Don’t avoid working with novelty fabrics; use some of our top tips on buying, cutting, handling and sewing this season’s popular novelty fabrics!
The best place to start is always with a small sample piece of the fabric you’d like to use and to try several stitches on it to get used to the weight, feel, ease and style of stitch. Christmas is the season most likely to use novelty fabrics, so be prepared and give it a go … whether you’re challenged to create a costume for your child’s nativity play, a hot water bottle cover, or just some creative craft pieces. If you really get to grips sewing with fur then you could even create your own jacket … our advice is don’t be scared to try it!
Choose your design/pattern carefully…try and make it a simple, uncomplicated one with as little seams, detail and fastenings as possible (especially just to begin with). Remember fur fabrics can look bulky especially if they have a shaggy pile, so be wise if using them to create any clothing/jackets and don’t give something a heavy look.
Begin by checking you have sharp scissors and cut in single layers to ensure you get an accurate cut (but remember to flip the pattern piece if a right and left side are needed!). Cutting with the pile is also important so put a little arrow on each pattern piece to help you cut in the direction you choose. Avoid giving the ends a blunt “chopped” look when cutting with long haired fabrics by only cutting the backing fabric (and maybe the odd strand that need to be set free).
If you need to hold layers or edges together it can be quite useful to try out paper clips and tape as well as pins as they hold the thickness and are easy to remove. We recommend colourful glass headed pins with fur as they are so easy to see, sew around and remove which is important – you need to make sure you don’t miss any and leave any in after sewing!! Prevent stretching the fabric whilst you sew by using a small tack or even some tape to stabilise it on the backing. It’s best to avoid top stitching on long pile fabrics and any iron-on interfacings as they can be really messy.
Go around the finished seams on the right side of the fabric and use a sturdy pin to pick out the fur along the seams to cover and neaten them. Also, be careful if you choose to press it as most fur fabrics are very sensitive to heat – to be honest it’s best to avoid any pressing when working with fur and you will find most fur fabrics won’t need it anyway!
Sewing Machine Tip:
Clean your sewing machine regularly to avoid any fur clogging it up, it only takes a moment and can make a big difference to maintaining the performance of your machine!
We’ve created some great pieces using fur in the past, so give it a go, stick with it and keep testing ideas out. Share your creations with us on our Facebook pages and let us know if you have any tips to feed back to us…we’d love to hear!!