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!

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Comments


  • Helena
    January 27, 2015

    It looks both glamorous and cozy, so it is a double win! Good job!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 27, 2015

      Thank you, Helena! It’s very cozy and warm!

  • Manju
    January 27, 2015

    This looks like you paid a lot of money for it. Über glam, sophisticated and elegant!

  • Jenny
    January 27, 2015

    You look like the most elegant muppet ever. And that is a high compliment!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 27, 2015

      Elegant muppet! My life goal!!!!!

  • Lauren
    January 27, 2015

    GOD BLESS this is amazing! Cannot even put into words how much I love this coat. You are officially my sewing idol now.

  • True Bias
    January 27, 2015

    no you didn’t! you look so fancy! so fun.

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      It’s a bit fancy for everyday… I’ll just wear it anyway, I guess!

  • Wanett
    January 27, 2015

    DUDE!!!! OMG! I love this so much! I am totally going to copy you!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Do it! You would look awesome!!!

  • carlalissa
    January 27, 2015

    I am impressed….way to go…. you are rocking in this coat!!!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Thanks, lady! You’re too kind!

  • Sarah Gunn
    January 27, 2015

    Your faux fur coat is fantastic for the frigid NYC weather.!! Good job :) :)

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      It’s so cold today! Good thing I have this coat! :)

  • Lola
    January 28, 2015

    I was considering the Gerard for my own fofur. Sonia – it’s fantastic!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Do it! It worked really well with the fur!

  • Becky
    January 28, 2015

    Looks fabulous! You look like you’re all ready to dodge the cold AND the paparazzi. Enjoy the snow! (We got maybe 27 flakes here–the weather people definitely overestimated the impact on my state!)

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Oh, wow, I’m glad you’re not dealing with tons of snow! But it’s funny how excited the news people get and how often it ends up being no big deal (this is about 10″ of snow… nothing serious!).

  • Mary
    January 28, 2015

    That looks sooooo cosy! I’m very tempted….

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Give it a try! It’s really not bad at all! :) You can do it!

  • sallie
    January 28, 2015

    Duuuuude!! What?!! This is blowing my mind! I’m utterly in love.

  • Amy
    January 28, 2015

    I’ve never been one for fur coats, faux or otherwise, but I think you’re on to something here. What a glamorous coat! You look like a rockstar!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      You’ve got that lovely mild PNW weather… no need for fur coats! :D

  • Devon
    January 28, 2015

    I LOVE THIS AND NEED THIS

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Make one make one make one!!!!!

  • Lori
    January 28, 2015

    This is so fun and glamorous at the same time. I love this jacket, fabulous, fabulous.

  • Grace
    January 28, 2015

    This coat is so freaking cool! I love the Royal Tenenbaums reference.

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Thanks, Grace! It’s one of my very favorite movies!

  • Kathy Sews
    January 28, 2015

    LOVE!! I finished a faux fur coat the other day and it’s freakishly warm! Don’t you feel like a Miss Fancy Pants with a faux fur!!? It looks awesome.

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Oh yay, I hope you blog it! Isn’t it fun to sew with?!

  • Cennetta
    January 28, 2015

    Super cute coat and just in time for all the snow. I see one in my future. ;-)

    • Ginger Makes
      January 28, 2015

      Thank you, Cennetta! This would be great for Chicagoland winters!

  • DebB
    January 29, 2015

    You look fabulous, darling!! Thanks for the details on your faux fur sewing adventure. Yours are the most complete, compact version I have seen yet. I have some fabulous faux fur I have been wanting to make into a vest. Are those still in style??!! I really want to try one. You have inspired me!

    • Ginger Makes
      January 29, 2015

      Thank you, Deb! A vest would be lovely- I think they’re in style! That sounds like a quick, satisfying project!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    January 30, 2015

    Gorgeous – you look like a gorgeous little snuggly tiny teddy!

  • Fiona
    January 31, 2015

    You look AMAZING! I would never have considered making up the Gerard coat in a fur but it’s absolutely perfect! What great proof of what a difference a different fabric can make to a pattern. I’m totally inspired to dig through my pattern stash now and think outside the box with some fabric choices!

  • Amanda S.
    February 1, 2015

    Very cozy looking. Stay warm!

  • Kati
    February 11, 2015

    Gah! I love it! Winter is drawing to a close and I am feeling more obsessed with fur that ever. I think I need to sew something quick…for next season maybe? You are rocking that coat though!