I finally got up the courage to try cutting into the fur.
There’s a lot of pelts in my piece, and some are really ratty and falling apart, so I used them to get used to the techniques for sewing fur. It also gave me the chance to play with the collar pattern to determine what works best.
The first thing I did was remove the cotton twill tape that was blindstitched to the hemline of the fur. Remember I’m working with the bottom 12” of a coat that’s been restyled. When I checked my mink, the lining is actually handstitched to twill tape so that it’s flush with the edge of the pelts at the hem.
You can also see the tiny overcast-type stitches on the wrong side of the fur. Pelts are “let out” to length them or to make them wider and therefore get more area out of a single pelt. Seams are also done in the same way, in effect eliminating all allowances – exactly like a butted seam. So I trimmed all the seam allowances on the collar pattern piece.