Recently, I've been sewing faux fur. I know there are tons of tutorials out there for it, but I noticed a lot don't have pictures and I still see people ask questions about it once in a while, so I figured, "why not make a tutorial?" This is the method I found easy and effective (plus you don't need anything fancy like hair clippers).
This is for thick/long pile fur. It will work with short fur as well, but it isn't always necessary to trim as much.
I guess this doesn't seem all that summery, but I'm thinking with festivals and conventions going on, and even Halloween coming up, it could be useful to someone.
Here's what the finished seam looks like. It's completely invisible on the outside (I folded up a piece of the inside so you can see where the seam actually is - it follows in a straight line across the photo).
What you need:
sharp, pointy scissors
a seam ripper or something similar, preferably a bit dull
a comb (optional)
lint brush (definitely not optional, this stuff gets everywhere)
pattern if you are using one
and of course, faux fur
1. Lay your fur out in a single layer with the back side up and pin your pattern on top. If your pattern is meant to be cut on a fold, trace it first so you have the full piece. Also, only cut one pattern piece at a time, don't double up the fur.
2. Cut only the backing of the fur carefully, following the pattern with the x-acto knife. Hold the fabric taught as you cut it (I'm not holding it only because I had to hold the camera). Once the backing is cut, just pull the fabric pieces apart and the fur will separate.
Note: It's important to cut only the backing because if you cut the fibers of fur this long, you will end up with an area of short fur around your seams, making them obvious.
Trimming the seam allowance:
3. Flip the fur so the front/pile side is facing up. Sliding the seam ripper between the fibers (as if parting your hair), separate out the line of fiber that will end up in the seam allowance so the fibers lay like on the left side of the photo. Use a comb to smooth the fur out more if you'd like.
Note: I used a 1/2" seam allowance, so I separated/trimmed 3/8". The extra 1/8" that's untrimmed helps hide the seam later and means you don't have to be extremely precise with trimming or sewing.
4. Flip the fur over again, being careful that the fibers don't shift. Trim the fibers with your scissors following the edge of the backing. This gives you a line of shorter fur to make the next step easier.
5. With the pile side up (I know, there's a lot of flipping involved
) trim the fibers in the seam allowance even shorter, holding the scissors parallel to the backing so you don't cut into it (in other words, perpendicular to the fiber).
6. I like to run a lint brush over the seam allowance, away from it, to pick up any loose fur and also get the uncut fur out of the way. The dotted line in the image marks how far from the edge I trimmed, in case it's difficult to see.
Here's a comparison of an untrimmed and trimmed seam allowance. All the bits of fiber that are hanging off the edge on the top piece can get caught up in your machine.
7. Sew the seam like you would any other. Some people say to pin a lot but I prefer not to pin at all with fur this thick if I'm sewing fur to fur, because it gives me more control of the fibers. With shorter fur or when sewing a plain fabric to fur, I pin like I would normally. Stop once in a while to make sure all the fibers are tucked in.
Note: I've seen people nervous about whether their sewing machine can handle fur or not. I have a simple Kenmore that cost under $100 at least 10 years ago (if I recall correctly), and it sews this 2" pile fur with no problems as long as I don't sew with the pile against the base. If for some reason you must sew with the pile against the feed dogs, some tissue paper under the fur may help.
8. Flip your project right side out, shake out the fur a bit and your seam should disappear! If it's still a little visible, some combing may help.
A lot of fur does not need to be hemmed. Simply leave the edge untrimmed and the fibers cover the cut. If you'd like to reinforce the edge, zig-zag over it, moving the fur away as you go, then comb the fur back over to cover the stitching. If for any reason you need to do a regular hem, trim the bit that will be folded under like you would a seam.
And that's it! Repeat for all seams and your project is ready to cuddle