Do you have an old vintage fur coat that you’ll never wear?

Why not have me transform it into something new that you will enjoy now and everyday? Contact me at elle Vintage elle@ellevintage.com

I have just finished turning a muskrat fur coat — that probably hasn’t been worn in decades — into these stunning pieces.

 

 

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Irma and pillows

–That’s what occupied my time and my heart this weekend.

As I worked, CNN was queued on the TV — “drowned out” a bit by the rat-a-tat-tat of my sewing machine. I marathon-ed 7 gorgeous pillow covers since Friday and all the while, my thoughts and best wishes were with everyone affected by the storm. I am pretty amazed at how cool the people of the state of Florida are (and Texas too, for that matter); their composure, organization, grace and resilience. I have no doubt that they will be back on their feet in record time.

I hope that you will all be home-sweet-home and settled in again soon.

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Taking apart and prepping a vintage fur coat for the making of fur art

It takes me about an hour and a half to take apart a coat and get it ready to make something. I prepped two coats today. One is a medium brown beaver coat and the other is a geometrically-cut mahogany mink fur coat. I’ll be making two pillow covers from each. See some of my other recycled fur and faux fur pillows here. I’ll definitely be making a couple of teddy bears too.

There is sO much going on inside a fur coat, and I have to take my time and a lot of care to not cut what I’m not supposed to cut! And since I don’t have a studio with a giant table, the floor it is. So..ow.

Scroll down to see the process…

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This is the mahogany mink. It’s a pretty big coat, so I will be able to make many things.
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Opening up the coat, you can see a silky brown lining — I’ll recycle this fabric to line the pillows.
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I start at the bottom hem and work my way up. 

 

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The lining is off and underneath is a layer of white batting,that is sewn into the pelt eeeverywhere. 

 

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I use an xacto knife. I used to have an antique brass furrier knife but I lost it (sorry Nick and Alex).

 

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The infrastructure inside a coat is meticulously crafted and detailed. For me, it all has to go. I always feel kind of bad undoing such hard work.
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This is what the pelt looks like inside. It’s all small pieces sewn together.  Things I make with these types of coats take much longer, because I have to examine EVERY single seam to make sure nothing is undone. It’s torturous, but worth it — these styles of fur make dreammmy things!
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Ha! My lucky day? This Canadian Looney slipped out of the pocket as I cut it off!  woohoo! (…are McDonald’s Summer Drink Days still on?)
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Closer inspections reveals that it is a 1988 Looney. That doesn’t date the coat at all, of course..but it probably means this baby is Canadian! Guess I’ll charge $1 less for this pillow…
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The collar is one flat piece — perfect for earmuffs, shoe poms and baby hat poms!
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And there it is. Stripped of the extras and laying flat, ready for me to cut the pillow pieces.
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These clean, shiny beautiful fur pieces are ready to be made into 12″ x 18″ bolster throw pillows.
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The same goes for these beaver pieces I cut from the beaver coat earlier.
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The coat linings are headed for the washer and dryer then to be transformed into the pillow linings.
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…Can’t stress THIS enough…haha!

 

Update: Mink Set completed 🙂 See my Etsy listing here.

 

Update: Beaver set completed 🙂 See my Etsy listing here.

 

 

 

Behind-the-scenes at elle Vintage

I’m always reading articles about how to market your online shop. Along with the usual product and sales feature suggestions and guides, another common suggestion is to show a little behind-the-scenes imagery. The idea is to give our audience a break from the “buy this!” posts, by showing the day-to-day inner workings of our home businesses.

Well, I have always thought that this suggestion shouldn’t apply to me and elle Vintage, since, well, it’s hairy embarrassing!

But I’m just back from vacation in the beautiful nature of Northern Ontario, doing nothing but spending time with family and family that I haven’t seen in years — and enjoying meeting new family members. So the change of scenery has relaxed me to the point that the image of the elle Vintage behind-the-scenes is actually striking me as very funny today.

So here it is, a typical day here, in all its glory.

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I know exactly where everything is.

Below is this same room… at this moment.

But not for long. I’m about to open up shop again to make the orders that came in while I was with the sun and the swimming and the lolling around, being waited on hand and foot…

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Gonna snap out of it and get to work…tomorrow
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I’m still here, mentally.

Feelin’ blessed, so…SHARETHELOVE !

IMG_8534I received a custom order today for 40 pom pom keychain purse charms. Imma be bizzay!

Now, I have been working hard to stock my new website –and wow. It’s going to take me longer than i thought! But I’m getting there…

To that end, until June 12, I am offering everything that I have listed to-date at www.ellevintage.com at 15% off. Just use the Coupon Code SHARETHELOVE.