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How to Sew with Hides: A Winter Muff

How to Make a Muff

How to Make a Muff

(The first in series of “how to sew with hides”)

A muff was first introduced to women’s fashion in the 16th century, but is making a recent resurgence as a must-have simple winter hand warmer. As the mercury is dropping we are going to start seeing the muff on the hippest streets of NYC, and we are going to tell you how to make your own!
All you need is one of our super-soft genuine leather skins, (or a yard of your favorite faux fur) coupled with a deliciously soft silk lining (yes, despite the invention of high-tech fabrics, silk is still one of the warmest base-layers) and 1.5 – 2 yards of ribbon.

Make the pattern
First, let’s draw a pattern. We recommend making it 12” x 20” but adjust as you see best to fit your hands, gloves and winter cuffs.

Make the Muslin
Next, just to be safe, cut out a muslin, sew a seam joining the two 12” edges (to form a cylinder) and test how it feels size-wise. Adjust your pattern as necessary.

Make the Muff
Use your pattern to cut one of the fur/faur fur, one sew in (not-iron on) medium interfacing and one silk lining.

Persian Lamb skin

Persian Lamb skin

With right-sides together, sew each of these pieces to form three cylinders, along the 12” sides.
Slide the interfacing inside the fur shell, pin together around the circular openings. Baste into place on both ends.
Pin one end of the ribbon to the edge of the cylinder at the point of the seam.
Turn the lining inside out and slip it over the fur shell, so right sides are together (ensure ribbon is hidden under the lining). Pin this to the other two layers at one side only. Sew this side.
Turn the lining so right-sides of the lining and fur both face out, then slide the lining into the fur cylinder covering the interfacing.
On the open end of the cylinder, turn in your seam allowance and pin. Attach the other end of the ribbon to the edge of the cylinder at the seam point. Hand-stitch the edges.
And voila! You have a super-mod muff.