Sewing Fun With Faux Fur by Tracy McElfresh

Making winter clothes doesn’t have to be such a bore and a struggle with a handmade wardrobe. In 2013 I went with a cute Star Trek look with little mod 1960s dresses, leggings and boots. In 2014 I went Game of Thrones, long and flowing dresses that were loose enough to wear thermals under every dress. In 2015 I made all kinds of pants and shirts from the 1940s to mix it up. And in 2016 it was all about Frida, draped designs and romance. Now 2017 and I’m going to go Beatnik style, black and thin is in for me. Last week I showed you my black Sew Liberated skinny jeans, in the 60’s they may have been called pipe jeans, and the black mock turtle neck I made. I can spice that up with hats, scarves and flavor! But what about warm faux fur or soft fuzzy fabrics?

Here are just a few of my first faux fur garments. The hardest part of faux fur – spelling faux fur. Honestly any sewing imperfections are totally lost in it’s voluptuous piles. These were all made with commercial big box patterns. Sorry I don’t have a source, it was before my blogging days.

Now, this stuff is extremely messy especially when cutting. A good tip is to only open your scissors a small amount and take little hacks close to the grain using mostly the tip of your scissors. Keep a sweeper right next to you to clean up quickly after each cut. Don’t use pins they get lost, use clips instead.

The feet you use can also help. Some feet get caught up on the fibers, try one that doesn’t have anything to get caught up on. A rolling foot and walking foot will also sometimes do the trick.

Last, if you can score free faux fur have fun designing! This Origami Wrap shirt from Pinterest didn’t quite work out as planned although I learned a few things.

What I learned from mistakes, don’t try to use unstablized knit with fur even if you use a walking foot. It will pucker all over even if it is close to the feed dogs and you ease it in. Some fur is too thick for certain designs. I would like to try this one again with a thinner faux fur and stabalized fabric. Be sure and make a pattern so if it works out you can make it again and if it doesn’t fit you alter the fit. I didn’t make patterns on any of these and now I’m kicking myself.

Last tip, sewing baby gifts are appreciated best by those that sew. I also recently made this blanket for my dear sewing friend Gwen Vo. You may remember her as one of my guest bloggers and she suggested that this weeks blog be about faux fur. Thank you, Gwen!!

Behind the scenes~

Last week I got to teach at Sew to Speak in Columbus to two sold out classes. My next Insta Dress class is in Dayton, Jan. 6th, 2018.

Friday, October 5 you are invited to see my Rosewood Studio in Kettering and check out the art gallery as well. Event info here.

Thank you for reading,
Tracy McElfresh
Dream it, Sew it!




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