Faux Mink Jacket – Part IV

Since I had some uninterrupted time this morning I decided to put the pockets in. Cutting into your jacket fronts is always scary (especially in a pricey fabric) and I wanted to make sure I had a clear head.

First, I marked the pocket opening on both fronts, making sure they were identical. My hands are small so I made my opening 5.5″ long. I determined a comfortable placement during a try-on.


The next step was to stay the opening. To reduce bulk I used silk organza selvedges left over from another project. Twill tape would be fine too but it is a little more bulky. The stay is attached at the finished edge with tiny fell stitches and then a diagonal basting stitch is used to attach the remainder to the backing (running basting stitch would be fine as well). I taped across the top and bottom of the opening,


and then down each side. Notice that I left a hairline space between the two so that I don’t cut the stay or the stitching later.


Now for the scary part, carefully cutting the slash!


I am using 2″ wide strips of Ultrasuede (gotta love that Ultrasuede stash!) to face the slash. You could also use petersham, real leather/suede, even grosgrain ribbon would be okay (albeit a bit stiff). I cut my strips extra long so that I didn’t have to fuss over the placement. Whipstitch your facing strips to the edge of the slash being sure to catch your stay in the stitching and pushing the fur out of the way with your needle. I opted to do this by hand because I have more control that way.





For extra reinforcement I then zigzagged over the edges with a short, narrow machine zigzag. I know these pockets are going to get a lot of use and I don’t want them to tear out later. Do not use a satin stitch or you will perforate your Ultrasuede/leather/suede! I used a stitch length of about 1.5 mm and a size 14 needle.


Once that’s done, you can turn your facing strips to the inside and attach your pocket bags (I used a sturdy 3-step zigzag for this). Again, sorry for the lousy photos. I am camera-challenged since my adorable granddog chewed the screen on my good camera.



When I was examining the Persian lamb jacket, I noticed that everything inside had been tacked down, including the pocket bags. I did the same and I think it’s so much nicer than having them float around in there. The beauty of working with faux fur is that none of your stitches show on the right side.


The pocket opening is barely discernable from the right side – cool, huh?


I would like to thank the authors of this really awesome vintage Vogue booklet for teaching me this great, bulk-free method (this is similar to the method you’d use for buttonholes in fur). If you are interested in sewing fur you really need a copy of this book! It’s small and thin (less than 50 pages) but loaded with great information that is still relevant 40 years after it’s publication date.



Filed under Year of the Jacket

18 responses to “Faux Mink Jacket – Part IV

  1. I always learn so much from your posts, Gigi. Thanks for the great explanations and nice photos of your project.

  2. Sally

    Always love looking at your amazing work. And you must be very organized!

  3. Dei

    Excellent explanation. I’ll keep this for future reference. Love the cover of the book. So Mod! LOL.

  4. Were you able to breath while working on those pockets? I’m sure that I would hold my breathe the entire time (maybe even pass out from fear). Your fur is luscious!! Thanks for the sewing tips.

  5. Wow, perfect pocket for the perfect jacket! you are so skilled!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, those messages are so instructive.

  7. HUGE APPLAUSE!!! Your skill and precision deserve high praise and applause. And, once again, you have proven my strongest belief about “sewing” — it is an art, a beautiful fine art.

    More applause will be forthcoming as you continue to dazzle us!

  8. Linda

    Well done !!! I hope you realize that your posts are so helpful , Thank you for all your time and photos . Cold tonight and tomorrow am , Will this be finished for AM??? No pressure…LOL See you tomorrow.

  9. All I can say is…Exceptional!

  10. Els

    I learned the same technique for making pockets in real fur and also used this in a faux fur coat. I have the same booklet from Vogue my edition is from 1971. The same technique is also described in the book “How to sew leather, suede and fur”.

    Your new faux mink jacket is looking great.

  11. Your instructions are great. Thanks for being so generous.

  12. Wow, amazing work. You’re an insiration to all us sewers. Keep up the good . And also, you sew at a very fast pace!

  13. Marie Roche

    Thank you so much for detailing this technique, I hope this book is still available.

    Thank you
    Marie Roche

  14. Mechelle

    Just amazing, thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to see the finished coat!

  15. JoEllen

    Great jacket and tutorial. I just finished cutting out my faux fur. I did not know that fur needed to be interfaced. I guess I need to modify my construction. Your jacket is fabulous. Thanks for all the info. I am off to find that book.