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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simplicity 2121: Working with Fake Fur

I used the pattern Simplicity 2121 for this vest. This was a pattern from the simplicity "It's so Easy " line that is available at Wal Mart for two dollars a pattern. The designs are simple, fashionable, and perfect for beginners. I didn't buy enough fur so I hemmed the bottom and armholes instead of self binding them with fur like I did at the neckline.
I really loved the quality of this fake fur. Sadly I only bought 3/4 of a yard, thinking it would be plenty for a vest. I often buy my fabric first, and then find a pattern, which often backfires on me. After cutting the vest pattern and fur I realized I didn't have enough. When I returned to the store to buy more, the fur was sold out and no other stores had any. I was short only about 6 inches for the band needed at the bottom! 
 Here is some advice for working with fake fur:
Fake fur sheds like crazy when you are cutting out your pattern pieces so if you can cut out your pieces outside somewhere by all means do it! I had to thoroughly sweep and dust everything in my dining room for about two days after cutting out my pattern pieces. It was really disgusting. 
If you can move your sewing machine outside with an extension cord, that would be advisable. When I sewed up the pieces there was a second batch of extreme shedding and another bout of cleaning followed. Since the fibers are man made they are full of static and stick to things.

 Because of the shedding involved at the seams , fake fur must be lined. It also looks ugly and very synthetic on the inside if you don't line it.
The pattern didn't mention adding a lining which is really necessary. 
The lining must be attached by hand. Maybe the pattern designers at Simplicity didn't want to get involved with explaining how to attach a lining by hand so they just left it out. I used a fell stitch and attached the lining as recommended by Claire Schaeffer, couture sewing expert.
I hoped I haven't scared you away from working with fake fur, because once you are done it can look great! Plus it's hard to find good quality fake fur in the shops unless you pay a lot of money.

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  1. This faux fur is gorgeous, and yes it's so hard to find good stuff! In the future when you're cutting this stuff, keep your scissors underneath the hair part and just cut the knit part which minimizes the hair that sheds.

    I recently made a faux fur vest too and once I had sewn the seems I trimmed down the fur in the SA to minimize the bulk. I also stitched in the lining by machine by just taking my pattern pieces and making them a couple mm smaller so the lining would pull the fur under and prevent the lining from showing.

    Look forward to seeing more sewing projects from you!

  2. I have never before seen a faux fur project that made me want to work with it...yours is the first! What you've done with a pretty ugly-looking pattern envelope picture is nothing short of amazing! Great job hacking the pattern for your lack of yardage!

  3. The fur fabric looks fantastic made up into this vest!

  4. Love the vest, I know how messy it is working with fake fur, I've hesitant in making a vest for myself for just that reason, but I think you just changed my mind.

  5. I have sewn with fake fur and I quite agree, the mess i deplorable!
    I was recently asked by a person I know if I would resize a fake fur coat.... I said politely no thank you.

    You have made a good job of your vest.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. I have made many a costume using fake fur, and experienced the same problem. That was until one day at a local fabric store where I was purchasing some fur for a hat and muff. The employee cutting, called over another employee who had a vcuum cleaner with a hose. One person cut, while the other followed behind with the vacuum picking up all the little hairs. When finished, run the hose over the cut seams more to remove all the loose fur. This is a great tip that I use all the time now, and I can even do it without another person. Just make sure there are no fans or air vents pointed at your cutting table.

  7. Your vest looks great. I love the simplicity of the design and the rich look of the fur together. Could you use a cheap electric razor to trim? Really pretty vest!

  8. You've done a great job with this - it looks fabulous. I have only ever sewed fake fur into animal dress up tails... and it still got everywhere.

  9. I understand your frustration to cut synthetic leather, making the whole place in dirt for several days, but the end result is fantastic, so enjoy it! Wonderful!

  10. your vest looks great ! I have the material to make Simplicity 2285 but I haven't found the courage to cut through my beautiful fake fur yet...this is encouraging me to do it! thanks for sharing!

  11. It turned out SO Pretty! Definitely looks worth the cleaning it caused ;) Thanks SO much for sharing this at the Kiss & Tell party over at I Gotta Create!


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