Saturday, January 21, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, my atelier was recommended to a very nice, young lady that wanted to do some major changes on a mink fur coat. She has tried to find some solutions at professional fur makers but they were too pricey. I never buy fur but when I get a vintage piece on my hands I like to work it mostly in combination with leather. The results are always exciting! Every time I’ve got unique pieces mostly made in Austria and the customers are happy to have something rare.

Bettina’s coat was a wonderful piece that belonged to her grandmother. Fitting for that time, I would estimate the 50s, the design was beautiful. The coat’s length was 3/4, very wide on the lower part with narrow shoulders, small collar and puffy sleeves gathered in small cuffs.

I can’t work any type of fur, I first need to have a look at its softness (time can make fur stiff), thickness of the leather and most important check the “health” state: no hair falling, no worms or eggs, no molding or dust.

This coat was a pleasure to have; the inside was in perfect condition, the odour was almost inexistent and the bindings were done by real masters. So, I loved it!
Bettina wanted to have a jacket that she can wear with casual outfits (jeans, leggings and blouses) as well a good option for elegant evenings.

In the first step, I cut approximately 40cm off the length, got rid of the extra lining (it had three layers), narrowed the seams on the sides, back and sleeves. Then I lengthened the sleeves cuffs as the original sleeves short by 6cm. I worked on the lining and closed the open areas.

In the second step I did three accessories from the remaining fur. As I wanted to achieve to make the most of the left fur, I had to find the best way to keep all the pieces as rectangular as possible without losing too many centimeters. The original cut was curved following the coat's design.

 Bettina wanted very much a handbag. So I suggested a shopper made in a combination with caramel colour leather. She loved the idea and we continued planning a wristlet and a pillow cover.

The back side of the pillow case has a suede optic fabric that fits very nice and the wristlet is made in combination with dark brown goat leather.

Pillow case in work. I've decided for a yellow color lining.
Pillow case

Bettina enjoyed the results and I am happy that she made the best of her mink coat!

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