Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers

Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Work in Progress for Custom Teddy #14

For Diane

From her mother's mink jacket ... at least 2 teddies (pattern #2)

I'm looking forward to making ... polar bears!
This lovely ivory mink will become beautiful polar bears.

The pelts look like they are in great condition.

The wonderful wide pelts will be a pleasure to work with.
This is what I found printed on the leather side of the pelt. Sometimes I find handwritten notes from the furrier when it was a custom-made mink garment, that is always fun to find, but no notes on this pelt although it was nice to see these markings. In 1999 New York's last remaining dressing plant, Meisel-Peskin, has closed its doors after nearly 70 years in business.

I'm going to prepare linings for 4 teddies so I can get an accurate estimate as to how many teddies are actually hiding in this jacket.

Update: Saturday Jan. 20, 2018:
Okay, I finally found the time to update my work on this order after a very eventful week that included my husband's surgery on his arm on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday  I was making sure that everything went smoothly on my 94 year old mother's fence demolition and installation of a new fence, also doing her grocery shopping ... topping the week off with rushing my husband to the ER last night because his arm and hand was too swollen and discolored. He was in the ER from midnight to 6am so I got maybe an hour or two of sleep. They checked my husband for a blood clot and changed his bandaged wrapping from surgery which were definitely too tight. At the moment he seems to be doing well. OMG, it's amazing that I can get any work at all done on my teddies!

The jacket is cut apart. Here is the main body of the jacket.

Here are the sleeves, collar, and the front pocket areas

I laid out the pattern for the two teddies requested. And to answer the inquiry: "is there enough mink for 4 teddies?", I then laid down more teddy patterns on the remaining pelt. The result? Hooray! There is exactly enough pelt remaining for just two more teddies ... for a total of 4.

Update: Jan. 22, 2018

I cut out two teddy bears:

This is one of the mink pieces that I cut out,
my next step is to trim the sewing line around each pattern piece. 

Here is the same piece with the seam allowance trimmed.
While this is a very time consuming step, it always makes sewing easier 
and, more importantly, it gives the finished teddy a smoother appearance.

And now I have to trim each pattern piece. I think that each teddy has about 30 pattern pieces. So it will take a little while to trim 60 pattern pieces ... 

Sewing is the most time consuming step. Finally all finished with sewing both teddies.
Now time to assemble ...

First headless teddy.
So far, so good.

First two teddies ... almost finished ... still need the final detailing (waxing nose and hand painting).

Now working on the next two teddies for this order .....

The bodies are done and waiting for the heads.

Now I'm looking for a face in the mink ball ...