I sewed a faux fur coat!! I really wanted to challenge myself this month working with a fabric that is brand new to me and my sewing machine... but working with faux fur was shockingly easier then I ever expected. I chose a rabbit-like fur from Fabric Mart, (now sold out, sorry!) It's really nice. It's quite heavy and has a very warm, heavy knit backing. With a thick pile, it measures a little over an inch thick.
I love the movie star/rock star look of a fur but have always been a bit grossed out by the real deal-- I won't even touch a real fur if I see them in a shop. I wanted a cropped one with very simple lines so I chose a BurdaStyle pattern #113 from 12/2011 issue. It's a collarless, short coat with 3/4 raglan sleeves.
I traced out all of the pattern pieces without the seam allowances, then placed the pattern on the back side of the faux fur and went on to trace it. I used a white tailor's chalk and added my seam allowances as I marked out my pieces taking care to follow the pile of fur. I then cut along my lines on the back of the fur, being as careful as possible to only cut the knit backing. But of course there was still fur being caught in the scissors, I couldn't help it. I vacuumed all my pieces with my little hand-vac, no problems!
I pulled out from my stash a dark brown twill polyester for my lining. The coat doesn't have any clasps or closures on the front, and I prefer that. The coat is cut quite full-- I actually had to remove about an inch to the sleeve width and bodice. I cut a straight size 42 for everything, where normally I would grade up almost one size at the waist.
Once I sewed my seams following the direction of the fur's nap (downward), I went back in and picked out the fur bits that got stuck in the seam line. I used this mega sized, blunt metal needle that is probably as old as me. Below you can see the difference picking out the fur fibers from the seam with the before (left) and after (right) pics. The material is super thick and I made sure my stitches were quite long, about 3.0-3.5 depending on the layers of material I was sewing through. I used the walking foot on my machine to help move it along. I also found I had to help gently pull the material through as it was being sewn because it was so thick.
This coat is wayyy warmer then I thought it would be. There's no underlining. I was out today on a blustery day and was warm, except for my hands which were icicles. A long length version of this would have been crazy warm.
Sewing with faux fur ended up being a great experience! It can be a little messy but nothing a vacuum can't handle.