Friday, February 24, 2012

Fur Friday - Taking it all apart - Lesson 2

So I did not have to send the coat away as previously planned as Nancy suggested just simply washing the lining and that is exactly what I chose to do but first I had to remove it and get the coat apart!

First of all, let me mention that I uses a professional seam ripper to do this and it probably cut my time by a quarter in completing this task!

If you have never seen one they are VERY sharp. They have a curved blade that is a razor and is very thin! This allows you to both get under each stitch with ease or in my case slide the blade along the seam line with no pressure which either will open up the seams or cut the leather very close to the seam.

The coat: had a few tears that had been hastily repaired with chunky stitching which was barely holding it together. Thankfully there were only two areas like this and both close to the armholes. I removed those stitches so as not to forget when laying the pattern that these areas were best avoided.

After removal of the lining which as you can see is really quite cool I was able to see fully the leather backing. Unfortunately I did not seem to see a stamp to tell me what the fur is but I could see the size of the pelts and I believe this verified that the coat is indeed seal. The leather is light and it was fairly easy to cut apart.

The hood trim: this leather is much thicker and a bit brittle so I will tackle this in another post to show you what Nancy says to do in this case to soften the leather! But not this post as I have to go an purchase what I need from the cake shop! ah ha... that'll get ya thinking!

So once the coat was apart I had a small mess to clean up on my studio floor but it was really not bad at all... it took seconds to vacuum. However I do plan to wear my garbage bag protector for the actual cutting of the pattern pieces for the next step.

I am going to be using my own patterns for these bears but if you are new to bear making or just simply want to take a "Class" through your book (if you purchase Nancy's book) then she has some really wonderful and sweet bears you can make using patterns of hers in the book. There are many choices also and even some clothing if you wish to cloth your bear. I have spent years on perfecting my patterns and because they are all I use I want to see how they translate to fur so I will stick to them for this journey. If I find that something in Nancy's book looks interesting and I have never done that I might alter one of my patterns which will give me another lesson!

I also took a course through Nancy's school on designing a pattern a long time ago that I found extremely enjoyable and helpful!

I will get to what to do with the lining another post nearer to the end of this particular journey!

Now all I have to do is decide on the size of bear I wish to make with this seal coat! This is not a long coat as you could see in the photo it is a bomber style so I don't have a lot of fur to work with!

Nancy suggests in her book that seal can be made up into a bear that is 7 - 17" tall. I am hoping in my case to get two bears out of this coat so that I can have one and I can offer the lady who donated the coat to me the other one. It will be a surprise as she was unable to pay for the service but seeing as how I am using the coat as a learning tool... and I am getting so very much out of this journey I would like to give her a thank you!

I don't think that I will incorporate the collar into these bears or bear depending on what I decided to do. There is not a whole lot of that fur and as I said the leather is very dry on that part but I will try to treat it and maybe do another of Nancy's projects on it later! There is a great bear ornament in her book!

Okay so that's it for post number two on Fur Fridays! If you are working along with me... that professional seam ripper is a great tool but if you don't have one Nancy uses a nice sharp pair of scissors to cut closely along the seam line!

DO NOT cut all the pelts individually apart! You are simply getting the coat apart in the biggest pieces possible so you have large areas that lay flat to draw your pattern onto! You want the pelts to stay sewn together where ever possible!

Also if your coat has a black lining! You want to keep that lining on and we are going to make another lining also in another post!

Have a great week everyone! Join me on What's On My Worktable Wednesdays also to see what other projects I am working on! This is just a short one photo post to give you a glimpse at my worktable... a little sneak peak!


  1. I am enjoying these posts. Love to see it coming along.

  2. Great post. I am doing some fur bears now, so it is interesting.