To start, I look online for the ideal dimensions for a child's muff. The Wear Our Heritage site, a Canadian fur company, has muff instructions and useful info on dimensions:
The rectangle from this raccoon pelt is only 9 inches wide. This is about the minimum width one would want for a muff. It would be a very appropriate size for a child's muff, but 12 inches is more typical for a ladies muff. The length was 15 inches. Many muffs are 19-23 inches long.
9" x 15" -- minimum for a child's muff
12" x 15" -- adult's muff
19" x 23" -- larger muff
In the end, I cut a velvet rectangle 9" x 15", intending to widen it still further by adding strips of the faux fur, for the exterior. I cut two layers of the charmeuse and put batting between them, for the interior. I make the interior dimension larger than the velvet, because I know it'll be compressed a bit when I quilt it. (Ultimately, the goal is for the exterior piece to be bigger than the interior, because that's what makes the outside wrap around the inside, so the lining doesn't show. I'll get to that in a bit, when I sew the faux fur on.)
I start by quilting the interior. In the picture below, of the quilted layer, the short edges of the rectangle will eventually be sewn together to make a tube, and the long edges will make the opening for my niece's hands. I quilt the interior very minimally--too much quilting and it won't be puffy inside the muff; I just do two layers of zig-zags on the sides. I lay a ribbon down the center, and tack it down at intervals. The ribbon is there so that when my niece takes one hand out of the muff, she has something to hold onto with the other hand so the muff doesn't slide off.
Now I want to make the velvet exterior larger than the interior, and I'm gonna use the fur for that:
I sew the interior and exterior together, making a tube.
Now the long edges are sewn and the seams enclosed. The short edges are still raw. And the inside view shows how the fur wraps around to the inside, which should provide a fuzzy seal around the hands when the muff is used.
This next bit is tricky to explain... I start by folding short edge to short edge, and pinning the lining pieces together. Then, as I label in the picture below, I take the exterior velvet and pull it around the bundle of muff to match the exterior piece on the other side. In the picture, I take point A and pull it under and around to point B. Here's a before and after picture:
The finished muff is large enough for an adult, but not enormous for a child. My niece'll get many winters' use out of it!
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