Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers

Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Work In Progress ... Custom Order 11

For Connie

Connie sent me her mother's mink stole and requested a "Mother-Daughter" set, if possible.
Typically I can find two teddies "hiding" in a typical mink stole but I knew that this one would be a tight squeeze because this stole was smaller than typical, the mink strips were narrow, and the pelts were not in the best condition.  
When I was taking the stole apart the pelts started to shred ... but fortunately the shredding was along the stitching. So I just cut the pelt strips along all of the stitching and when I needed a larger piece I just sewed pelts together again ... hoping that they would be stronger since I line all of my pattern pieces with cotton material.

Since this is mink is fragile in many areas I will have to hand sew most, if not all, of both teddies because I can't risk making a mistake with my sewing machine because once the needle pierces the pelt it is just like cutting it with a knife (leather is NOT self healing).

Hopefully this fabric lining on each pattern piece will give the teddy enough strength that it will not shred when I have the teddies all sewn up and start to stuff them. Yes, that has happened to me before with pelts that have been in similar borderline conditions ... so fingers crossed!

These two teddies will take a bit longer to complete because of the extensive hand-work required.

Please note: Connie had requested that I add some extra personalized embroidered words on the foot pads ... sorry, I don't do that any longer on my Custom Bears because it is too time consuming and my hands are always sore (no surprise after almost 30 years of hand-sewing mink teddies).

UPDATE: posted April 5, 2017
Oh My Gosh!!! What happened to March ? I did little to no sewing. The photos below was work that I accomplished by the first week of March and after that, nothing. Why? Well, it was a month of Doctors visits (not for me but for the rest of my family, my daughter, my mother, and my husband ... and my son-in-law). I took a look a my March calendar notes and here is the final count: Doctor's visits: 18, Urgent Care visits: 2, late night Emergency Room visits: 3. My husband, who rarely gets sick, was the sickest one. He even missed 2 weeks of work. He is still not well but he has gone back to work and sometime soon he will be able to schedule the minor operation that he needs.

At this point I only needed to finish making the teddy heads, which is the most important part, so I never work on the heads when I am exhausted or stressed ... of course I was both for the entire month of March ... therefore, no bears were created.

Oh, by the way, I also injured my finger early March ... one of my sewing fingers! But I was too busy with my family to take myself to the doctor. Looking back a my calendar for the month of March: 18 doctor visits, 3 Urgent Care visits, 3 middle of the night Emergency Room visits to the hospital. Of course, none of these were for me ... my role was as caregiver and driver to my husband, daughter, and mother. Which left me no time to take myself to the doctor when I hurt my finger.

Of course, I thought that in time that the swelling would go away. Well, a month later my finger was still swollen and I was unable to bend it. My daughter made a doctor's appointment for me ...

Update April 7, 2017:
A finger splint! This is how I left after my doctor's visit. I apparently did more damage than I thought because she is referring me to a hand specialist. How long did the splint stay on once I got home? not long because I can't do anything with that on my finger ... not even typing (which I am doing now). I do have my finger wrapped but I only wear the splint when I do not have to use my hand to work.