I really can’t remember the last time I sewed with fake fur. So when my niece asked if I’d make her a fake fur cape to wear on her wedding day, I knew it was time to brush up on that particular sewing technique. You see, the wedding date was January 14th and the location—Wisconsin. A fake fur cape would be the perfect coverup to wear between the church and the reception, providing the outside temperature remained reasonable. My husband and I were married in January, and the high temperature that day was -10 degrees! Winter weddings are somewhat of a family tradition. I think we all like to live a little on the edge.
So, like any good aunt, I purchased the fabric two months ago, determined the pattern, and then I waited until two weeks before the wedding to sew the cape. I obviously thrive on procrastination. Yet, those weeks while the fabric was idle, I mulled the sewing process over in my mind, and I put it into action just in time for the big event. I’d like to share my sewing techniques with you.
Sewing with Fake Fur–10 Tips You Need to Know
- Choose a simple pattern, allowing the fabric to be showcased. I chose McCall’s 6447 as the pattern. I knew the pattern well, since it’s one of my designs. I didn’t design it with fake fur in mind, but I knew the streamline style would let the fabric be the star!
- Sew with 1/4″ seams. If your pattern calls for 5/8″ seams, trim the seam allowances to 1/4″.
- Lay the fabric with the backing uppermost. Do not fold the fabric. Trace the outline of the front and back pattern pieces on the fabric backing.
- Flip the pattern pieces, and trace the mirror image of the pattern. Since the fabric is being cut out in single layer and a mirror image of each piece must be cut out, tracing the pattern pieces on the fabric is a great way to double-check that you will not end up with two right fronts!
- Cut out the pattern shape with the tip of the scissors, trying to cut only the knitted backing, not the fur. Cutting the fabric in the traditional manner leaves you with a complete mess of fur!
- Cut out only the upper collar from the fake fur fabric. Two layers of the fur will be too thick, causing the collar to look more like a balloon than a collar!
- Choose a lightweight underlining. Cut the front, back, and under collar from the underlining.
- Pin the seams and then tuck the excess fur between the layers. Zigzag the seams instead of straight stitching, using a 4.0 mm wide stitch. The zigzag stitch is secure, yet will not leave a ridge along the seam.
- Eliminate the facings, and bind the edges with a bias binding. I cut 2″ wide strips on the bias and pressed them in half, meeting the long edges. I zigzagged the strips to the outer edge, turned them to the wrong side, and hand stitched the binding to the underlining. It was fairly fast.
- If your pattern has buttonholes, don’t fear. The fabric is very, I mean extremely, forgiving! Make a practice buttonhole to test the size, applying a layer of washable stabilizer on top of the fabric. The stabilizer easily tears away after the buttonhole is in place. When you sew with matching thread, the fur will hide the buttonhole!
That’s it—10 easy tips to sew with fake fur. The process took me two evenings of time. Time that I’d gladly spend for any of my lovely nieces.
Generally it’s not my intent to bring my personal life into blog postings, yet I couldn’t help share the happy couple. Meet Liz and Tom Rehberg. Could they look any happier?
What a lovely bride!
Bye for now,