Japanese jerkin, rejigged

In a case of perfect timing, I’ve finished rejigging my cosy, fleecy Japanese jerkin… just as spring makes its appearance in Melbourne and I theoretically have no need of cosy, fleecy things. shearling jacket DIY

Actually, a few minutes after I took these photos, there was a torrential downpour… followed by several minutes of strong sun… gale force winds… a massive hail storm… more sun… bucketing rain again… and I’m blasting the central heating as I write. So cosy, fleecy things are still handy to have around! sheepskin vest

In my initial post about this project, I showed you how I added fake fur to the hem and down the front edges of the shearling vest. That wasn’t so hard, but the next step – retrofitting fake fur sleeves – was where I got stuck. The vest had deep armholes because (I assume) it was made to wear over a kimono, and kimono have very wide sleeves. The armholes had to be “filled in” if I wanted the sleeves of the resulting jacket to have a narrower fit, so I cut pieces of the fake fur and attached them to cover up the lower sections of the armholes.
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I then cut big squares of the fake fur measuring as long as my arm and pinned them in around the shoulders to set the sleeves in as properly as possible… I’m sure there is a more accurate way to retrofit sleeves, but I unfortunately am not familiar with it!

fake fur jacket

I sewed around the shoulders, cut off the excess around the seams and sewed the undersides of the sleeves together up to just below the armpit (there is still a small gap between the underside of the sleeves and the filled-in armhole section rather than them being attached to each other because I was too lazy to work out how to get the two bits to connect properly without a lot of bulk from the fake fur, but it’s not obvious unless I’m walking around with my arms in the air, which I don’t plan to do).

To finish off the jacket, I crocheted a collar in bulky cream coloured wool to match the shearling (basically I made a strip from a row of treble and then a row of double with every 10th stitch skipped to create shaping) and stitched it straight to the neckline.

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Ideally, the jacket would be lined, but I’m kind of fed up with all the fiddling that this project has required already! I’m also not sure how much wear I’ll get from it because it hasn’t turned out to look quite as cool as the Milena Silvano designs which I was emulating. If I get the styling just slightly wrong, it will look like I’m dressed as a chubby teddy bear. Oh well, at least I’ll be a cosy, warm chubby teddy bear!

DIY shearling jacket

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