sewing with fur?
Posted By: Amber
2003/4/10 4:00 p.m.

While helping clear out my grandmother's house, I came across a couple of old fur coats and while their condition is not good enough to wear as winter coats, I would like to pass them down in the family as a keepsake. I would really like to recycle the coats and make them into some teddy bears. Does anyone know what type of material would need to be used as an inside lining of the bears? --I know that you are supposed to put a lining in them but I am uncertain out of what. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks. ~Amber

Re: sewing with fur
date: 2003/4/10 4:01 p.m.

Hi Amber,
Your idea is perfect! Earlier this year I took a class on making teddy bears from real fur and picked up a few hints I'm glad to share. Lining the real fur bears is usually done with muslin (unbleached cotton). Barring that, I think you could probably use any kind of cotton. The reason for lining them is so that you don't tear the fur when stuffing. Just cut the same bear pattern pieces out of the muslin and glue to the back. I have only used a temporary spray adhesive to attach the lining to the leather but have read some books that say you can also use a glue stick. Another handy hint I picked up is to treat the leather side of the fur with glycerin which can be found in any cake or candy making store. This softens olders leathers and makes them easier to work with.

I could go on forever but will stop here. I have lots of other hints if you're interested. Just let me know. I think your plan is wonderful and I know that you'll be pleased with the final results. Sherry

Re: sewing with fur 2003/4/10 4:02 p.m.
You're really going to test my memory, aren't you?

1. trace the patterns to hard cardboard for cutting out. I have also picked up plastic placemats at garage sales and used those.

2. use a gel pen to trace around the outline of the pattern onto the leather

3. use alligator clips rather than pins to hold the pieces together. Pins will put holes in the leather, the clips won't. These can be found in any electrical store.

4. if you are cutting the fur for the muzzle, try to cut before sewing together. I find this easier.

5. make sure you use leather needles in your sewing machine and be prepared to change it often! I wait until local fabric stores have sales and stock up!

Most importantly, 1) make sure you name your bear as it is completed.
I find that they speak to me in a certain way and the names just come to me. It's easier than choosing a name for your child!!!! and 2) have fun. When it stops being fun, it's work. I find I will make 3 or 4 and then take a break. It may be for a few weeks or a few months, but once you get back to it, your enthusiasm returns.

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