01 of 09
Gather these supplies before you begin.
- A safe cutting surface
- A sharp razor knife or scissors with a very sharp tip
- Marking pencils to transfer accurate cutting lines
- Pattern weights (metal washers work great)
- A wide-tooth hair comb
Note: Proper cutting is essential to maintain full fur at your seams. The longer the hair of the fur is, the more essential it becomes.
To cut the fur, you will be working with a single layer at a time. Remember that you will need to turn your pattern pieces over for any pattern pieces that require you to "Cut 2".
Look at the right side of the fur before you do anything. Notice what direction the fur naturally lays. This is an important step. For example, if you were creating a bear costume, you want the direction of the fur to lay, so it is heading towards the feet. It will never lay correctly if you cut all of your pattern pieces with the fur heading in the wrong direction.
Be sure to lay all of your pattern pieces in the same direction.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Mark the Fur
Cut out all of your pattern pieces by removing all excess paper from around the cutting lines.
Due to the thickness of fur, we recommend weights to hold your pieces in place. Pins tend to get buried and distort the paper, causing your cut out piece to be distorted.
Lay the pattern piece on the wrong side or back side of the fur. Use a marking pencil to mark the cutting lines on the fabric back of the fur.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Marking for Cut Two
If the pattern pieces say to cut two, turn the pattern piece over and mark the cutting lines again.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Using a Knife
Using a craft razor, carefully cut, just the backing of the fur. Do not cut deep enough to cut the fur itself.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
You can also cut the fabric back of the fur using just the tips of sharp scissors. You must only make small clips at a time, to be sure you are not cutting the fur itself.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Leave the Fur Fibers Intact
Once you have the backing of the fur cut, gently tug the fur apart. This will leave the long strands of fur intact.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Comb the Fur
Gently "comb" the fur on the edges of the pieces towards the center of the fabric piece.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Sew the Fur
Stitch the pieces together as your pattern instructs. Seams may be joined with a zig-zag stitch or a straight stitch as shown here. Due to the nature of a long hair fur, the openings in a zigzagged seam do not show. A short hair fur may not be as forgiving, and you should test your stitch on scraps before starting your project.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Comb the Sewn Seam
From the correct side, gently comb any fur strands that have gotten caught in the seam. Once you have combed the seam, trim away excess bulk from the seam allowance. Always leave enough seam allowance so that you do not disrupt the hair that is filling the seam.
Take the time to repeat the combing procedure for each step. It is much harder and more damaging to try and comb a junction of four seams than to do it at each step.
Tips and Pointers
- Sewing fur takes a little more time, but the finished project is worth the time spent. Take the time to learn and practice on fur pieces found in a remnant bin or by cutting up an inexpensive fur coat found at a thrift store. More on Economical Fabric Sources.
- Although it is not as critical, even when you are working with short fur, it is best to follow these procedures and not cut the fur itself. By tugging the fur fibers apart, you are leaving the full fur and can make seams almost invisible by taking the time to comb each seam.
- Anytime you have worked with fur on your sewing machine, be sure to clean it! Fur throws off an extraordinary amount of lint, and this must be removed from your machine in order for it to maintain your stitch quality and not damage the inner workings of the machine. No one likes to be without their machine while it is at the repair shop or pay for repairs that can be avoided by proper maintenance!