Last week, just after I had traced out the pattern pieces for my Forever Fur I had to test to see if I had enough fabric to actually make the coat. Since I had cut about 1/4 yard in length already for the La Rue bag, I figured it was going to be tight. Thankfully, I had just enough fur for the body and sleeves of the jacket. The collar, however, was not so fortunate.
After several minutes trying different layouts, I realized that I am about 1.5" short on the collar width. You can see this in the picture below.
My first response was to just go with it and shorten the collar to fit the fabric at hand. But then I looked again at my fabric and tried to visualize the collar cut out along that grain. Instead of having the scallops of the fur running vertically, with this placement they would be horizontal and that would just not do. This was a problem because I would then be more like a foot short, instead of just 1.5."
Could I just piece it? I posted my query on Burda English and received a lovely and detailed response from Fivecats on just how once can seam fur of any kind. I resolved that if necessary, I would take that route. But first, to save my sanity, I opted to try to find another piece of my fur. I hit the road and an hour of digging later, I found what I was looking for! I actually did a little victory dance in the aisle, much to the amusement of some art students standing near by. No more worries, right? Wrong! In my excitement and the poor lighting in the store, I failed to closely inspect the fur. When I got home and laid it out on my cutting table in the harsh light of the winter sun, the crushed fur was immediately evident. It's about 25% crushed, all along the fold line and in various other places that make careful placement essential. Also, this means I don't have nearly enough wiggle room as I had hoped with an extra yard of fabric at my disposal.
I can hear your question: now what? Well, there is enough usable fabric for me to cut a single collar piece with zero errors. Of course, this pressure makes me want to be extra careful with my layout, which in turn makes me question the direction of the fur. Every time I think I have it, I second guess myself and think: huh, that can't be right! I know the collar has to placed so that the fur is running vertically, but then which side is to be along the neck line? The seamed end or the folded end? Egads, I just can't visualize it.