Introduction: Make Santa Chaps!
With all of the Santa Pub crawls and Santcons looming in the near future, you may want to make a statement when you go and nothing would do that better than a set of fur chaps, Santa-style! Also, check out the cool accessory vest that goes with these.
Step 1: Tool and Materials
- Measuring tape
- Sewing machine
- Hot glue gun
- Red faux fur
- White faux fur
- Red nylon web belt
Step 2: Measure and Cut
These chaps attach to your belt, so measure the distance from the top of your belt to the floor (or wherever you want the bottom of the chaps to land). Do this with the actual pants you will be wearing under the chaps. This is the target length of the fur. Decide how much white cuff you want at the bottom and subtract that from the measurement. Be sure to add back ½" to account for the seam where you connect the red to the white fur. Also add that ½" to the length of the white fur. Both the red and the white fur have a particular direction they like to lay in, just like your hair. For the best effect, make sure to cut the fur so that when it is joined, both the red and the white lay in the same direction. My choice was that the fur tends to hang down, but you may find a more wild look doing it differently.
Measure the distance around your leg at the widest part. Add some space to afford yourself some comfort plus 1" to account for the seam. I am notoriously bad about making things too tight and I hear its a common problem, so consider leaving more room than you think you need. This will be the target width of the fur. If you're really unsure, pin it together with safety pins and try it on.
Having taken these measurements, cut the two pieces of fur.
Red fur - the target length tall minus the cuff, plus ½" by the target width wide plus 1" to leave room for seams.
White fur - the cuff length tall, plus ½" by the target width wide plus 1" to leave room for seams.
We're going to assume both of your legs are the same size, so just do all of this twice.
Step 3: Sew - Phase 1
Pin the two pieces together with the red fur touching the white fur. Unfold it to double check that when you're done the fur will all lay flat in the same direction. Sew the cuff onto the leg. Once that is one, hold the chaps up to your hip and see if they still appear to be the right length. Mine came out a little long, but that's no problem, I'll just trim some of the top.
Take a measurement of your inseam. This is from the crotch of the pants you'll be wearing under the chaps to the bottom of the legs. Save this measurement.
Fold the chaps in half so the fur is on the inside. Align the ends of the white cuff and mark the length of the inseam. I started at the crotch and worked my way down, but just as in life, it would be better to start at the cuff and work your way up. Sew the entire inseam.
Step 4: Sew - Phase 2
Turn the chaps inside out. You should have a tube of fur with a white cuff at the bottom and an un-joined area along the inseam at the top of 8-12" in length depending on your body shape. Take this un-joined area and fold it so it makes a triangle. Sew right along the fold of that triangle and cut the triangular flap off. Do this on the back side too.
I don't know how to sew this stuff without the fur constantly getting caught in the presser foot of the sewing machine, so my answer to a hem is hot glue. Fold the remainder of the flap back to the inside of the chaps and glue it down. It's comfortable and as durable as a costume you only wear once a year needs to be.
Step 5: Add Belt Loops
The chaps are held up by your belt so add loops to the tops on the sides where your belt is. Pull the chaps on and mark where your belt is when they are sitting at the height you like. Don't forget about gravity. The moment you let go of this and start walking, everything is going to sag so take that into account when choosing the location of your belt loops. I had to go back and lower my loops to raise the bottoms of the chaps because of this.
The belt loops are made of nylon belting. Cut pieces of an appropriate length and burn the ends with a lighter to keep the belt from unraveling. Place them on the sides in an appropriate spot and sew them into place. I used two on each side, but you may be able to get away with one.
Happy pub crawling!
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