I have wanted to make a faux fur coat in a long time, and actually did attempt to make one a few years back, but for reasons too lengthy to go into right now (the fabric had stretch in the direction of the nap and just kept stretching out when I went to attach the lining), that first version did not work out. It did make me nervous to try again, but this time I made sure to sample the fabric first (also, this fur was way more pricey and I couldn’t afford to mess up!) and I used all my fur knowledge to make sure I ended up with something luxurious and that will hopefully last me for a long time.
First off, the fabric was purchased from Swincraft2 via eBay. As mentioned above, I sampled a few fabrics first before settling on this long pile burgundy coloured faux fur. It is heavy and luxurious and kept me warm when I wore it out the other night. I am very happy with it.
The pattern I used was Simplicity 8797, view D. I went for a straight size XL and did minimal adjustments. If I was going to sew this pattern again I might consider cutting a size smaller in the shoulders/ bust and doing an FBA, but no way was I going to attempt to sew a dart in faux fur. I think the fit is fine as is. Another option would have been to find a princess seamed pattern, but I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash and overall I think this pattern has worked well. There were a couple of issues I had with the pattern, which I cover in my pattern review below.
The pattern does advise to use sew-in interfacing for the facings of the coat and the upper and under collar. The front of the coat is left un-interfaced. I used horse hair canvas, which I catch stitched to the fabric pieces (removing it from the sew allowances). I did also end up catch stitching the upper and under collar seam allowances to try and keep the collar seams flatter and less bulky.
I also stayed the shoulder seam using a left over selvedge edge and added a back stay from some scrap cotton I had in my stash. The pattern is designed to be oversized and with drop shoulders, but this fabric is weighty and I just wanted to try and ensure the shoulders wouldn’t end up stretching out over time, especially when hung up.
You can’t see it, but I have added a large coat snap to the front of the coat so I can wear it fastened if I want too. The most important tip when working with fur like this is to snip or slice through the backing fabric, rather than actually cutting the fur. That way you avoid ending up with blunt edges and the fur has a full, natural look which helps to disguise seams and look more high end. Do check out my Instagram account as I have saved a highlight with lots of tips on working with faux fur.
I also have to mention the faux leather trousers I am wearing in these photographs: they don’t photograph that well so I am including some photographs taken on a different day which I think shows them off slightly better. The faux leather was purchased from Oh Sew Crafty and is soft, non stretch and with a matt finish to it. It was easy to work with (used regular needle, thread and sewing foot). I used Butterick 6331 to make them, which I have made a few times before.
Truth time on the trousers: I love them and have already worn them lots. They are very on trend, very comfortable (not too hot or sticky at all), and can be easily dressed up or down. But, I think I need to retire this pattern. I have made it a few times now, and each time, despite increasing the waist curve, the waist always ends up being too big. I am wearing these trousers belted and its absolutely fine, but this is why I now prefer high waisted trousers on me; I find it very hard to get the waists of trousers which sit lower down to work for me.
Fitting Notes for Butterick 6331*
- *see previous versions for initially alterations made to this pattern
- Added 3/8ths inch to back side seam from waist down to high hip. Ended up removing 0.5 inch width out of high hip before attaching the waistband so the addition was not necessary
- Curved the waistband further by pinching out 0.5 inches on either side of the waistband. Also added a centre back seam
- Did a 0.5 inch full tummy adjustment
- Lowered the back crotch by 0.5 inches
- Ended up taking a 5/8ths inch wedge out of the centre back seam of waistband before attaching it
Pattern Review for Simplicity 8797
With its classic lapels and easy fit, this lined Misses’ coat has the look of a comfortable oversized coat. The coat features four lengths and a one-button closure.
I made view D.
XS – XL.
I cut a straight size XL.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
For the most part. The instructions do not tell you that you need to shorten the back lining piece by 1 inch to make it the correct length for the facings. Shortening the lining piece also mean the lining sits inside the coat and doesn’t peek out at all. Additionally, at least on the size XL, the back shoulder seam is about 7/8ths inch to short. Fortunately I found this out before cutting in to my fabric, otherwise there is a risk your project may be ruined. Finally, I didn’t like the order of construction of the pattern. They have you attach the pockets and the under collar after attaching the sleeves, but I would say that if you are working with a heavy fabric like I was then you might want to consider attaching the sleeves last to make handling the coat at your machine easier.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished item. Nothing to dislike as such, but see my notes above.
A heavy long pile faux fur.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- 5/8ths inch forward shoulder adjustment
- Added a centre back seam to the outer coat
- Added a pleat to the centre back of the lining
- Cut the sleeve lining pieces 0.25 inches higher at the underarms to allow them to ease over the underarm seam easier
- Added a cotton back stay
- Stayed the shoulder seams using a selvedge edge as tape
- Ended up shortening the sleeves by 2.25 inches
- Shortened the back lining by 1 inch to match the facing pieces and shortened the sleeve lining so they were an inch shorter than the outer sleeves
- Used horse hair canvas as the interfacing on the front facings, upper and under collar
- Made the pocket bags smaller to accommodate the shorter length of view D. They are still plenty big enough for my hands
- Added a large coat snap fastening
- Catch stitched seam allowances at the upper and under collars open to try to cut down on the bulk and keep those areas flatter
- Bagged the lining out through the sleeve
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew it in a different fabric. If you want that oversized, drop shouldered look in a single breasted coat with lapels then that ticks all those boxes. If I was sewing again I might consider sizing down on the shoulders/ bust and doing an FBA. I do recommend but make sure you walk your pattern first to ensure there are no errors before cutting into your precious fabric!
I think I got the whole boujee look going on 😉
See you soon!