Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fabulous-Furs Swing Coat and Faux Fur Sewing Tips

Out of all of my UFO sewing projects, this is the one I was certain I would finish last. After all, what do I need with a faux fur swing coat from a pattern that has a copyright of 1993?

Believe it or not, I need a retro/vintage faux fur coat for an upcoming parade!

Where I work, there is a group of about ten volunteers that have participated in summer parades for the past five years. We were asked to be in the Winter Carnival parade this year, and of course we excitedly agreed! Sure its gonna be cold...but its the Winter Carnival!

Instead of running around town looking for a faux fur coat in a thrift store, I moved this UFO to the top of the list.

If you've never worked with faux fur before, it actually is very easy to work with. This particular yardage was purchased from Donna Salyer's Fabulous-Furs (as was the pattern) around 15 years ago. They do sell some yardage, but not this one (and the prices have gone up quite a bit.)

It is always a good idea to keep a vacuum cleaner handy when you sew a faux fur project. This faux fur, with its long pile, it is a bit messier than most. Usually after cutting you won't have too much of a mess, but the faux fur has a way of picking up lint and thread scraps. Yet another reason to have that vacuum handy.

When I cut faux fur, I use the tip of a sharp shears and cut out the pattern piece single layer being careful to only cut the knit backing of the faux fur. I use dressmaker's chalk to mark the notches since you won't be able to cut those out. I also do any other markings with chalk on the inside of the coat as tailor's tacks would disppear in the pile. Anything that is marked on the inside will be hidden by the lining anyway.

If you look closely, you can see that I cut only the knit backing, not the fur.

It also helps to have a large work space to lay the coat on when you're sewing. This swing coat required more than three yards of faux fur and it quite heavy. The table helps to support the weight while I'm sewing. And in case your curious, I'm using my old Kenmore only because it happened to already be threaded with white thread and was sitting out after last night's sewing lesson.

The sleeve on this swing coat is pulled tightly inside with an elastic cord.

Once the elastic cord is tighly secured, the hem is turned to the inside and hand stitched in place.

To prepare the coat for the lining, I finished the hem with a "satin-faced" hem. This is a tip I read in a Donna Sayler's Fabulous-Fur booklet.

This hem option creates a really nice professional finish to the coat. When you wear the coat and the lining flips up you won't see the back side of the faux fur...you get a peek of more satin giving the appearance of the entire coat having a satin underlining.

I cut an 8" wide piece of fabric the length of the coat hem and turned under 1/4" on one long end. With right sides together, I stitched the hem facing to the coat using a zig zag stitch. By the way, you want to use a zig zag stitch when sewing faux fur to help keep the seams invisible from the right side.

After sewing, I turned the hem up 1", pinned in place, and hand stitched the hem facing to the coat.

Final steps to completing this UFO? Sew in the lining and add a closure. This particular style doesn't call for any closures, but I think I will add fur hooks since it could very well be below zero when the parade takes place!




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20 comments:

  1. Your coat is quite lovely. I think that once you have worn it a time or two you will love it. Just because the date of the pattern is 1993, doesn't mean that the coat is out of style. Most fur coats are made to be worn for years. I have wanted to make a long faux fur coat for quite a while, especially after I purchased a short faux fur jacket at an antique store for $25. I have more fun wearing it.

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  2. Your coat looks wonderful! Thanks for all the fur tips too!

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  3. Your coat looks great! and doesn't it feel wonderful to mark another thing off the UFO list? g

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  4. Great tips! I LOVE the coat. I'd totally be wearing that baby!!

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  5. Wow, I love your coat. Fantastic job and info you shared was so helpful. Have you seen cover of Threads Magazine-Faux Fur Jacket. You are styling!!!

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  6. Shoot, with those nice compliments I think I will be wearing this baby (to quote jemima bean)! Like Patricia said, fur coats never go out of style :-)

    Thanks for all of your feedback. I do appreciate it!

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  7. Anonymous1:05 AM

    hello this coat looks fabulous - i have this pattern but haven't made this up yet i too thought that fur hooks to hold the fronts together would be good. please let us know how this works. best wishes ruth

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  8. I must know where I can get a pattern like this. My dd wants to be cruella DeVil for halloween and this coat is perfect.

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  9. Barbara Carolyn Pharo3:50 PM

    Hi I made Donna Salyer fur coat they only had two patterns mine has stand up collar You have the other pattern Do you know where to purchase pattern like yours? I would like to remake mine.I live a short distance from donna Sayler her manager says they no longer sell patterns thanks carolynpharo@fuse.net

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  10. Barbara Carolyn Pharo3:59 PM

    hi I made faux fur coat from Donna Sayler. she had two patterns at the time. you have the swing and I have the one with the stand up collar. Do you have any idea where I can purchae pattern like yours I would like to remake mine.Your coat is lovel! Thanks carolynpharo@fuse.net

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