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Sewing with Fur and Cuddle Fabrics with the Oakley and Acorn Vests

Hi! Rachel here today with a post that I have been so excited to share with you all – I’m part of the Love Notions pattern ambassador team, and this past summer I was also selected to be a brand ambassador for Shannon Fabrics, manufacturer of the thickest and most plush minky and faux fur fabrics you’ve ever cuddled. Getting the chance to mix some of my favorite fabrics with one of my favorite designers has been the ultimate treat – and we’re so excited to share these new patterns with you.

The Oakley vest for ladies and the Acorn vest for girls each has three (!) distinct and unique views.

View A (shown above) is a lined, open front vest that is perfect for thick faux furs like the one I’m modeling. View B is an unlined, zip front vest that is bias bound and features patch pockets. And View C is an unlined, zip front vest that is bias bound and features princess seams and inseam pockets. The fit and styling are impeccable, as we’ve come to know and appreciate with all of Tami’s patterns.

For my View A, I used this faux beaver fur from Shannon Fabrics, and lined with a basic poly lining fabric. Anytime I mention to someone that I enjoy sewing with Shannon Cuddle and other fur fabrics, they inevitably ask, “But doesn’t it make a mess to cut?!” Well, YES. But don’t run away yet! There are a number of tips to help control and contain the mess and make it easier to work with. Shannon Cuddle (minky) and fur is the thickest and most lush on the market, which means there is more pile (thickness) to contend with, but it is also the easiest to clean up. You can check out a brief video here that helps explain a bit more and demonstrates a few of the techniques for cutting.

You definitely want to keep a vacuum or dust-buster handy, and I like to keep a plastic bag (like from the grocery store) next to me when I’m cutting.

As soon as I’m done cutting my pattern pieces, I scoop up all of the pieces and the scraps and use the bag to transport them directly into my clothes dryer. I do a quick 20 minute cycle with no heat (just fluff) and the excess fur goes straight to the lint trap. Once I remove the pieces from the dryer, I find there is very, very little (if any) additional shedding that happens while I’m sewing or wearing the fabrics. For the Cuddle fabrics, adding a lightly damp washcloth to the dryer with the fabric can really help, too. I use a regular rotary cutter for Cuddle and other lower-pile fabrics, and then use sharp scissors or a craft knife for the longer furs as shown in the video. Making sure to cut from the back (wrong side) of the fabric helps a bit as well. 

For Miss P’s vest shown, I used a faux suede that was bonded to a thick and super soft “llama cuddle”. I didn’t want to lose either side to a lining, so I left her vest unlined. It was an even easier sew, as you can imagine! Just make sure to remove any seam allowances from your pattern pieces before you cut (and cut with the faux suede side facing up), and take care to lock all of your stitches in place at the beginning and ends of the seams.

The Shannon blog has some more great tips and tricks for sewing with furry, fluffy fabrics, too.

Shannon Fabrics doesn’t sell direct to consumers, but carries their full catalog. You can look on either website for ideas, colors, and textures – the possibilities are endless. Some of my personal favorites for this project (aside from the ones shown above) are the Luxe Cuddle Hide in Poseidon, Rose Cuddle in Silver, Cuddle Fleece in Violet (this is two-sided fleece and would make a great View B or C!) If I’m feeling super fancy, I’d go for the tip dyed Sable Faux Fur in Mink. Ah, luxury. <3 

I can’t promise that you won’t find your family petting and snuggling you every chance they get, though! What will you make first??! Please stop by our group on Facebook and share!

Rachel Ring

Author Rachel Ring

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