The Basics: To keep your fur neat, mark and place pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, making sure that the fur on all fabric pieces is running in the same direction. (This is called nap.) Cut the fabric backing, not the fur fibers, with a razor or scissors with a very sharp tip. When you sew, stitch a sample first. Remove any fibers that get stuck in a seam with a toothpick. Never iron faux fur. It will melt! And the best news is that faux fur doesn't ravel, so no need to finish the edges.
Vest Up: Among full-size garments, a vest is the simplest, chicest choice. It's actually possible to make a vest without taking a stitch by cutting out a large circle and armholes. But to get the really luxurious feel of fur (and there are some gorgeous faux furs out there), you'll want to create something that's furry inside and out. With just a few stitches, you can create a lined vest without a pattern. If you simply must have a pattern, check out this adorable spencer from Marfy.
Accessorize: You don't just have to stitch up a vest or jacket to be on trend. An accessory is a quicker way to get the furry look. Try adding a swatch of fur to a small handbag, using either a needle and thread or fabric glue. Or make an easy wrap or headband by stitching together the wrong side of rectangle-shaped faux fur and lining together, leaving a small opening to turn right side out. Then stitch up the opening. For more detailed instruction, this Vogue pattern has every fur accessory you could ever think of: hat, gloves, capelet and more.
The Real Stuff: If you want to tackle real fur, many of the same principles apply as for faux fur. Check the nap to make sure the fur is going in the right direction for your project. Mark cutting lines on the back, and cut using a knife or razor to avoid cutting the fur itself. You can use a straight or zigzag machine stitch to sew fur, but hand stitches are gentler on the material.
Wishing you many warm and fuzzy DIY projects!
For more DIY Design columns, click here. Next week: Stitch up minimalist style.