Project–The Year of the Budget and the Fur Coat

We have a new budget.

And it is written by the Medes and Persians, and therefore altereth not nor can be changed.

Even if Esther bedecks herself in full array.

I know.

So in this The Year of the Budget, I found that the Whit’s End Family all had grown 6 inches and nothing fit.  Uhmmmm.  That included me.  You could just say that I am “well-rounded.” So we headed to our local Thrift Store hoping for a miracle.   My problem with Thrift Stores, is that I never buy useful, functional, daily needed objects.  I always find treasures.  They aren’t always practical, but how boring to live a practical life.  Practically monotonous.  (And for you readers of “Out of Africa”). . .Pendantry.  “I sometimes thought that what, at the bottom of their hearts, they feared from us was pedantry.  In the hands of a pedant they die of grief.”  Unimaginative.

So we left the Thrift store with five more books, several cotton jammies for the Little Man, one winter coat, and two fur stoles.  Imaginative.  I had ideas, I had plans.

Here is the Rothschild coat that I bought for my Scout. ($8.ish)


It is beautiful.  And had never been worn (original tags).  I liked everything about it, except that I found the fur a little too variegated.  At least that was the excuse I used as I wanted to try to rescue this fur stole.

Here is a picture that shows the tears in the shoulders.  Unfortunately, it is very blurry and out of focus.  I took the photo that way on purpose as I wanted it to represent my not yet materialized ideas of how to proceed with the alterations.  Either that or I just didn’t use the correct button on my camera.  One of the above.  You can pick.  This photo is entitled, “Mink on Oriental” to sound artsy and expensive. 

I got out my seam ripper and went to work.  First I took off the faux fur pieces on the Rothschild coat to use as patterns.

Next I started taking away the layers on the stole.  For some reason, I was very nervous.  I don’t know why because this was the price tag.

That would be $4.80.  As I continue to take the fur stole apart, I found this label in the pocket.

This photo doesn’t show the year, but it is 1969.  Detroit was a crazy place in 1969.  The stole was monogrammed with the letters gLa.  The L  = Lynch, but what about the “G”.  Grace?  Gretchen?  Gilda?  Gwynne?  Ginny? Genevieve?  And what was the occasion for the purchase?  1969 was a little over 40 years ago.  If Mrs. Lych was in her twenties, she could still be alive.   I wish I knew the history of this mink stole.  However, I do know its future.  My Scout is going to wear it every cold Sunday this year (and since I live in Michigan that will be for a long time.)

I began snipping threads here and there–nervous.

Each panel of mink was stamped. 

Here are the pieces.

At last it was time to cut the fur.  I was hesitant.  I really didn’t want to destroy something so beautiful. . .

I gently pinned on the pattern pieces, took a deep breath, and cut.

Even the destroyed mink stole somehow kept its beauty.

Cutting fur is a messy job.  It gets everywhere.  I learned many things while sewing fur.  Stitches close together act as a “tear here” notice to the fur.  It is very hard to work with.  After I was finished, I realized that I should have glued? a ribbon everywhere I wanted to stitch to ease the tension on the delicate (old) fur. 

I had to add a large pleat at the back of the cap, as there is not a lot of  “give” to fur, and a lot of “give” to 100% wool.

The hood with its fur lining.  It will probably need to be redone, as the fur is already tearing at high stress spots, but it will work for my Scout this Sunday.

The sleeves are just hem-stitched to the sleeve lining, as it was very late (midnight) and I was tired of having the fur tear.

But My Girl woke up Sunday morning to a “new” fur-lined winter coat.

So we went to the Thrift Store in The Year of the Budget of the Medes and Persians hoping for a miracle. . .

and you know?  I think we got one.

Moral:  If you are facing A Year of A Budget, don’t give up or give in, start looking for some treasures in odd places.  Take a few $4.80 risks to spice up your month.

I might even have enough fur left over for a muff.  Now I just need a few uninterrupted hours.  . . . .maybe next year.

sending much love your way,


P.S.  The other fur stole was mended and is MINE ALL MINE!!! 

P.S.S.  My next “wish list” project is to make a fur throw for my living room.  So if you run across any $4.80 fur pieces, shoot me an email, as I would love to buy them.  Or keep them and send me a photo of your fur rescue project.

P.S.S.S.  I completed my kids wardrobe needs and my social needs with an annual trip to the Outlet Mall with 15 ladies.  What fun! Until next fall ladies!!

P.S. x 3.  I wish I had read this blog before starting.  It is about sewing fur.  or this  one. and if I ever need a fur sewing machine

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7 Responses to Project–The Year of the Budget and the Fur Coat

  1. Kerry says:

    Great job Rebecca! Looks great.


  2. Dad and Mom Whit says:

    Hats off, Rebecca! I would NEVER have tried anything this complicated and it turned out


  3. Debbie says:

    Very IMPRESSED!!!! You always have the best ideas!!!!


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