I have always wanted a luxurious fur throw (well, faux fur, that is) to drape along the foot of our bed. I imagined a throw with extra-deep pile in brown and grey tones to complement our mahogany bedroom furniture and grey walls and that would work with the other elements in the room to create the kind of nature-inspired cosiness that we want in our master bedroom.
But when I started shopping for a faux fur throw, I got quite the shock because they certainly don’t come cheap! For example, this 'Timber Wolf' version that I first set my sights on starts off at over €400 and ends up costing over €600 by the time sales tax (not included in the basic price) and shipping are included. Yikes! I did of course find throws that cost less, but nothing as large as what I wanted. Eventually I concluded that the only way to get exactly what I wanted at an affordable price was to make my own.
I ordered this Luxury Faux Fur Fabric in 'Brown Wolf'. It is so beautiful with its deep, soft pile and gentle colour gradation from light grey to dark brown with some tan accents in between.
I picked up a “luxurious silky micromink" plush blanket in TK Maxx to use as the backing fabric. It too is so soft and cosy that it's going to be difficult to decide which side of this throw will be best to snuggle up in!
Safety pins are essential for this project, as I will explain later. If you can get them, the curved shape of quilting basting pins make it easier to push them through thicker fabrics.
I also gathered up everything I needed to measure and sew the fabric (I used a combination of machine sewing and hand-stitching for this project). An optional extra is to tie-quilt the throw, and for that I used embroidery thread.
I recommend using a long rectangular quilter's rule with a rotary cutter and mat for cutting. It is much easier than using a scissors - especially when handling a large area of fabric that has a thick pile and which tends to wriggle about in front of the scissors like this one did! However you can definitely make it work with a scissors if you are willing to take some time over it.
I could have just sewn the two pieces of fabric together and called it a day, but I wanted this throw to be really luxurious so I took it a bit further. I wanted the fur fabric to fold over the edges, creating a border all around the reverse side of the throw. To do that, I needed the fur fabric to be 13cm (see where I got that figure below) larger than the backing fabric along both the length and width.
To make the borders, I started by turning in each side at the corners. Because the border is 5cm and the seam allowance is 1.5cm (a little more generous than I would usually allow on account of the thick pile of the fabrics), I doubled that amount (6.5cm) to get 13cm. Then I measured 13cm out from each corner along the edge and stitched a diagonal line between the two points, as in the diagrams below.
Each corner then looked like this (when turned 90 degrees clockwise):
I cut off the excess fabric to eliminate bulk.
When turned right-side-out, you can see the borders and new corners being formed.
Next, I cut the backing fabric 20cm shorter than the fur fabric along each side (to account for two borders of 2x5cm doubled-over fabric along each side).
With right sides together, I pinned the backing fabric onto the fur. I strongly advise against using straight pins for this project as they are easily lost in the thick fur.
Use safety pins and count the pins going in and coming out to ensure that they don't get lost in the fur.
You will need to leave a 15-20cm opening in the seam so that the throw can be turned right-side-out later. I marked this opening with safety pins to remind me in case I accidentally sewed it all the way closed!
Then I machine-sewed the two fabrics together around all four sides, leaving the 20cm gap open.
Next, I pulled the right sides of the fabric through the opening.
Then I hand-stitched the 20cm gap closed.
Again, I could have left it here, but I decided that I wanted to tie-quilt the layers together to prevent them from sliding around and causing the throw to lose shape. Tie quilting involves making stitches through all the layers of fabric at regular points and tying off each separate stitch. Because there are far less stitches used in tie quilting than in other methods of quilting, it is a much faster process. However you do need to use a stronger fibre (such as embroidery thread) to hold all the layers of fabric together.
I marked where I wanted to place the stitches using the quilter's basting pins. Rather than quilt the entire throw, I just did a single row of stitches along the border on each side. Here you can see the long threads stretching between each stitch - these are important.
On the fur side of the throw, I wanted to conceal the stitches within the pile of the fabric. So I parted the fur and stitched right at the base.
When the thread is pulled into place and the fur brushed back over it, the stitch is completely invisible.
Each stitch should be looped twice through the fabric. Then cut the threads between each stitch and tie them off in a knot.
In the next picture, you can see the various stages of tie quilting in progress: the completed stitches on the left, then the snipped threads between the stitches, next the tied knot, and finally the loose ends concealed.
To conceal the threads, use a large needle to pull the loose ends into the gap between the two layers of fabric. Be careful that the needle does not pierce the top fabric as you stitch.
If the loose threads are short enough, they will now be hidden between the layers of fabric. If not, pull gently on the ends where the needle exited the fabric and trim them. Abracadabra - invisible stitches!
The total for all my materials (including fabrics, sewing thread, embroidery thread, and shipping for items ordered online) came to €179.45 … still a lot of money for a throw, but less than one third the cost of similar-sized ones elsewhere.
Now I actually look forward to winter so that I can bring out my faux fur throw and add it to our bedding. It looks great in the room and is incredibly soft and warm. And it's huge! This is a king size bed, and the thow easily covers it ... perfect for cosying up on winter evenings.