Monday, March 22, 2010

All fur coat and no knickers

I am taking an online class over at patternreview. This one is about sewing with faux fur. I'm not at all sure about making a fur coat, but you never know... and many nice coats seem to have fur trim, so I thought it would be useful to learn how to handle it fearlessly. Anyway, here is the result of my class project. Most of the other class members are sewing jackets, so I looked through my Marfy catalogues for a suitable pattern, and then drafted in in doll-size, which is very easy as dolls are much more simply shaped than people.

One apparently important aspect of sewing real and fake fur is staying the seams with something called "cold tape". This is special cos it is sticky fabric tape. Since you don't iron fur you can't use any sort of iron-on tape. Amusingly this tape seems to only be available from one shop in whole world, which just happens to be in New York, and you even have to telephone in order to get some surly guy to agree to post you some. So this seems to have slowed most of the class right down. Don't see why they didn't include this in a class kit (some of the other classes do include kits). Anyway, since James' parents visit very soon, I didn't want to wait, and anyway, Yamka (the doll) doesn't demand perfection, so I used fabric medical tape to stay the seams. Problem is that it gums up the needle. Apart from that I basically followed the class instructions... careful cutting out, zigzag seams, bias strips on the cuffs, trimming the fur on some of the seams, clever slit pockets, pick-stitching...etc.... I can't republish all the details here - you'll have to take the class to find out more.

From the dolls clothes point of view, the interesting part is scaling. In the fabric shop (Odakaya in Shinjuku - which has a large fur selection) I didn't know what to buy so plumped for mid-length, mid-thickness, mid-price . But really, for Yamka, I should have chosen a shorter length fur. To cut the bulk down a bit I did not use a facing on the coat, but just lined to the edge. The undercollar is also made from the lining fabric.

No comments: