This week's Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge was "re-do", and although I started a different project for this challenge last week, it sort of crashed and burned at the last minute. So I quickly switched over and made the easiest thing that I could think of - a faux fur muff with an interchangeable cover. This one would qualify for several of the HSF challenges, such as "flora and fauna", "accessorize", "squares, rectangles, and triangles", "gratitude", or "outerwear", but I think the theme that is the most appropriate in this situation was the very first challenge - "starting simple"! The entire project took less than two hours to finish, and now I'm wondering why I didn't make one of these things years ago.
I used the fabulous instructions from The Fashionable Past to make the muff base, and I plan on using this with both 18th century and Victorian costumes since it is a pretty generic size and shape. My base is made of a scrap of navy cotton twill from my stash and stuffed with polyfill. It doesn't look like much on it's own, but it is amazing how much rounds out when the cover is on it.
I added a little patch pocket to the inside that is just big enough to hold my iphone or camera, and I put a strip of velcro at the top of the pocket to hold it closed. I'm sure I could have come up with a fancier arrangement for the pocket, but this seems to do the trick well enough.
The cover is just a bit of left-over faux fur from another project that I made years ago. Again, I used Katherine's instructions in pt. 2 of the muff tutorial to finish it up. The only thing that I did different was to stitch a cord to the cover so I could carry it by a handle if I didn't want to wear it on my hands. This is something that I've seen in a lot of antique fur muffs, and if I don't need the cord handle, I can easily tuck it back inside of the cover.
I've seen lots of great muffs in Victorian fashion plates that have bows or cords or tassels hanging from them, and I will probably go back and add more frippery to this muff eventually - maybe like this one from 1890 featured in Peterson's Magazine. But this is good enough for now, and I'm just grateful to have a project done for the deadline. :)