While in Anchorage we stopped by several fur places trying to find reasonably affordable fur to work with. Unfortunately as one vendor put it, this is really the wrong time to get into the hobby because fur prices are skyrocketing. Beaver fur was between $70 for a small and 160 for a XXL. I was not quite ready to shell out hundreds on something I was not confident in so I contented myself with buying a couple $15 bags of scraps.
I have spent the last few weeks practicing sewing the scraps together until now I have a 1 foot or so diameter patchwork, mismatched, differently colored and textured, fur going any direction, beaver conglomeration. It is not the prettiest thing in the world and not probably useful but it was good practice for sewing seams.
Recently a local lady has been selling some odds and ends at a ‘yard’ sale in her house. I went over and among the collection of other items were two little fur baby mukluks (booties). I thought they were in reasonable condition although the lady selling them seemed to think they were very worn out and in need of resewing. $5 and I got them with the intention of using them as a pattern for my own.
I got home and got to work trying to work out a pattern. It was difficult because I did not want to cut them apart because they were so cool, but I got a reasonable approximation templated. Next I started looking through my fur scraps to see what I had that would be big enough. After sewing a couple pieces together I had 4 pieces which mad the 4 pieces my template called for with none to spare. While the sides were short otter fur, the top was longer and I don’t think it matches real well, but as practice I guess it is ok.
While cutting it is important to cut the skin side. First because it is hard to find where you are cutting on the other side but also because when you cut the fur side you end up cutting the fur and it looks weird.
Then I started sewing. The easiest is when you can put the fur in between and sew through the skin but to attach the bottom you have to sew through the fur which makes it hard to see where the stitches are going. Still I thought I did a reasonable job and after adding some black beaver fur to the top and some ornamental tassels (I still have to figure out how to make functional draw strings) I thought it looked pretty good. Unfortunately I only had enough material for one so I have been making one legged baby jokes for a while.
I thought that would be the end of this until my next trip to anchorage until a teacher mentioned that the yard sale had gotten some new items in, including some furs. I went down and picked up a smallish beaver fur, a wolf fur (missing the head and paws) and, most exciting, a wolverine fur. Wolverine furs are fairly expensive and a good sized well tanned one can go for $800-$1000. This one was not tanned and, while not small, not large either. They are highly prized around here for hood ruffs. Wolverine fur is smoother than other furs which means it does not frost up as heavily as other furs making it ideal for very cold weather.
With this new beaver fur I started out on a pair of baby mukluks.
The direction of the fur is important. The bottom piece has to have the fur laying towards the toe. The other three pieces just have to be all forward or all back as far as I can tell. Then there is a strip around the top which can go any direction.
Kevin said they look like little Grinch feet.