Cali Fabrics has a HUGE selection of faux fur! There are over 100 faux furs in the Cali Fabrics shop! To name a few, there’s Black Mongolian Faux Fur, Rabbit Luxury Faux Fur, White Snow Leopard Faux Fur, or maybe you’d prefer Green Gorilla Faux Fur. I had the opportunity to sew up some animal vests for some of my kids. I learned quite a few things sewing with faux fur. If you read this before you attempt sewing with faux fur, you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble!
Getting Ready to Sew:
Before you start sewing with faux fur, you need to be prepared and to gather your supplies and equipment. Here’s what I found to be the most helpful.
- Don’t prewash your faux fur.
- Wear a mask if you are allergic to faux fur.
- Clean your sewing machine before you start your faux fur project.
- Pay attention to the direction of the fur as you are laying out your pattern pieces. (Above you can see how I laid out my pieces on the right side of the faux fur first to see how every piece should lay.)
- Flip your faux fur to the wrong side facing up, and lay it out in a SINGLE layer. You should NOT cut through more than one layer at a time.
- If a pattern piece should be cut on the fold, cut one half, then flip the pattern piece and cut the other half.
- Remember to flip your pattern piece over if you need two mirror image pieces. I forgot this when cutting out the tail, and ended up with two tail pieces the same! Thankfully I had enough faux fur to cut another piece.
- Use pattern weights not pins to hold the pattern pieces when you are cutting.
- Cut ONLY through the backing of the faux fur, and not through the fur itself. This may sound impossible, but if you try it first on a small piece, you will get the hang of this pretty fast. Take small snips with the tip of your scissors, carefully sliding the scissors along before each snip.
- After all your pieces are cut out, there will probably be hair everywhere! Now is the time to try to get rid of some of the excess loose hair along the newly cut edges. I tried 3 different ways, each about equally successful:
- Vacuum the edges. Warning: your vacuum may object to this…
- Run your pieces through a short, air fluff dryer cycle. Warning: your dryer will need wiped out with a damp rag after this.
- Shake the pieces vigorously. Warning: do this outside, and change your clothes when you are done!
- Do NOT iron your faux fur. Ever.
Sewing with Faux Fur:
Alright, after all that you may want to quit, but have no fear…the actual sewing part is here! Here’s some ideas to make it go smoother:
- Use wonder clips instead of pins if you have them.
- Use a regular needle.
- Try to get most of the fur where it should be during the pinning/wonder clipping process.
- Use a long stitch length.
- Sew slowly in the direction the fur lies. For me this meant sewing from the armpit to the hem, for example.
- Smooth the fur ahead of you in small sections as you sew.
- If you accidentally catch some of the fur in your seam, like the photo above, use a pin to gently pull it out.
- If your pattern calls for topstitching, don’t! Try under stitching instead. I had to do this on the hood of the pattern I was making. The lining still peeps out a little bit at times, so it’s a good thing I used cute lining!
- Line your garment so that you don’t have to worry about your finished garment shedding on you!
- Buttonholes, zippers, and snaps are not good choices to use as closures with faux fur. Try these instead:
- button loops & shank or toggle buttons
- belting your finished garment
- Only hand wash or spot wash faux fur.
- To keep your faux fur garment looking nice, gently brush it with a soft bristle brush.
- Clean your sewing machine again…it will thank you!
Audrey is a mother of 7, loves skirts, and blogs over at Skirt Fixation.