Snow Day (Faux) Fur Coat!
Hi, guys! Hope all is well with you, and that if you’re here in the northeast, you’re not too tired from digging yourselves out of the snow! I must confess to secretly being glad about the snowfall… what better excuse to wear my new faux fur coat?!
Friends, I’ve wanted a coat like this for many years (to be exact, since I first saw The Royal Tenenbaums way back in 2001). I’m so excited to finally have one! I know that sewing with faux fur can be intimidating to many, but at the workshop where I began working this past summer, we sew with it all the time, so I’ve gotten in some good practice and I want you all to know that it’s not hard at all! It takes some time, to be sure, but it’s not difficult and it’s so rewarding!
Mood Fabrics NYC has a gigantic selection of faux furs, so I had a really hard time deciding which one to use! (There are also quite a few on the website, but it’s worth calling the store for swatches if you can’t find one you like online!). But this golden fabric looked really expensive and lush, plus it’s imported from France, ooh la la! Decision made!
One thing that will help you if you decide to sew with faux fur is to choose a design without too many seams. Each seam takes time to prep and finish, so you don’t want to add extra work for yourself, plus the fur itself will obscure the lines, so there’s no point in making something with lots of design lines. I used the République du Chiffon‘s Gerard coat pattern again, the same one that I used for last month’s bouclé coat. Doesn’t it look different in fur??? I love how much fabric choice can alter a pattern’s look! Another thing to think about is that since fur is puffy, things look bigger in it, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing a shape. A boxy cropped jacket made from wool crepe is going to look totally different in fur! You can see how much bulkier this coat looks than the bouclé version!
Since I didn’t want any unnecessary seams, I cut the coat back and the lower facing on the fold (originally they both had a seam at the center back). I also eliminated the patch pockets and instead made side-seam pockets for a smoother silhouette. Now, this is controversial, but I didn’t use any interfacing at all! I’d initially planned to baste in silk organza, but I decided I wanted a very soft look, so I skipped it. But I did tape the neckline, lapels, and any other area I thought might stretch, applying twill tape that I’d ironed to shrink with a catch stitch. Faux fur can get really heavy, so I wanted to make sure things wouldn’t sag and stretch out of shape over time.
The most important thing of all when you’re dealing with faux fur is to check and double-check that your nap is going the right direction! It can help to make an arrow on all your pattern pieces just to make sure you’re positioning everything the right way. I had to re-cut the upper collar because I got confused and cut it the wrong way… I just barely had enough fabric to do this, phew! Then I sewed everything together with a longer straight stitch (around 3mm). After sewing the seams, I use a comb (just a regular plastic comb for hair!) to pull the fur out of the seam on both right and wrong sides, then I trim all the fur out of the seam allowance. I couldn’t press the seams, so I just finger pressed them and catch stitched them open. Slow, but it does the trick! Otherwise everything was sewed like any other coat!
I’m really pleased with my final coat! I’ve left off a closure for the time being as I’m still deciding what I want to do, but I’m leaning towards a large hook and eye so I can wear it open or closed without seeing any kind of closure (I’m thinking a snap might look kind of ugly when the coat is open). It’s really fun to wear… I feel like a young starlet in this! No pictures, please! 😉
What do you think? Tempted to give faux fur a go??? It’s not hard, I promise!