& HOW TOS!!!
Recycling Your Old Fur Coat
Many of us have old fur coats hanging in our closets or
in storage that we have decided that we will never wear, but because
of sentimental reasons we are not willing to part with them. A great
idea for using these old fur coats is to turn them into a bear or a
family of bears for everyone to enjoy. Check out how to have your old
fur coats made into a Real
Fur Bear for you at Bears & Bedtime.
Here are a few tips to make your foray into real fur bear
making more enjoyable:
When tracing your bear, cut out all the pattern pieces
from cardboard FIRST. Lay your pattern out on the good side of the
fur so you can pay attention to the natural stripes and patterns in
your fur. Once you have decided where to lay your pieces, turn your
fur coat over to the hide side and lay out your pattern pieces. Trace
around pattern pieces with a permanent marker. Carefully cut out the
pieces on the INSIDE of the pen line being careful to only cut the
HIDE of the fur and not the hair itself. (If you cut on the outside
of the pen line, your bear will grow in size and the pen, although
permanent, could rub off on your hands and then onto your bear.)
Fur coats are constructed with many, many tiny pieces
of an animal hide, which are then sewn together. A fur coat, like
your skin can dry out and become brittle. If you make your bear without
lining it, later in its life, it could become brittle and start splitting
This is by far the most important tip, LINE YOUR BEAR. Using polyester
broadcloth, pillow ticking or just an old sheet cut out all the pieces
of your bear from lining. When assembling your bear, simply lay the
lining piece over the hide of the bear and sew all the layers together
When sewing with real fur, make sure you use a leather
needle in your sewing machine and glovers needles for hand sewing.
They are made especially for working with leather and will make life
easier for you.
When pinning your bear, be careful to keep the pins
within the seam allowance you dont want your bear to
have holes in his body! A way to avoid this problem is to use an alligator
clip. They hold the pieces together well, and dont make holes.
Alligator clips are available at any electronic type of store.
If the hide of your fur coat is very dry, try using
Neatsfoot Oil on the hide of your fur to condition it. Please test
the Neatsfoot Oil on a small piece of hide that wont show before
you use it on your whole coat it can darken lighter leathers
in some cases.
When jointing a real fur bear it is best to use hardboard
joints. Plastic joints tend to loosen and your bear may fall over
and hurt his nose. You can use cotterkeys or nuts & bolts to secure
your hardboard discs, but hex bolts are easier to use and tighten
On regular bears, a hand-sewn nose can be re-sewn
if you dont like it. Noses on real fur bears can be more tricky.
Because you are making a hole in the hide every time you take a stitch
you dont have too many chances to do it over. A good option
to avoid hand-stitching challenges is a glass nose. They are inserted
just like a glass eye and have a nice shiny, wet-nose look to them.