How to Sew Fur, with Fantastic Faux Fabric

Butterick 5359

Yes, we are discussing how to sew furs. We talked about camouflage gear already.  Specifically, I was curious about why some folks now aren’t wearing that trend for various reasons.  In the conversation with my good friend Melrose, the issue of furs came up. My friend clearly had a viewpoint I hadn’t thought of. For some, there’s a massive difference between a full-length coat and a stole. Other fashionistas steer clear of anything unethically traded or made. 

African American Woman with shades Faux fur Butterick 5359

In this post, I want to share how to sew fur fabric and stay sane (yes, you will have fur in your mouth by the end of this sewing journey).  And please note, this is faux fur.  No animals were killed or harmed to get this vest. 

I searched the web, asked around, and did some digging, but apparently, some people have even taken exception with faux fur fabric….at any rate. I didn’t know how to sew with fur fabric, but I made a swag faux fur vest in a few hours, and I love it. So for this blog post, I’ll break down the significant steps to making this 

Working with bulky fabric has numerous challenges, but the rewards are a beautiful finished product. 

Choose a simple pattern

First, you must choose a pattern that will accommodate the bulk of the fabric. Simpler is better. Don’t choose something with many details, especially your first furry sewing project. For this project, I wanted Butterick 5359.

It’s a straightforward pattern without buttons, sleeves, zippers, or pockets. View E is even shown on the pattern envelope in fur fabric. You could choose a pattern that doesn’t have fur as an option, but you may need to adjust for seam allowances to make it work.

Having zippers, buttons, or other pattern details doesn’t automatically exclude a pattern as a choice, but you will need to consider how each of those details works with the fabric.

Touch the Faux Fabric

Front store picture of SAS fabrics in Arizona

Next is the fabric choice! A total fluke! We recently went to Scottsdale, Arizona, and my fabric run included a piece of fur from SAS fabrics.  I wasn’t looking for faux fur or even wanting to sew fur, but this store sells it randomly in a bin. Another option if you are in the Midwest is a few of these places in Oklahoma.

Pile of Faux Fur at Sas Fabrics

I fought my husband on this purchase by intensely rolling my eyes and walking away from that section of the store.

Gentleman holding faux fabric in a fabric store

Somehow he thought fur from Arizona was a good idea, and all I could think about is how much stuff I had to pack in my suitcase returning home.

Faux fur fabric
Fur, right and wrong side

So I scanned the aisle and touched the fabric.  I soon noticed that this pseudo-luxury textile had a distinctive nap.  If I rubbed my hands in one direction and then the other, the fabric sometimes looked entirely different.  Okay! Now I’m interested. 

I’ve never sewn with faux fur and had no intention of starting. I live on an island, remember?  Last week, Dec 31st, it was 75 degrees outside at 2 in the afternoon. It’s freakishly humid in the Dirty South y’all.

Nevertheless, I bought it. SAS Fabrics sells it by the pound for about eight bucks a pound. Yes, you heard me right–they sell it by the pound.

Silky black faux faur fabric

Lining Your Sewn Faux Fur

I bought a piece for about 22 dollars and used fabric from my stash for the lining. I had a hard time choosing the lining. 

Most experts advise if you are sewing fur, to use silk or something silk-like, but I didn’t know if I was going to like this or even want to wear it, so the last thing I wanted to do was waste real silk fabric from my fabric stash.

I wanted something with a white background instead of black to cheer up the brown and black tones of the fur.  

I love this lining with the shoes, but it had a little too much of a white background and not enough brown tones.

Ultimately I went with this splotchy bright polyester, silky-feeling lining. I thought the green and reddish-brown accents brought out the best of the garment without making it too flowery.

CUT With an EXACTO KNIFE:

The exact knife prevents your cut pieces from looking like cut carpet (which would be no fun to wear).

USE The WRONG side of the FABRIC:

Trace the pattern pieces and draw arrows to remind you of which way the fabric goes; otherwise, you will look like a confused beaver or porcupine with faux fibers in opposite directions.

TRIM THE SEAM ALLOWANCES

To save yourself some frustration, do not skip this step.  There will most definitely be less bulk and less fabric for your machine to handle by trimming it.  I did this with a pair of curved embroidery scissors, my bestie for all sorts of sewing tasks.

I had pieces of cut fur on me for days, like bad dog hair.

Sewing Patterns for Faux Fur

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