Sewing with (Faux) Fur

I just finished the HotPatterns Artful Dodger Cape Jacket. Actually, I still need to get the buttons, but I’m going to New York next week and I want to buy really big, funky buttons for this while I’m there, so technically it’s not all finished. But I do have a couple of tips for you if you work with fur, real or faux.

First, it’s a good idea to treat fur similar to the way you treat velvet. In other words, kindly. This faux is a medium pile fur, so I can press it, but I didn’t use much pressure. In fact, when pressing the seams open, I hovered my iron about 1/4 to 1/2″ above the fabric and steamed the heck out of it to open the seams:

You’ll notice that the fur in the seam is pretty flattened, but the good news is that because I didn’t apply pressure to the fabric, it didn’t flatten on the right side of the garment.

A lot of how-tos will tell you to shave the pile in the seam allowances using an electric razor. The only electric razor in the house is my husband’s. If I were to use it for shearing fur, he would probably have a fit. And I don’t sew enough fur to invest in a second razor. I found that you can get away without it, but when you are dealing with crossing seams, it’s a good idea to trim the fur in those areas. I did this using my Kai tailor points. It worked just fine and reduced the bulk sufficiently:

So generally speaking, be gentle with your faux fur and it will treat you well. Here’s the final coat, minus the buttons:

I think I’ll wear it to dinner in New York next week over the Laura Bennett Dress, if the weather cooperates.

Happy sewing!

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