can hang the muff around your neck.

As you can see the end result is quite pretty and really toasty for your hands. My mum LOVED hers and wore it out in the snow for our boxing day walk! Whilst they look quite classy without, I added a button detail to a couple of the muffs which gives them more of a vintage type feel.

If you are going to attempt one yourself my tops tips would be:

- If you have one of those olive sticks (kind of like cocktail sticks… but for olives) in the back of a kitchen drawer they are PERFECT of making sure you have no fur caught up in the stitching.

- If you are adding a detail like buttons or ribbon firstly make sure you work out where the seem ridge inside is going to be. Too high up/ low down and its annoying for your hands and secondly – make sure you have the fur facing in the right direction! In the prototype I kept for myself the fur is the wrong way up when using the ribbon – doh!

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