Cutting faux fur can be extremely messy but there is an easy way to minimize the mess potential.
Make your measurement marks or pattern marks on the back side of the fur using a chalk pencil or a watercolor pencil (my preference for more exact lines):
Use an x-acto knife or a box cutter to cut the woven fabric back side of the fur:
Once the strip is fully separated it will have loose bits of fur and fibers along the cut edge. Use your fingers to pull these bits away from your piece and the remaining fabric:
After this you should have a piece with clean edges:
What you never ever want to do is cut faux fur with scissors as you will end up cutting the hairs along your cut edges. This will not only make a huge mess but also make the edges have uneven lengths of hairs.
Let's move on to leather now!
I wanted to have some cut out details on my hubby's coat for steamcon and was undecided on what material I wanted to use. I was considering thin metal but eventually decided on leather for the ease of movement not to mention I'm a tad more comfortable working with it. (It also saves me from buying more tools, which while I wouldn't say no to more tools, I don't really have a great space for them. Tryin' to keep it minimal here! Ha)
I ended up buying a whole side of beautiful dark brown/black oiled leather as I plan on making pauldrons and greaves as well as the decorative pieces on the coat, but I haven't gotten there yet so let's start with the decorations.
First I drew and cut out paper templates for the pieces:
Next I cut pieces of leather just barely larger than the stencil pieces and then traced the stencils onto the leather with pencil:
I then used a very sharp x-acto knife to cut out the small interior pieces. I used small snips to clean up loose bits along the cut edges.
Once all the interior pieces were cut out I used sharp scissors to cut along the outside edge of the design. When you are cutting leather it is important to use sharp tools and to try not to pull. Leather stretches and if you pull it while cutting it will make your pieces distorted in shape and possibly color as well.
I then used E6000 adhesive to glue the leather to a contrasting backing fabric:
Then I pinned and sewed the fabric pieces onto the coat. I also tacked through the leather in a couple of places for extra stability:
I also beaded around the outer-edge along the transition between the fabrics.
Here's the front now:
And the back:
So there you have it. At least I'm making progress here as I only have a couple weeks left. As a time reference if you are planning on trying something like this, the cutting out of the leather alone took me the entire length of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. (The long one with Colin Firth.)
And now this post is really long and full of pictures so I will end it here! Back soon with more.