Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home Economics - The Jane Austen Tippet

I'm so excited to share the first of the home ec posts with you all!  I decided to begin with something seasonable and simple, a fur tippet from Jane Austen's Sewing Box.

This book is full of really fun project ideas inspired by the works of Jane Austen.  The tippet is a lovely fur scarf that drapes nicely over the shoulders and can be styled in many different ways.

You will need the following materials:
  • 1.5yd Velboa or Faux Fur (I prefer Velboa because it's soooo soft, but use what you're comfortable with!)
  • 1.5yd Lining fabric in satin, silk, cotton or shantung
  • Pins
  • Pattern Paper (wrapping paper works great for this!)
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine (or needle if you prefer to hand sew)
  • Thread in a coordinating color
  • Weights (to hold down corners of pattern paper)
  • Tape measure or Quilters Ruler and French Curve
  • Scissors

The pattern is very simple and the measurements are given in centimeters.  You can either draw out the whole pattern, or you can simply half the pattern and put the top center of the neck on the fold of your fabric when you cut.  I prefer the second method because it insures that you will have the exact same measurements on both sides of the tippet. (My apologies on some of the pictures not being as clear as they should.  My camera was having issues and I had to borrow The Man's for some of them!)

First, you will want some paper to draft your pattern on.  I've chosen to use the back of some wrapping paper I had lying around.  (It even has grid lines printed on the back to make it easier to create straight lines!)
Be sure to weight the corners of your paper so it doesn't roll up on you!  I like to use my little snail friends :)

You can use a tape measure to measure out and draw your lines (refer to the measurements in the picture from the book), or you can use a french curve and a quilters ruler.  I like to freehand most things, but if you are uncomfortable with that, you can always bend your quilters ruler in a curve to use as a guide for the corners.

Once you've finished drawing and cutting your tippet piece, you will want to lay out your lining fabric.  If you have chosen to draw out the whole pattern piece, lay the fabric face down and pin the pattern to the wrong side.  If you have chosen to draw out the half piece, fold your fabric in half with the right sides together (the sides you want showing when you've completed your tippet) and pin the pattern with the top collar portion on the fold as I've shown below.

I have the shiny side of my poly shantung showing here, because I want the matte, slub knit side to be exposed when I finish.  Make sure your scissors are extra sharp!  Slippery fabric can be tricky to cut.

After you have cut out your lining piece, you want to follow the same steps with your fur.  I've chosen a leopard print velboa.  Here you will see the pattern piece pinned to the wrong side (on the fold!) and I've folded over the fabric so you can see what the side facing out will look like.

When it's cut and unfolded, it should look like this

Now that you've cut out both pieces, you need to match them up, right sides together, wrong sides facing out and pin them together.  It's ok if you have a few puckers at this point, you can smooth them as you sew.

Some folks prefer to shave or clip the outer edge of their faux fur to make it easier to work with.  I think it's only necessary if you are working with REALLY thick fur.  Velboa tends to be pretty manageable.

Once you have the whole thing pinned together, it should look like this

This is my walking foot..I love it with a passion typically reserved for Clark Gable and chocolate..
Now you are going to want to stitch the edges together.  I used a scant 1/4 in seam so that the tippet didn't turn out too narrow.  Keep in mind that the larger your seam allowance, the skinnier your tippet will be.  Leave a space open at the base of the neck.  This is where you will turn your tippet inside out.

Sometimes it helps to have a knitting needle handy to assist in poking out the corners and edges when you turn your tippet inside out.

One last step!  Now that you've turned your tippet inside out, fold in the bottom and top of the opening at the neck about a 1/4 in. to match your seam and make small stitches to close it up.

You're finished!

Here are some ways to style your brand new tippet.

Wrapped Cowl Style
Tied in a bow

(I used my trusty friend Esmerelda to model here because, to be perfectly truthful, at the moment I am wearing my granny nighty and pink cats eye glasses and bear a strong resemblence to Dame Edna..)

That concludes our first Home Ec lesson! If you have any questions, please ask!  I'm happy to answer them.  If you make your own tippet, I'd love to see it.  Please feel free to share a link here in the comments, or post a picture on the ConstantlyAlice Facebook page.

Hugs and Smooches,

P.S.  This pattern leaves a good amount of extra fur left over..how about making it into cuffs for a pair of gloves to match your tippet?  Or a cute little beret?  The possiblities are endless!


  1. Wow this is great! Winter is fast approaching and it would be nice to have one like this. :D

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  2. So you ARE going to make a bunch of these for SALE, right? Sharing your blog on my LJV FB Page! :) WELL DONE! :)

  3. LOVE THIS!!!!!!! How easy! And I love the steps and coordinating pics! And of course, the end made me giggle. Thanks for sharing, Danielle, what a great lesson! I'm really looking forward to the upcoming series :-)

  4. Thank you all! It was SO much fun. I'm already excited about sharing the next Home Ec post with you :)

  5. Holy cats, D, this is great! Seeing the words "fur tippet" just about made me swoon with delight :-) As always, I'm in awe of your crafty abilities. Oh, and now you have to share a Dame Edna-like photo with your readers, because really, no one's going to believe that!

  6. Ha! Next time I'm hanging out on the couch in my ruffled flannel nighty and cats eye glasses (which, by the way, I also have in blue, tortoise shell and black) I will have The Man snap a picture to share with you all ;)

  7. ..As a side note, when I was searching for a picture of Dame Edna, the man walked in and the first thing he said was "Please..tell me you're not buying those glasses." Heh, heh..

  8. What a great tutorial. I am so looking forward to future home ec posts.


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