Friday, March 2, 2012

Fur Friday - Cutting out a pattern - Lesson 3

Well, I am back with Fur Friday lesson three - Cutting out your pattern.

To start off with you will want to make yourself a very fashionable outfit to wear to protect your clothing from the hair. I have used the suggested garbage bag from Nancy's book! Of course you can have some fun with it and I was at work while cutting out this pattern and not in my studio so I wanted to give my outfit a bit of pizzazz! I cut out a semi circle for my head to go through and two for my arms and then took the cut out pieces and made myself a little flower for my hair. We also got an old extension cord and I used that as a belt! heehee Our customers thought I looked very sweet!

Next: A VERY IMPORTANT STEP ~ at least with seal

CHECK THE FUR FOR SKIN TAGS! I unfortunately did not know these existed and had already cut a whole piece when I realized there was something hard in the fur. When I tried to pull it out it left a hole!

I suggest running your fingers through the fur, pushing down on the back of the pelt to find these so that you can avoid cutting these areas into your bear!

Make sure to circle on the backing any areas you find that are torn or have skin tags so that you do not lay your pattern on these areas!

Next I laid my pattern out making sure all the pelts and patterns were laid out with the nap going the correct direction! In my case the pelts are very large and so there were only a very few times that I had to even cross a seam. I imagine this will make for easier sewing in the end. I also chose to do my bears (2 and possibly 3) in the sizes of 12" and 14". It was surprising how much fur there actually was!

Then it was time to cut the pattern out. Cut it the same way you would any other fabric with a long nap like mohair, alpaca or plush. Use nice sharp pointed short scissors and pull up on the backing slightly so that you don't cut the fur and only cut the leather or backing.

If you look close you will see makings that I scratched out! This was only done on this one piece and occurred because of finding the skin tag so I had to retrace my pattern in a different position and did not want to waste the fur so I traced a smaller piece of my bear pattern in the area. When on rare occasions that this happens I wiggle line out where I don't want to cut so I don't mistakenly cut the wrong line!

In the end, I had very little fur that fell out of the edges etc... I used to work with hair as a hairdresser so this was less hair than single haircut. For me this was not worth wearing the garbage bag for but I am sure when we get to using the fox coat with the thick undercoat and long guard hairs the bag will be essential!

DO NOT STORE YOUR COAT IN PLASTIC! Even your left over fur should not be in plastic or your pattern pieces that you have already cut out! I am using a few old pillow cases for mine for now.


  1. You look lovely in your garbage bag attire. The fur is beautiful. I can't wait to see the finished bear. I have some seal here, maybe I will get the nerve to cut it.

  2. Comment by Nancy Tillberg 13 hours ago
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    Nicely done! Love the fashionista garbage bag and flower. :-)

  3. Oh Joanne the seal is so lovely to work with! I think you should get to it! It would make a beautiful bear in your style! Much less scary so far than I had anticipated!