Cutting Faux Fur: more accuracy and less mess

Last fall my daughter asked if I could get her some fabric so she could make a faux fur coat. I’ve made coats before and knew this was no small task and not exactly beginner-friendly. So I said, “Hey, let me make it for you.” She didn’t have much say because I was already holding the fabric hostage. 😉

I started by tracing the pattern onto the back of the fabric (Shannon Fabric’s Tibetan Sand Fox in Pewter/White). This was a pretty obnoxious task because it was SO MUCH FABRIC. Thankfully my work table is pretty big, so I managed. If I didn’t have this table, I would have just laid it out on the floor. The faux fur is so heavy, trying to do it on a smaller table would be super frustrating. I’m a big believer in not fighting with the fabric, if at all possible!

If you look closely you can see that I’m using big bolts as pattern weights. I prefer them over the washers that many people use.  I find that they are just as heavy and so much easier to pick up.

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Three Ways to Make that Fancy Fox’s Nose

We started with the Fancy Fox this week for the Fancy Forest Quilt Along because it’s the easiest of the blocks, but there’s one part that seems to bug a lot of participants–that nose! It either get chopped off or ends up narrower at the bottom than it should be.

The way that Elizabeth has you do it in the pattern is by marking the center of the block, corner to corner, then stitching down that line.

fox nose, pattern version

You then trim and press. image

But I could only get this to work out right infrequently and at times it ended up way, way too narrow and I’d start over.

So I thought I’d try trimming the seam first, lining up the 1/4″ line on my ruler with the corner to corner where I’d stitch.



That didn’t work much better.

I wondered if it was because of that background square. It had two issues: it’s on the bias and on top. This gives it all sorts of opportunities to get squirrely, so I decided I should sew it from the other side.

First I cut the background 1/4″ bigger than originally used in the pattern.

I used a ruler to mark the 1/4″ seam allowance, then marked the middle by folding in half and adding a little mark. This is where I wanted the nose to come to a point. Both seams need to intersect that mark.

Using the 45-degree lines on my ruler, I lined up the ruler until the edge intersected the mark I’d made, then I drew the stitching line.

Marking the nose


I pinned the background to the right side of the fox face and pinned it to keep it from shifting under there while I stitched it on.image
Trim, press and repeat. Press from the front (use a little spray starch for good measure). image

Then I trimmed it up with my handy 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ ruler. 

Yay for a perfect little fox face!