Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Halter Neck Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Design your own Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Gum-Nut Hat for Neo Blythes - here

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Animal BackPacks & a fur-sewing tutorial

In a previous post I mentioned that I was being some animal back-packs ...
using an old Butterick pattern that I've used several times before. 

Here they are - all finished.  A mauve bunny for my granddaughter, the brown puppy for my grandson and the bunny with his eyes placed rather too high and startled looking ... well that one is mine! 

Bunny backpack for granddaughter

Puppy backpack for my grandson
 Here is a bunny in situ on my mannequin - they slump when there is nothing in their tummies.  They are working back-packs - the zip to access the 'bag' is behind their heads.

And now I thought I'd do a little tutorial on working with fake fur.  Faux Fur 101

Take care with your cutting out - work with the 'nap', the lay the fur lies (down the length of the fur fabric).  Lay out the pattern pieces so that the fur will brush down the body, limbs and ears of a toy.   Often the fur lies going away from the nose of a toy - but I decided to make these animals with the fur on their faces going the other way.  This is cheap fake fur and the backing is a very loose 'weave' that I thought would look rather ugly if it showed around their noses.  Always think about the direction of the fur when laying out the pattern pieces.

All that is very important but for this tute I thought I would concentrate on another aspect of working with fur.  Because sewn furry things (toys, collars, whatever ...) always look better if the seams are not made too obvious by being either 'bald' or having the fur caught in the seam. 

Firstly - be careful when cutting out fur fabric to cut the backing fabric but not the fur.  Slide the blade of your scissors along the fabric, lifting the furriness. 

If you look closely at this photo - the lower, horizontal edge looks furry (the fabric was cut but not the fur) whereas the vertical edge looks blunt because the furriness was cut along with the fabric.

When you sew the fur pieces together the seams often look like this ...

However, if you take the time (and it is fiddly work) to pluck the fur out of the seams, you can get that seam to look like this - practically invisible!

 I like to use something blunt so I don't cut the fur or hurt my fingers!  Be careful not to pull out the threads of the backing fabric, especially if it is a loose weave like this.

 Two things that will help with this fiddly job - use a longer stitch length than usual, but not so long that your work gathers.

 And - when pinning the pieces together, sometimes you can persuade most of the furriness to lie inwards like this.  You might need to use more pins than normal to help the fur to stay there.

I hope these hints are helpful.