How To: Repair Damaged Fur

I know, I know – you’re all just DYING to hear how I salvaged the torn $10 bunny-tastic jacket from Green Village Junk Shop. Actually, “torn” is an understatement. Gaping hole is more accurate. Remedying the damage required far more than a needle and thread; it needed to be masked entirely; transformed by outside forces. The hole had to be filled, but with what? This wasn’t a typical patchwork job – it’s not like we’re talking about an effing pair of jeans here. Luckily, once I realized the material used to salvage the jacket had to be as fluff-errific as the jacket itself, the answer became abundantly clear.


I don’t own mink blankets or bearskin rugs; I’m not rich enough to be that ostentatious. Yet. I do, however, own a vintage fur scarf. At least I did, until I cut it up in the name of the greater score.

- Extra Fur in Complementary Color
- Industrial Strength Scissors
- Thick, Durable, Dangerously Sharp Needle
- Cream Colored Thread
- This American Life Podcast (Because stabbing into fur sans finger injury over and over again requires full visual focus, i.e. NO TV. A thimble probs would have been a good idea – Dear Hindsight, I hate you. Moving on.)

(1) Place extra fur on top of hole. Shift until piece of extra fur covers hole in its entirety. Trim extra fur into appropriate shape. Fur patch accomplished.

(2) Measure a piece of thread using the length of your arm as a guide. Snip. Thread needle. Use needle threader to avoid added frustration/aggression.

(3) Smart, patient people pin fabric into place before sewing it onto other fabric. I hail from the DIY school of thought that says imperfections/flaws are beautiful (Just like people! You can gag now). This gives me a stellar excuse to skip tedious steps a la pre-stitch pinning; to each her own.

(4) Sewing time! I started from the interior of the jacket and pierced through both fur pieces for two stitches to secure the patch to the jacket (this may or may not be called a basting stitch), then I realized going from the inside to the outside and back again was – on account of the thickness of the material – a massive beotch and a half. The remaining stitching was done exclusively on the exterior, on a diagonal of sorts.

Can I give you a more technical explanation? Eff no – this is sewing for the domestically challenged, 101. Just make it your biznass to secure the patch to the fur sans excessive heinousness, and you’ll be fine.
A big fat bonus of working with fur? It’s voluminous enough to hide mistakes.

My sewing skills are well below average, but I was still able to make sweet citrus juice out of this lemon of a coat. I actually dig the slight contrast of the cream patch against the white coat – looks like a badass back pocket, methinks.

$10.00 + 1 hour of DIY time = 1 fluffy dream of a coat. A worthy purchase and allocation of energy indeed. Loves it!


  1. Bianca says

    If you ever get tired of it like that, you could totally get that turned into a crop jacket sort of like Bomber jacket style. I think that would be cute too.

  2. Shayna says

    While I normally love all your diy jobs and your finds, I really think the patch job looks… How do I say this nicely?
    Well, I think cropping it would be much better. Get rid of the patch job.

  3. hally says

    man, i have to say i’m really sad about what happened to the scarf…. seriously, that scarf was awesome, especially w/ the pins embellishing it, r.i.p.! couldn’t you have taken fur from some other part of the jacket or bought some rabbit fur (i remember talking my mom into getting some to me a little fur vest, but that never materialized…so i have a box of rabbit fur i’d give you if i still lived near nyc) If i were you i’d take off the patch, try to reassemble the scarf and to cut my losses, so to speak, turn the coat into a bomber or bolero by chopping off the bottom part missing fur. I love this blog, and i love you, so please believe me when i say this looks like a hack job. Just think, what would your mother say about this?

  4. Sandy says

    I have a Persian Lamb that needs a patch, however I would have cropped that coat and left the collar as is. My jacket will remain, as is, hanging in the closet and waiting for miracle repair.

  5. Nicola says

    I’d have taken the sleeves off to make the repair and at the same time turned it into a gillet :)

    The patch doesn’t look good :(

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