Friday, October 18, 2013

What is a Fur Pelerine?

Burda calls this fur mini-cape a pelerine.  The dictionary lists pelerine as a french word for narrow fur cape; the word has been used since 1744. I just know I like it!
photo from the October 2013 issue of Burda Style
The pelerine takes the above sweater/trouser outfit from nice to outstanding.  I could see the pelerine over a winter coat, or as a winter coat in warmer climates.  Here is my version, made from the above pattern:
Ann's pelerine
Not bad for an evening of sewing.  I used the same brown/black faux mink in my 12/14/12 post Detachable Faux Fur Collar.  Here is the pelerine over a gray beaded sweatshirt and white button down shirt.  I could add jeans or slim trousers to complete the look.
Pelerine over sweatshirt and white blouse
The pelerine perks up this gray wool winter coat and adds warmth over the chest which is where I need it since I live in Chicago.
Pelerine over gray wool/lace winter coat
Here are a few construction details:

Take any cape pattern, and shorten it to just below the bust line.
Make a mini-cape muslin
Lay the pattern on the wrong side of the faux fur, with the fibers running down the garment (with nap layout).
Cut fur from wrong side
Cut through the backing only, leaving the long hair fibers alone.  Below you see the fibers extend beyond the backing at an angle.
Cut backing only, not fur hairs
Remove the fur within the seam allowances.  This will make your seam allowances less bulky and more invisible.
1/2" seam allowances have been trimmed
Hand catch stitch the seam allowances to the backing material.  This will hold the seams open.  Never press faux fur!
Catch stitch seam allowances flat; there are only two!
Catch stitching is quick and look at the nice result.
Side seams are nearly invisible
I lined the pelerine with black rayon/lycra knit from my scrap box.  I applied fusi-knit interfacing to the lining to make it lay firm and wrinkle-free inside the cape.
The finished project
If you have a chunky sweater knit, try making a pelerine from that.  I'd also like to try a bright color fur, say blue or dark green.


  1. How beautiful! I could wear just that for the winter here in Texas. I have a perfect Missoni sweater knit that I haven't sewn because it is too bulky for a sweater, but this would be perfect.

  2. This is really beautiful! I enjoy all your posts, there are always great sewing tips.