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Feb 11, 2012

Further Fur Coat Adventures!

Friends, the coat is coming along.  I cut all my shaggy white fur (sheared pink rabbit, for want of a better name) today: fronts, backs and sleeves.  Wanna see one of my sleeves -- undersleeve and oversleeve -- all sewn up?  

Ta da!

Here's the back with the two darts cut and stitched closed with a hinge seam (the dart shape is sliced out before the seam is stitched).

From the front, you'd never know there were two darts there!

Here's another dart cut out from the front.  As you can see, it produces a lot of loose hair.

I have been vacuuming like a mad person; my apartment is going to be cleaner at the conclusion of this project than at the start.  It's the only way to keep things in order.

I've been cutting my white fur, which has a suede-like bonded backing, with an X-Acto knife.  It slices only the backing and doesn't damage the fur itself.  Scissors and especially a rotary cutter would cut too much of the fur off, and since most of my pieces don't have seam allowances, I want to preserve the fur along the edges.  Ideally, seams are next to invisible.

As soon as I cut a big section, out comes the vacuum, and you have to vacuum both your garment piece as well as the edges of all the fur that's left behind.  It moves quickly but you have to stay on top of it. 

I've also been experimenting with facing edges, which will be straight stitched with a standard seam allowance.  Before stitching, however, the seam allowance on both the white fur and the spotted fur will have to be shaved down completely.

In this sample, you can see that the seam allowance of both furs is nearly hair-free.

Once the facings are turned, to keep edges sharp, I'll have to understitch the top and bottom layers of fur.  (You can't press faux fur, obviously.)  Right side up, the fur should look something like this on the lapel.  The underside will be the white rabbity fur.

The cat (leopard?) fur is weird.  I don't know if was stored improperly and got wrinkled or if it's intentionally made so that the nap in some places is somewhat whorled.  I like the look but I actually don't think it's supposed to be that way.  I tried rinsing and drying a small piece, however, and it still had those whorls -- you can sort of see them in the upper right hand corner of this photo.  Either way, I can live with it.  

Friends, that's all for today.  Needless to say this project is taking up the lion's share of my weekend but it's also a fun adventure and I'm learning a lot.  As with so many things, tackling it has demystified the process, and Kenneth King's instructions have proved invaluable.  But you MUST vacuum constantly!

Happy Saturday, everybody!


  1. Sheared pink rabbit? You cut up HARVEY?

  2. Dog coats with the scraps????

  3. Thank you for going into such detail about how to cut the fur and get the seams *perfect*. If I ever make a furry outfit you've given me a great reference!

    Can't wait to see the finished product, too.

  4. I think you should know that it's your fault I came home with 3metres of deep purple faux fur on Friday. A faux fur jacket has been lurking at the back of my mind for a while now and I have three lengths of animal print faux furs already in my stash, but it wasn't enough. With thoughts of your coat in my mind, I found myself wandering into the faux fur section at Spotlight. Purple is the theme of my SWAP and so my eyes seek it out every time ... you can see where this is going. I may even get a dog coat out of the scraps!

  5. I see Willy approves of this project!

    Looks lovely to this human too.

  6. Okay..I read this post before going to bed last night and then dreamt about you. We have got to stop meeting like this.

    FYI the dream involved a motorcycle.

  7. One of the things I do when I sew with velvet and fur is I put Vaseline on the inside of my nose before I start. That at least keeps the sneeze factor down, and then I don't vacuum till I'm finished cutting and I can get all of it up and done.


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