Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fur-lined coat - reporting in

I'm sure I had a clever title for this post, but it seems to have evaporated along with my energy.  I was gunning to have this coat finished today, and finished it is.  However I do not have pictures, yet.  You will have to watch this space.

I'm jetting off tomorrow morning at an ungodly hour for points north.  Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to be exact.  It is 62.3 degrees north, 400 km south of the Arctic circle and about 1,500 km north of Edmonton, Alberta, which at 53 degrees is the furthest north I have been in Canada to date.  I have been further north in the entire world, having in 2007 visited Iceland where one day we went to Hafsós which is at 65.9 degrees north, but that was in August.  This is February.  In Yellowknife (unlike Iceland which has an extraordinary and surprisingly moderate climate) it is frigidly cold at this time of year.  The forecast is not filling me with abject dread - the coldest is -34 -on Thursday (wind chill -42) but daytime highs will be around -18 or so.  This will give my fur-lined coat a good winter workout, without causing me to worry that my life will be at risk.

I am hoping to see glorious displays of the northern lights, or aurora borealis.  This astonishing photo was taken at Yellowknife on February 5:

The garden variety northern lights are green only.  But still...

I shall walk out onto the frozen surface of the lake near my hotel where it's dark, to see them better.  Wearing fur on the inside.

Things to know about sewing fur:

  • Little hairs will be everywhere, no matter what you do.  
  • You don't need seam or hem allowances.
  • Mink is very light weight and the leather is extremely soft.  However, you can give it incredible oomph with interfacing and lambswool padding.
  • Glovers needles don't differentiate between "leather" and "skin".  If you have bad hand-sewing habits, blood will be shed.  Ask me how I know. 
Once I'm in the NWT I'll get someone to take a picture of me in situ, and I'll post more info about sewing a fur coat.  


  1. WOW!! Enjoy! Share! ;)
    Rhonda, who saw the Northern Lights where I was born...

  2. Why is it that you don't need seam or hem allowances?

    Enjoy the Northern Lights!

  3. Have fun!! I'm so excited to see your photos and hear about your trip. Your coat sounds scrumptious. Can't wait for photos. :)

  4. I feel so cold just reading this! Have fun and keep warm.

  5. I went to Yellowknife with the orchestra a few years ago and it was really lovely. I know you'll enjoy it. Especially with that coat on. Have fun!

  6. Oh wow. Seeing the Northern Lights would be amazing! Have fun and stay warm.

  7. Ah, -18 is positively livable! Especially with a fabulous fur-lined coat. I will admit, I've gotten quite spoiled with the southern-Alberta winters, though...

  8. Wow! I'll be thinking of you! I hope that you have a wonderful visit.

    Rose in SV

  9. How awesome to see the lights up close and personal. Stay warm!

  10. oh my goodness, this will make a very scenic backdrop for photos of the fur-lined coat (I hope, anyway!) I am looking forward to seeing it!