During the challenge, the weather here in South Australia was the hottest since 1939, so it was not a good time to be sweating and working with fur. Lady Bella graciously extended the challenge to allow for the weather. As usual, I went into the challenge with high hopes and huge plans. The more portraits I looked at, the more I wanted to make. I started with a muff because I had a small rabbit pelt that a friend had given me after finishing a pair of fur lined sleeves. (I do not support the fur industry in any way, but I do believe that if an animal is killed humanely for food then we should do our best not to waste anything. I have no issue with re-using or recycling vintage furs or the skins of animals slaughtered for food.)
All the materials that I used, I had in stash or had purchased for other projects. I made this muff quite small because the last muff that I made was quite a bit larger and can be a bit heavy and unwieldy. Also, I saw a gentlewoman at an SCA event last year with a small one hanging from her girdle, and I thought it looked very elegant.
My first step was to assemble materials and then make a rectangular paper pattern that would fit my hands and accommodate the pelt that I had.
The upholstery fabric that I had was a nice pattern but prone to thread separation. This would make it tricky to sew later on.
I am not a keen sewer, so my favourite part of any sewing process (apart from wearing the resulting pretty item!) is playing with trim and fabric options and dreaming of possibilities.
After trimming my fabric and pelt to size, I edged the fabric, pinned the fabric (wrong side out) and pelt (skin side out) together and sewed around the edges, leaving a small area
un-sewn for turning. The next thing I decided to work on was the woven buttons. You can see the tutorial on how I did it
I added loops of gold DMC floss to the completed buttons and a decorative little knotted lump in the middle at the top. Next time I will use a bead, because I was not very happy with how this element worked out.
Once the pelt and fabric were sewn together, I had the tricky task of turning the 'bag' right side out.