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I recently had my first experience sewing with long pile faux fur when I made my faux fur coat, and I learned a lot about sewing with faux fur in the process. Here’s some tips if you want to create a furry masterpiece yourself!

  • Only cut one layer of fabric at a time, with the wrong side facing up. Be sure to cut through the backing only and NOT the fur itself! A flat layout also means you need to duplicate any pattern pieces that would normally be placed along the fold, and other pieces must be cut out as mirror images (ie: one sleeve needs to be cut pattern face down and the other cut pattern face up so you end up with a left and right)
  • After cutting each piece, go outside and run your hands along every cut edge pulling away any excess fur. Then give the whole piece a vigorous shake before bringing it back inside.
  • Use a long stitch length (2.5-3mm)
  • Always sew with the nap of the fur
  • Pin perpendicular to your seam, and pin often!
  • After sewing each seam, from the right side, pull the hairs out of the stitching with a chopstick or blunt pencil to fluff it up and make the seam less noticeable.
  • Use a marker on the fabric backing to mark notches as it won’t be seen through thick fur, or if you need to mark on the right side, tiny pieces of masking tape work great as they’ll come off without removing fur and won’t leave any residue.
  • You should only need a universal needle and standard foot
  • If you’re using a pattern that’s not intended for fur, be sure to choose a simple design with limited seams and no excess pleats, gathers, or darts. Eliminate all buttonholes and or zippers and replace them with fur hooks

You could use these tips to go off an create a furry coat of your own, or perhaps start off by sewing a fur muff, or customizing your favorite coat by making removable fur cuffs and collars. To make these, just trace the existing collars and cuffs onto some newspaper for an impromptu pattern. Then cut out some faux fur for the outside layer and lining fabric for the inside (that will be against your coat and not seen). Sew these right sides together then flip, and sew some inconspicuous snaps onto the lining side of your new furry cuffs and collars, and also onto the existing collars and cuffs of your coat. Now you’ve got an added touch of glamor than can be removed for laundering or rainy days!

5 Comments

  • Cc70b9fbdade3e83318a66551dbff7f825f48286_large

    Feb 17, 2009, 08.03 AMby sabine

    squirrellypoo: If you look at the link I added, you’ll see that it was a scandal last year, where fur was mislabeled. I did overreact probably, heh. BUT you can’t be too careful these days. Anyway, that link also has a document on how to distinguish fake fur and real fur, mislabeled or not ;)

  • Missing

    Feb 16, 2009, 09.43 AMby manducasexta

    Thanks! I sew with fun fur a lot, which is the silly looking stuff (like in this project: http://www.burdastyle.com/creations/show/19575). I’m a big fan of your cutting and shaking techniques.

    Here are a few additional things I do:

    1) Wear a mask from the time I make the first cut until I shake the completed project for the last time.

    2) Run wide painter’s tape (like masking tape, but even easier to remove) along the cut lines before cutting. it holds on to some of the loose pieces of hair.

    3) And when I’m finally at the “pull the hair out of the seam” stage, I use a wide tooth comb – it’s nice to be able to work on a longer section of seam all at once.

    4) You can also put the project in the dryer (with a tennis ball or other agitator if you’ve got one) on low or no heat to get some of the loose hairs knocked off. I tend to do it on low heat so I can put a dryer sheet in with it to reduce the amount of static electricity it carries around.

    This fabric is so much work, but I can’t stop using it. I call it “1 part sewing, 2 parts vacuuming.”

    I love your wool and faux fur coat. I now have a lot of scrap fun fur and I’m trying to decide how to piece it together. Yours looks so regular! Any tips?

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    Feb 16, 2009, 09.34 AMby squirrellypoo

    Sabine, these tips are for any sort of fur, no matter what you’d like to call them, but my experience has only been with the 100% acrylic “fur” shown in the top photo and in my creation. Thank you for clarifying, though, as I had no idea “faux” could still be from animals! (which is strange, as Peta sell “Faux not fur” badges I was considering buying to protect my poor coat… Maybe they’re not aware either?)

  • Cc70b9fbdade3e83318a66551dbff7f825f48286_large

    Feb 16, 2009, 07.04 AMby sabine

    Hm. Well, I’m put off even “faux” (french for fake) fur, because they label dog, cat or fox fur as fake.

    Still, your instructions apply to synthetic fur aswell I suppose.

    We should make it very clear we want synthetic fur, not “faux”, which is fake fake fur >_> Here’s a helpful link!

  • Missing

    Feb 14, 2009, 05.17 AMby sweet-saboo

    Thanks for the great tips on working with faux fur! The thought of making something furry is intriguing…would love to see a photo of your creation!

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