One thing for which you can always rely on Missy Mop Fabrics is a colourful array of delectable faux fur strips which are just perfect for collars or cuffs, or making up into a snuggly scarf or stole.
Figure 1: Faux fur length from Missy Mop Fabrics
I’ve always had a bit of a thing about Missoni prints, so when I saw this fur with its chevron design in toning shades of pink it made me think of their beautiful, timeless designs and I was smitten; the colours were ‘my colours’ and I knew that there were a ton of things in my wardrobe that I could pair this with. A scarf would be the perfect accessory and quick to make in amongst all my other sewing projects.
A fur scarf is not difficult to make but there are a few things to bear in mind when sewing with a pile fabric.
First thing is to square your fabric for the scarf; I used the full length of the fur and relied on my trusty Pattern Master to achieve a 90 degree angle on the corners. Mark your cutting lines on the back of the fabric – I used a chalk marker for this so the marks could be brushed off easily.
Figure 2: Use something with a 90 degree angle to square your fabric and mark cutting lines
When cutting your fabric, cut from the WRONG side and make sure that you only cut through the backing – not the actual fur; using a razor blade is ideal for this and will ensure a much neater, more natural result– the photo below shows the effect you will get if you cut through the backing and the fur – you get a very definite edge, which is not what you want!
Figure 3: Cutting through the backing and the fur leaves a very definite line. Try to cut through the backing only for a more natural effect.
So, let’s talk lining – I think such a lovely fur deserves an equally lovely lining. Originally I considered using a patterned silk, such as a Liberty print but I decided that as the fur was patterned it might be a bit too much. So I hunted through my stash for some pink and pulled out this standard polyester lining on the left – YUK! I felt it cheapened the fur and that wouldn’t do at all. Another hunt through the stash unearthed this polyester crepe-backed satin, pictured right. I’m not quite sure how you would describe this colour – oyster, nude pink??? Anyway it looked fabulous – luxe with just the right amount of sheen.
Figure 4: Polyester lining did not work
Figure 5: This satin-backed crepe looked much more luxe
Cut your lining to the same size and then pin them right sides together, leaving an opening of approximately 10cm in the middle of one of the long seams to allow you to turn through to the right side. On my version I used Clover Wonderclips rather than pins to hold the two layers as it worked well with the thickness of the fabric, but pins will be fine – just use plenty and use them parallel to the edge. You can also baste the layers together to prevent shifting. Try to tuck as much of the pile inside as possible – out of the way of your stitching.
Figure 6: I used Clover Wonder Clips to secure the raw edges for sewing
As the seams on the scarf will not be under any stress, they can be sewn very close to the edge with a zigzag stitch and then trimmed – this is ideal for reducing bulk as it holds the fur flat within the seam. On my Bernina I used a stitch width of 3.5 and a length of 2.0. I sewed each seam separately to minimise the fabric slipping, and used a walking foot to ensure that the layers did not move out of alignment. If you don’t have a walking foot, don’t worry – either baste the layers together securely or use plenty of clips or pins and TAKE YOUR TIME. Once you’ve sewn around each edge secure each line of stitching by pulling both threads through toone side and tying off.
Figure 7: I used a walking foot to avoid the fabric slipping but if your machine does not have one of these, use plenty of pins and stitch slowly.
Next pull your fabric through to the right side via the opening in the long seam. Use a point presser or a gently pointed object to push the corners out carefully. If fur is caught within the seam allowance use a pin to gently coax it out.
Figure 4: Secure the opening by hand with a slip stitch and your scarf is complete!
By now your scarf should be looking pretty good! All that’s left to do is to hand sew the opening closed with a small slip stitch and then I gave mine a very gentle press, using a press cloth and a little steam. Voila – your beautiful scarf is now complete. These will make perfect gifts for friends and family – if you can bear to part with them, of course.