Fashion in a flash. Fur collars are a gorgeous way to update a winter coat, adding an instant overlay of luxury. Our fabric choices were inspired by the sumptuous faux fur selections you can now find online and in stores. We selected the look of natural fur, which has a beautiful depth of tone as well as a smooth and deep pile. But you could also walk on the whimsical side with varieties in fanciful colors, curly shags, and more.
Faux fur has pile and nap. Pile is the term for the hairs, they can be long or short, smooth or fuzzy. Nap refers to the direction in which the hairs lay.
Most faux furs (like real fur) have a specific direction to the nap. If you have trouble seeing the way the fur is laying on your fabric, hang it over a chair and step back a little. It should become obvious. For more about this and other tips and techniques, check out our tutorial on working with faux fur.
The back of our collar is a rich faux suede, also readily available online and in stores. The surface of faux suede is soft and smooth, yet it has just enough nap to “grip” and help hold the collar in place against the fabric of the coat.
If you plan on keeping the collar on a particular coat at all times or are worried the suede isn’t going to grip as strongly you’d like, you can add cloth-covered hook and eye sets on the collar and coat. Dritz® makes a good option.
Unlike a scarf or narrow shawl that can twist and loop in a free-form manner, a collar needs to lay flat as it arcs across your shoulders. A simple rectangle won’t work. We offer a free four-part pattern download below to create the perfect wrap.
You’ll cut two halves with the pattern. These pieces, along with attention to the direction of the faux fur’s nap when cutting, result in a beautiful sweep of elegance.
Our collar finishes at approximately 68″ x 8″, measuring from the bottom of the descending fur as well as the fur flowing side to side. This is a good length for a medium to long winter coat. For a shorter jacket, or even a heavy sweater, consider shortening the length by about 4-5″ (shorten from the bottom of the pattern).
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; or use your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome models
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The recommended yardage shown below will allow you to make up to THREE collars with our pattern. You need the length of a full yard to achieve the proper curve at the top and insure the nap runs in the right direction, but because faux fur is traditionally quite wide, you will have extra width. Each pattern piece (each half) requires about 10″ in width x 35″ in length.
- 1 yard of 58″+ wide faux fur with a long pile (pile is the term for the hairs – you want long, luxurious hairs)
- 1 yard of 54″ faux suede or similar
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth
- Small sharp scissors with a long point for cutting the faux fur
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Marker for tracing pattern onto the back of the faux fur; we used a Sharpie®
- Straight pins or clips
- Hand sewing needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the Fur Collar Pattern which includes FOUR pieces: Fur Collar Pattern A, Fur Collar Pattern B, Fur Collar Pattern C, and Fur Collar Pattern D. These four pieces have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern piece is one 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. You must print the entire PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page to ensure your printout is to scale.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
- Following the arrows printed on the pattern, butt together the pieces (do not overlap).
- Tape in place to create the full pattern piece, which represents one half of the scarf.
- Use the assembled pattern to cut TWO pieces from the faux suede – one with the pattern facing right side up and one with the pattern facing right side down. Or fold right sides together and cut once.
- The two faux fur pieces will be cut one at a time. Place the faux fur right side down on your work surface. Make sure the nap is running down, matching the arrow shown on the pattern.
- Place the pattern on the wrong side of the fur. We positioned our pattern piece on our fur to take best advantage of the varying stripes of color. Pin the pattern piece in place.
- Trace around the pattern piece with the marker.
- Before un-pinning, make sure you have a clear line all the way around. You need a definitive guideline to follow.
- Flip over the pattern so it is now wrong side up and position it to cut the second half of the collar. Make sure the nap is still running in the same direction as for the first half of the collar. If the two sides are going different directions, it will look very weird. Pin the pattern in place.
- Trace around the second half and remove the pattern so the drawn guidelines are visible.
- When cutting, the idea is to cut only the backing and not the fur nap. Use just the tips of your scissors. With the wrong side facing up, slide the bottom blade of your scissors up next to the backing.
- Cut with short, deliberate snips, being careful to cut just the backing. If you feel a drag, you’re starting to cut the pile. Back off and start again.
NOTE: As mentioned above, if you are new to working with faux fur, take a look at our handy tutorial.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- To create each finished length (fur and suede), you need to stitch together each pair at the center back.
- Place each pair right sides together, aligning the angled ends.
- When pinning faux fur, tuck the fur to the inside as you go so you are less likely to catch up the hairs in the seam.
- Pin along the seam at a right angle, this will allow you to sew right up to the pin before pulling it out.
- When pinning the suede right sides together, leave a 3-4″ opening at the center. This will be used later to turn the entire collar right side out.
- If possible, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot. We used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together the fur.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together the suede. Remember to lock your seam at either side of 3-4″ opening. Press open the seam allowance, using a pressing cloth.
- If you followed our ‘tuck and pin’ suggestion above, you should have a very pretty and barely visible seam. However, working from the right side, you can also use a dull pencil or pointed chopstick to pull stray fur hairs out of the seam.
- Place the suede and fur lengths right sides together and pin in place all around. As above, push the fur away from the raw edge as you pin.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the two pieces together around the entire perimeter. Go slowly around the upper curve and pivot at the bottom corners. We stitched with the faux fur on top in order to keep watch, pushing the fur back in as needed as we removed the pins.
- Clip the corners and lightly clip into the upper curves.
- Turn the collar right side out through the opening you left in the center back seam of the suede. Pull through one side through completely and then the other side. Gently push out the bottom corners. A long, blunt end tool works well for this, like a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner.
- Pin together the folded in edges of the suede opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Hand stitch the opening closed.
- A lint roller will nicely remove any stray fur hairs.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild