I am getting ready to make a stuffed monkey for my 20 month old grandson.
This will be primarily made out of synthetic fur. I have never sewn on fur
before and I am a little nervous about it. Do any of you have any hints on
cutting and sewing this fabric? What I have is a fairly long and thick fur.
Thanks for any help,
#2 Cut the backing of the fabric trying not to cut the fur hairs with
a sharp razor blade or the dge of your scissors.
#3 (optional) trim hair from seam allowance
#4 Sew trying to keep as much of the hairs out of the seam as
possible. Use a slightly longer stitch length.
#5 On the right side, pick trapped hairs out of the seams. Fluff
seam with a wire brush (like a doggy brush). * Synthetic fur backing stretches considerably (generally) so when
making gashes for any type of push through shank eyes or
noses.....only make a tiny hole and allow the shank to stretch the
fabric as you push it in. This will give you more secure and nearly
indestructible eyes expecially for a little child.
* DO NOT IRON synthetic fur or it melts, mushes, squashes and looks
nasty (unless you are making a monster or something)
* It isn't hard at all but does require patience and the nerve to
attempt something new. Good for you and best of luck with your
(who used to have a business making custom bride and groom teddy
bears out of Modern Bride Magazine)
Joy, you give great advice!!! I wanted to add one tip I remember reading
somewhere, that works pretty good. :) You can use a disposable razor to
shave the fur out of the seam allowances. If you have a box of razor blades
for ripping seams, that works great too. The advantage of the disposable
razors is the handle. Makes it easy to get the fur out of there. When I
did this, I laid a piece of paper over the fur so the edge of the paper
lined up with the seam line. Then I worked from the seam line to the cut
edge along the length of the seam. I don't think the monkey will complain
if you use one of the razors that doesn't have the lotion strip on the top.
Bonnie, your grandson will love the monkey.
You won't have to trim the fur if you use 1/4" seam allowances, then stitch the
seams with a wide, loose zigzag stitch, letting the right side of the stitch
fall just to the outside of the cut edge of the fabric. This creates a sort of
"hinged" seam, butting the edges of the fabric tightly together, and allowing
the fur to meld seamlessly.
Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati
Cut the fabric rather than the pile, and you may want to shave the pile
off the seam allowances and sew it together with the zip foot... Use a
narrow zigzag to build in some stretch in the seams.
Once sewn, you may still need to pick some pile out of the seams. Also,
for such a young child, vacuum the monkey thoroughly when made to ensure
any loose pile is removed, as this can be a choking hazard.
Yes, I never have trimmed my seams (which is why I said
"optional"...but I do know that many instructions say to do so which
is why I listed it. I have had short hairs show up if my seam line
wasn't perfectly straight. I use the 1/4" seam allowance - no trim
Thank you Joy for the excellent suggestions! I'm sure I will definitely use
these. You are right, it does take patience and nerve to try something new!
I just finished making a doll (my first one to make) for my granddaughter
and it turned out pretty good so now to try the monkey for her younger
That sounds like a fun business you had - making bride and groom teddy
bears! Do you have any pictures of them online?
Thanks again for your help,
That is a good suggestion - thanks! I have some extra disposable razors so
I may just put one to use on this. I hope my little grandson will like the
monkey - I figured he would because he is at the monkey-stage himself right
now, climbing on everything!
Thanks Karen - you just answered another question I had regarding whether
or not to use a zigzag stitch.
When you say to use a loose zigzag stitch - do you mean to reduce the
tension on it? That was another question I had - but then I have not yet
even done any test stitches.
Wow, I am really getting a lot of helpful advice here! It makes sense to
use the zipper foot - but then I can't use a zigzag stitch can I? Sorry if
I sound stupid here but I have just recently come back to sewing after not
sewing for over 20 years so I have some catching up to do - but I'm loving
Thank you so much for the suggestion about vacumning the monkey - I had not
thought about that and I definitely want to use all possible safety measures
since Gavin is so young. I'm not even going to use button eyes but instead
I will make eyes out of felt for safety's sake.
Thank you Kate for your help. By the way, I am fairly new here but I have
been to your web site and found it very helpful and enjoyable!
No, and I apologize for not putting this more clearly. What I meant was a wide,
long zigzag stitch. I use a 3 for the length and for the width, but not every
machine works uses this designation. If you begin with the default zigzag, then
widen it a couple notches, and lengthen it about the same amount, you'll have
just about the right stitch. It should end up being a little shorter than a
basting stitch, only in zigzag.
Hope this is more understandable.
Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati
That never occurred to me! I can certainly zigzag with my zipper foot
on the Lily, but if you have an older machine, this may not be
possible. If you look at my web site (URL below) there are various
projects showing the zip foot: it's a big hefty beast with WIIIIDE
slots! I can zigzag quite happily using that!
Big buttons well sewn in may stay on better... Auntie Mo Next Door has
child safe toy eyes she puts on her doorstop cats. They are designed
for kids toys.
Oh, goody! :) New stuff went up this evening!
My son is 10 an really wants a real monkey! I am getting him a sock
monkey kit for him to make....that's that!
I think if I were a little child I could pick off those felt
eyes....you just start picking at the edges and - oh the fun!
I really think you are better off with either embroidered (using a
heavy embroidery wool) or the very secure safety shank eyes made for
children's toys. They really won't come loose if you make a tiny hole
and pinch them down really tight.
As for pictures of my "Wedding Bears" - oh those evil dreadful things.
I made exact replicas of brides dresses and grooms tuxedos to outfit
plush handmade fully jointed 18" bears with hand painted crystal eyes
and leather paw pads and noses in a pallet of color shades to match
the buyers choice. Even the floral bouquet was duplicated. Even at
$300 /pair I think I was only realizing about .05 cents per hour.
I was youthful with no business sense and stupidly enjoying every
minute of it. Until I got completey sick of it and stopped.
Seems like a lifetime ago, I will get some pictures up if I can hunt