It’s faux fur season so what a better time than to talk about how to sew faux fur sans fluff.
Faux fur can be messy–like wrap your clothes in plastic wrap so you don’t look like a muppet attacked you messy.**
So you’re thinking why bother with faux fur in the first place? Because it’s so fluffy and soft! Also warm. It’s kind of the perfect cold weather fabric.
And sewing with faux fur doesn’t have to be a furry disaster. Here are some best practices for how to sew faux fur that will keep your sewing room nice and clean.
**true: I tried wrapping my pants in plastic while I was making some DIY boot covers. Faux fur is practically allergic to it it works so well, and on a really cold day, it gives you extra insulation. Also, your family will laugh at you.
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Pick the right pattern for faux fur
Faux fur is really poofy and there’s a lot of bulk. It’s one of those times where the fabric and not the pattern is the star.
Because of this, less is more. Skip styles with lots of darts and princess seams and all kinds of topstitching.
Instead choose a pattern with just a few seams and a more unfitted shape. A vest, a basic boxy cropped jacket, or a collar are all great places to use faux fur.
Choose snaps over buttonholes or no closures at all for faux fur.
Understand the nap of faux fur
Faux fur is a napped fabric, so if you run your hand up it one way, it’ll look different than if you run it down the other way.
To find the nap of your faux fur, turn it to the right side and pet it. The fur needs to be cut with the fur running down the body.
So for example, you would cut the fronts of a faux fur vest so that if you brushed your hand down the fur would smooth downwards, not up.
Once you figure out how the nap runs on your fur, you need to cut all of your pattern pieces the same direction.
Otherwise, the fur is going to be standing in different directions and possibly look unevenly colored around your body. It will look, well rather unnatural!
Use full size pattern pieces on faux fur
Faux fur is shifty and it’s thick. Because of this, you really need to have full size pattern pieces.
Trace around your pattern pieces on the backside of the faux fur. I like to use a fine line Sharpie here, because it doesn’t shift on me and I can get right next to the edge of the pattern piece.
If you don’t want to trace off a full size pattern piece, you can mark the center front/back plus a tiny bit of the edge on a piece you would normally cut on the fold. Very carefully flip the piece right on that line to continue tracing around your piece.
How to cut faux fur without a mess
This is the biggest step in cutting down the fluff when you’re sewing with faux fur.
Now that you have your pattern pieces marked, grab a box cutter or exacto knife.
Insert the blade between the backing and the faux fur and cut on your lines only cutting through the backing. The hairs will separate along the line you cut. Cutting faux fur like this should keep the fluff to a minimum.
If you’re nervous about using a box cutter, you can use your regular scissors to cut faux fur. Just use the tip of the scissors and cut slowly, just through the backing.
Clean up any few stray hairs with painter’s tape or a lint roller. A scrap of jersey or fleece can help pick up stray fluff from a cutting table.
Now that your faux fur is ready to go, on to the how to sew faux fur.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.