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27 February 2012

First fake fur jacket: Burda 12-2007-122

I am Lucia, I am a fabricholic. I buy and I buy and I never finish anything. Here is to changing that!

In the last few years I've been trying to buy fabrics in coordinating groups. At the same time that I bought the wool for the Amanda dress and for the purple Bill Blass pants, I also bought this gooooorgeous fake fur.

 At the time I thought it matched both of the other fabrics, but in daylight it turns out that it only matches the pants. Oh, well... I still really love the fabric and can't wait to have my first fur jacket.

I had never sewn with fake fur, so in typical fashion I dove in on the deep end: this fur has a dense, long-pile. I obviously needed help so I went to the experts: Vogue's Fur and Fur-like Fabrics from their Everything About Sewing library published in 1971. Great advice in there!

I chose a very simple pattern, Burda 12/2007 #122, both because I don't want anything to distract from the fabric and also because I want to minimize the number of seams.

I also wimped out and skipped the pockets and I didn't make the casing for the cord since I don't like and never use that sort of feature in a coat or jacket.

 First thing: I agonized about how to place the zigzags. Vertically or horizontally?

In the end I chose to go with the grain of the fabric, that makes the zigzags go vertically, which I think lets the fabric nap shine better in the light and is also a little more flattering.

Vertical or horizontal zig-zags?

 I also wondered whether the collar should be on the grain or not. I settled on "with grain".

I did some test sewing and settled on sewing the seams first and "shaving" the seam allowances afterwards instead of the other way around. This gave me a homogeneously thick layer for the presser foot to glide over instead of a super thick side vs. a normal side if I first shaved the seam allowances before sewing the seam.

Of course, sewing the seams like this meant that lots of hairs were caught in the seam, especially when the nap ran towards the seam. Luckily, it was easy enough to pull the hairs out of the seam with a pin or needle.

Not so luckily, in places where there were a lot of hairs caught in a seam, once I removed them the seam became a bit loose.

On right the hairs are caught in the seam. On left they are free.

Shaving such a thick fur was a royal pain, I ended up with a bruised knuckle in my middle finger, but it was worth the effort to remove all that extra thickness.
lots of shaved pile!
Notice also that I overcast the seam allowances to the wrong side of the fur fabric, to keep them from standing up, per Vogue's book.
hand felled seams
I put the lining together entirely in my new serger. Wow! I love the speed and the perfectly finished edges. How did I ever live without my lovely serger?  I then attached the lining to the jacket with the bagged method as per the instructions in Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long.

bagged lining

The jacket closes with simple fur hooks and hand made thread eyes (the matching eyes for the hooks were too conspicuous as you can see in the left photo below, so I removed them) made with DMC embroidery thread in a matching color.

zig-zag fur jacket: Burda 12-2007-122

I love my new jacket! And have you noticed the extravagant collar?!?


  1. Very nice jacket. I like the effect of the vertical zig-zags in the pile. You chose well.

  2. Very stylish and SEW nicely done!