Monday, January 31, 2011

Working with Faux Fur...

To say I had trepidation about working with faux fur is an understatement.  I've heard how difficult it is and have ready countless articles which included box cutters and electric shavers....

I've had this thin faux rabbit fur from in my fabric stash for a short while.  It is super plush and soft...

I carefully cut out the fabric (with small snips from my normal box cutters for me...scissors are dangerous enough in my hands!) and it cut beautifully.  There was, of course, tons of fur on the floor when I was done but the pattern pieces were fine (and the fur was super easy to vacuum up)!

I practiced sewing on a scrap and the seams were totally fine.  In fact, better than can't even tell where I sewed!  I actually really liked sewing with the faux fur!!  I cut out all the main pieces (just the bodice front, back and sleeves).  I decided to interline this with cotton batting (similar to my cape).  I am really happy that the pattern had directions for interlining.

There are two large darts in the bodice front (one on either side) and also in the bodice back.  Instead of doing the darts in the interlining, the pattern instructed me to cut them out and then catchstitch the pieces together.  Here's a close-up of what it looks like:

And here's the bodice back interlining:

And then the pattern instructed me to put stay tape around the outside.  Unfortunately, my local fabric store didn't have any stay tape.  BUT they did have a sale on silk organza and I seem to remember that Gertie used this in her underlining or interlining.  So, I decided to give it a try as I've never sewn with silk organza before (and they are constantly referencing it as sleeve stiffener in vintage 30's and 40's patterns).  Here is what the pattern instructions look like (1940 Simplicity pattern instructions are much more detailed then 1940 McCall pattern instructions):

And here's what I did with the silk organza:
Oh yes, I used pins on my faux fur.  After initial testing, I found it made no difference (pins versus weights, i.e. soup cans).

What about you?  Ever worked with faux fur? Interlined? Use Silk Organza?  I must say the weight (i.e. relatively thin) faux fur has made it a dream to work with.  I can't imagine working with something thicker or stiffer.


  1. New to it all but thinking of doing a fur collar for a vintage coat I own. You really crack me up, you really do dive right in and with such passion for sewing, if they don't have what you need you find something to work, LOVE that about you! Enjoying your blog so much!

  2. I have made things from faux fur as well. Oh my goodness, it goes everywhere! I'll have to remember to cut it out on a big piece of fabric next time so I can go shake it out afterwards. Hehe.
    I have interlined real fur, but never faux fur.
    For stay tape you can also use a really thin little twill tape. Works in a pinch. For tailoring I've used bias silk organza and twill tape zig zagged onto hymo (hair canvas). So it's like hair canvas, then bias silk organza strips, then stay tape on top- just inside the seam allowance. Then you can clip away the hymo and it makes the seams not so bulky.
    Wierd detour, but yes- silk organza is made of awesome for the "guts" of things :)

  3. One of my husband's many hobbies is leather working and occasionally, he works with real fur hides for war reenactors. He flips the hide over (fur side down) and cuts the suede with a vintage straight razor. His razors are -super- sharp so it slices the hide with no problem and keeps fur intact and from getting everywhere. I tried his method on some faux fur a few weeks ago and it worked pretty well.

  4. Thank you for the post! I'm currently eyeing my own piece of faux fur but hasn't quite worked up the courage yet...

  5. No, never but hope to make a coat this coming winter. As you can imagine, I'm finding the run of faux fur posts very useful.

  6. I really, really want to make a 1930's coat with a real fur collar. New Zealand Possum Fur. Ethical and everything...

  7. I love working with faux fur as well! I hesitated for years because everyone said it was a nightmare to deal with, but the few things I've made with it have actually been a breeze to whip up! (Aside from the fact that it does shed everywhere... but that's easy enough to deal with!) I am really envying that pattern for the jacket you're using... I must try to hunt down something similar!

    ♥ Casey

  8. I'm excited to see how this turns out! I've never worked with faux fur, but recently bought some silk organza. I really like the feel of it and am kind of excited to try it as interfacing soon. I admit I am kind of scared of what is marketed as 'interfacing' (i.e. fusible Pellon and such) as it never seems to have the right feel I'm looking for.

  9. I used faux fur last December, yes it does get everywhere! I had to take my machine apart and clean inside it, it probably needs to be serviced now but it was so easy to work with and sew, I was very surprised!

    The other downside was that it wrecked all my scissors and shears (I cut a lot of it) and had to have them all sharpened again. In hindsight I think the rotary cutter might have been a better idea?

    I used organza to interface a dress bodice recently, loved the effect. For stay tape I might use twill tape or cut strips of interfacing (along the short length) depending on the fabric/purpose (and grosgrain ribbon for things like waist stays).

    Look forward, as always to seeing the coat!

  10. How very timely. I bought two pieces of faux-fur the other day to make collars from a vintage Vogue pattern. I'd bought the pattern largely for the instructions, in the hope it would teach me how to handle the 'fur'.... only to discover that they advised one to 'get your furrier to make the collar'... Well that was pattern money well spent!

    Lovely jacket, btw.


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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