Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sewing with Fur - Part 1 Cutting out.

 I've had a piece of fur sitting in my stash for about 3 years, it was a remnant and never knew what to do with it. Was going through my pattern stash recently, found a pattern with Yoga accessories.  Simplicity 3583 which I think is now discontinued.  Thought I'd make a Zafu, a meditation cushion. 
 First I glued the pattern pieces to card, used Manilla folders, needed to trace around the pattern on the back of the fur fabric.  I knew I wanted to make more of these so wanted the pattern to last.  Used a glue stick, put a stripe of glue onto the card, then smoothed the pattern onto it, More glue stripes and smoothing until the entire pattern is glued.  The first one I did, glued the whole thing and the pattern didn't smooth out as much as I liked.    The pattern pieces will no longer fit in envelope, but I laid out the top and bottom pattern pieces so that they encorporated the fold of the folder.  They will fit into an A4 envelope for storing.

 Used a fine Sharpie to trace around the edges of the pattern piece.  Don't forget to transfer markings.  I did mine using a different colour texta, not shown, the black design on the fabric made it hard looking for black markings. 
 When ready to cut out, use small, pointy, sharp scissors.  I used the bigger ones in the pic.  Do not just cut, what is needed is tiny cuts, mere millimetres long.  Only want to cut the backing and not the fur.

With the point of the scissors under pile of the fur, take tiny snips, no longer than 5 mm, shorter if possible.  It takes a while but it can be done.  Can even use a blade to cut the backing, I tried with a box cutter but the blade wasn't sharp enough.  The scissors were quicker.  

With the seam cut, pull apart the fabric, should not haave any cut fur.  In the picture the pile is running downwards, when cut correctly there will be a fringe of fur beyond the cut edge.  On the top edge of the pattern the fur runs away from the cut, leaving no fringe.  

Even with correct cutting there will be loose fur, you and your surroundings will be covered with fur.  You will be asked if you've been cuddling a cat.  Don't try to shake it off, it just spreads and in my case straight into my mouth. Pitoohey.

Coming soon will be the actual sewing, first time have sewn such thick fur.  Could be interesting and perhaps entertaining, though I envisage lots of this @#$# being uttered. 

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