My dad told me that when I was a child, I used to walk up to ladies on the street and pet their fury coats. It was the 80s, so there were a lot of those going around, and I was 5, so it was cute, not creepy, but the point of the story is that pretty much all my life I have been attracted to soft, pettable materials.
And that is still the case, many many years later. I love soft fake fur, fleece, minky, that thing that fluffy dressing gowns are made of, you name it, I want to just lovingly stroke it.
So of course that the last time I visited Abakhan with my friend Simona, who is a lucky devil for living 10 mins walk to the Bolton shop, I just could not stop myself from getting this piece of stripy micro-furry stuff (no idea what it’s called), like a faux fur, but with short, soft, lovely hairs. I have no idea if it mimics any real animal, but as soon as I laid my hands on it, I could not care less. It was less than a meter and I had no idea what it could be made into, but I just could not let go of it. So I brought it home with me.
But, what to make with it?
Enter my Nivis crop top, from the Swiss pattern company Wearologie. I am super happy with my choice, and I really did not want to take it off as soon as I put it together! It’s just so snugly that I wanted to keep hugging myself to feel the fabric.
Full disclosure: Coralie, the designer behind Wearologie, is a friend from the sewing community (we have never actually met in real life, but we have been online friends ever since I started the blog). She used to blog at Stitch-n-Smile, but then she graduated from Design school and started Wearologie. Please go read the blog, her story and journey are really lovely. She is also a fabulous illustrator – go check out the lovely illustrations she made for her #FabricShoppingOnTour Geneva Guide. She generously sent me the PDF pattern to try out for free. All views are my own.
But if you like what you see, read until the end for a discount to try it out for yourself.
So, about Nivis…. It’s a beginner-friendly raglan top, and it has a 2 part sleeve, which I loved. It’s meant for layering, so I had a lightbulb moment that I could use my furry little piece of fabric to make a sort of over-cape/top/jumper/something stylish and warm to wear over thinner shirts or dresses for winter. Because of the 2-part sleeve, it sort of made me think of outerwear, so I just went for it.
I am wearing it over a turtleneck top here, as that’s how I pictured it when I first imagined making it.
I have to give a shout out to the PDF layout. This is definitely the nicest looking and easiest to assemble PDF pattern I have ever used. Ok, there are only 12 pages, but it’s a thing of beauty. Coralie really thought about every single thing that would make your life easier. It has letters for the vertical joining and numbers for the lateral ones, so there is no way you can mistake the order of assembly.
Fit & Alterations:
I cut it 2 sizes bigger, especially to compensate for the under-layers and the fact that it’s meant for knits and my fur is not too stretchy.
It’s a super quick and easy make, great for a beginner with sewing knits. The instructions are very easy to follow (though I must admit, I only had a cursory glimpse to make sure of the order of construction).
Because of my choice of fabric, I deviated from the instructions when it came to the finishing. Coralie recommended finishing the neckline with a neckband and a fold & topstitch with a twin needle for the sleeve edge and hemline. But I ended up finishing the inside of the sleeves with a strip of bias binding and leaving the neckline and hemline raw. I had used bias binding there as well, but I didn’t like the way it looked, so I took it off. I slightly stretched (on purpose) both the neckline and the hemline to get a bit of a roll, and I really like the effect. It makes it look even furrier.
I also liked that there are loads of notches, especially needed to ease in the sleeves.
Wear & Style
I always envisaged wearing this on top of something, ideally with long sleeves and a collar or turtleneck, for them to come out of the slightly wider, cropped sleeves of Nivis and the wider neckline without the neckband.
However, the one time I wore it, it was actually on top of a tight sleeveless sheath dress, going for a slightly Jackie O look. Unfortunately, no pics, but it did look quite fetching, got loads of compliments at work.
For this shoot, I wore it with a pencil skirt, a pleated woollen skirt and my favourite high-waits trousers. All good choices!
As I may have mentioned before, I am not a crop top kind of person, but in this case, I feel it was a very sewrendipitous marriage of fabric and pattern and I ended up with a garment that I feel will get a lot of wear! Not not just because it’s so snugly!
If you want to give Nivis a go too, Coralie kindly offered all you lovely readers a discount code for your very own copy. Enter SEWRENDIPITY-NIVIS25 at check out for a 25% discount.
Pattern: Wearologie Nivis Crop Top – size E (in PDF)
Fabric: short pelt faux fur, Abakhan Bolton
Notions: bias binding
Alterations: omitted neckline binding and left edges raw
Next time: Make it in knits with neckband
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF FAUX FUR? DO YOU THINK YOU COULD INTEGRATE A CROP TOP IN YOUR WARDROBE? LET ME KNOW THE COMMENTS OR TWEET OR IG ME @SEWRENDIPITY!
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