Friday, March 9, 2012

Fur Friday - Lining - Lesson 4

Okay, so today I am back to show you all how to line your fur bear. This is a very important step and should not be skipped! This lining will give support to your bear especially if it is old! I would also recommend doing this technique on old mohair - say from a recycled coat for instance. Or on any other fabric that you feel is fragile!

When I first began making bears I made one out of an old black mohair coat that was made to look like Persian Lamb. I did not line this bear as I thought the fabric seemed okay...

When I tried to put the eyes into Gilbert one of them ripped right through the fabric and popped into his head! You can imagine my dismay! The fabric was too fragile to take apart and remake any part of the bear so needless to say, Gilbert will be a family bear and will never be sold! I still love him and he was a great learning experience. So take my word for this and learn from my mistakes... line your bear if you have any doubts about the fabric.

The first step is to get some good quality THIN muslin. You do not want to add unnecessary bulk to the bear and if your muslin is too thick it will also make turning the bear difficult! I use thin 100% unbleached cotton drapery lining. It is much thinner than the muslin that my fabric store supplies! It is all natural and soft also.

Trace your pattern onto the muslin with all necessary markings.

 If you trace your pattern on doubled fabric (Folded so you have two layers) you will only have to cut each piece once instead of twice! Remember your muslin has no nap so you can do this!

 Cut the muslin pieces out.

Don't forget to transfer all your markings to your muslin pieces and to do that on the right side of each piece... unless you can see through yours enough to see your markings that you made on your fur pieces! I marked both fur and muslin so I could make sure everything lined up perfectly!

Next you need a glue stick! I don't think it will matter what brand you use but here is mine:

Now you need to glue your lining to the backing of your fur. Use this glue SPARINGLY. Just a little is all you need! If you use too much when you go to sew this bear your needles are going to get all gummed up and will not slide through the leather easily. I actually kept my glue away from the edges of my pieces and concentrated on the center of the piece.

I did each piece one at a time with glue and lining so the glue would not dry out before I had a chance to get the lining on!

Once your glue is on the leather backing of your fur and you are happy with the amount you have placed on there get your corresponding piece of lining and match them up. Glue the lining to the backing and give it a good rub to press it down creating one piece!

Now your pieces should look like this:

Perfectly alined and lined!

I mentioned last week that there was a product that would help me to solve the issues I was having with my collar from this coat. The issue being that the leather had dried out. I also mentioned this product was something I had to purchase from a cake shop! And I promised to let you know this week what that product was...

So even though I am not going to demonstrate it's use this time around... here it is:

The glycerin is gently and sparingly rubbed into the leather backing of your fur. It will help to soften the leather without leaching through to the front like an oil or petroleum product will.

See you next week with the next exciting stage of making a fur bear!


  1. Thanks for this info Michele. I am enjoying reading these posts.

  2. Thanks Jo... It's nice to know that I am not writing to myself! Hahaha I am really enjoying the journey also.

  3. I buy my glycerin from the pharmacy. But I never tried it on dried leather! Be careful when using old furs... I ended up with a fungus infection in my lungs from a truly wretched fur coat. ( I don't make bears from old furs anymore!)

  4. Is that right Bettina? Wow! Had you put your coat in a the freezer first? I suppose you could not see the fungus so you did not know it was there. How did you find out that you got the fungus infection in your lungs from the coat? I ask as you know I have some issues going on right now with my heart and am having issues with my breathing also. Thanks for any further information you have on this subject! I would love to post here a bit more about this for my readers! Thanks so much for letting me know about this!

  5. I'm reading these posts in order so did not realize in your last post that you were continuing with the articles...yea!

    fungus...just my luck I will get something mysterious and deadly and House is no longer at the hospital : )