To start a New Year off I like to sew something easy, just to ease myself in to sewing after the holiday break. So I set about finding something to do. It didn’t take very long before I came across a bag containing fabric on the floor of my workroom at home. It was a very soft fur fabric which I had bought in the Sheffield studio where I teach in the middle of last Summer. I know everyone buys fur fabric in a heat wave. I couldn’t resist this fabric once I had touched it. It was the softest fluffy fabric I had ever felt. I really needed a new dressing gown as the one I had was about 15 years old, & well pasted it’s sell by date.
So I set about it. Trying to follow the rules for sewing fur.
Rule one. Find a pattern with not too much detail. This is an easy task with a dressing gown. I found a pattern with just a front a back, two pockets & a collar. Perfect.
Rule Two. Cutting out, just cut through the backing fabric not through the pile. By doing this you reduce the amount of fluff going everywhere & if using long piled fur you don’t trim the ends of the fur giving an urchin appearance. This rule I couldn’t follow as the fabric had fur on both sides. One side being plain & the other side being patterned. I had to go straight in & cut it out as you would cut ordinary fabric. Well there was fur fluff everywhere. This is the piece of equipment which saved my sanity.
This is a small vacuum cleaner which I bought to clean out keyboards & sewing machines years ago. It worked a treat to hoover the cut edges before I moved the pieces. I still finished up using a proper hoover on the floor when I’d finished but this kept things under control.
Rule Three. Make the stitch a bit longer. This was a must for this fabric as it was very bulky under the needle. I chose to just do ordinary seams rather than the zigzag seams I usually do on fur. This fur was very forgiving & I was able to press the seams open without flattening the pile.
Rule Four. Use sew in interfacing. Again this was a rule I was able to ignore. I tried a fusible interfacing (Fusible superweight ECC74) on the collar of this dressing gown & it stuck beautifully without squashing the pile as normal fur fabric would have done. The collar turned out really well.
I have now finished the dressing gown & it is amazing, I just snuggle in to the fur & it is very warm to wear. Getting changed in to pyjamas on a chilly winter night is great now with this dressing gown to go over the top of them.
So that’s the easing in to sewing sorted out, I love that feeling of having achieved something really quickly. Now on to something a bit more challenging!