Dear readers, I need your advice.  Please read to the bottom and weigh in! First, I preface:

Every evil mastermind has to have a feline sidekick.  Dr. Evil has Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Claw has M.A.D. Cat, Gargamel has Azreal.

bigglesworth dr. claw gargamel_and_azrael_from_the_smurfs

And of course, The Selfish Seamstress has Sasa, who, through some sort of baffling chain of events actually ended up being dropped off at an animal shelter before coming home with me.  Who would put this darling kitty in a shelter, when she was so clearly meant to be the perfect sidekick to an evil mastermind??


Now, even though the Selfish Seamstress’s “heart” is really just a small heart-shaped lump of ice that pumps cold water through her veins, what little love it is capable of is devoted entirely to Sasa, her beloved, soft and fuzzy animal companion. (Well, not entirely true because the Selfish Seamstress has a whole lot of love for herself too.)

I may not be the biggest animal rights activist or the most passionate of animal lovers, but I do draw some lines for myself.  Dan and I keep to a vegetarian diet during the week in attempt to reduce our meat consumption, and on the weekends if we do eat meat, we try to make sure it’s been sustainably and humanely raised.  And as a general rule, I do NOT wear fur. I do wear wool, silk, and leather, however. And, for the sake of full disclosure, in college I did have a scarf that I loved that was made of curly Mongolian lamb fur, which I rationalized was no worse than wearing leather since lamb fur and sheepskin, like leather, are also by-products of the meat industry (unlike mink or fox which are raised or hunted primarily for their pelts.) Anyway, I’m sure we’re all familiar with this debate and have heard all of the viewpoints on it a million times and blah blah blah, people get self-righteous or high and mighty, and I have no particular desire to revisit it.


It’s True Story Time!

Okay, this is a true story.  I am not lying to cover up a shameful purchase or anything like that.  This really happened. One day last spring I was walking down to my favorite fabric store in Chicago, Vogue Fabrics.  Those of you familiar with Vogue Fabrics know that it is located on Roosevelt Road and that it is surrounded by numerous men’s clothing stores and tailoring shops that skew kind of… well… is “pimpy” too strong a word?  Let’s just say that if you are a man who happens to be employed in the lady rental business, you might find that the shops along Roosevelt Road have the styles and selection you’re looking for at prices you’ll love! 

So, I’m walking to Vogue, and as I cross the street, less than a block from the store, I happen upon a trash can with THIS draped over it:


That’s right.  An ENTIRE fur coat, made of curly Mongolian lamb.  I stand there for a minute in shock, sort of freaked out at this enormous pile of fur, but the selfish part of me and the seamstress part of me and the part of me that hates to see things go to waste all get together and say, “OPPORTUNITY.” So after a bit of hesitation and examination, I pick it up.  It has some tears along the seams, some small stains, it’s definitely pimptastic, and it reeks of cologne.  But it’s not obviously infested with anything and the fur and the satin lining are in good condition. Plus it’s enormous:


And, the fur is really pretty:


I tote it off to the dry cleaner to rid it of cologne stench, trash can residue, incriminating fingerprints, and whatever else its previous owner might have left behind, and retrieve it about a week later at the cost of about $50, which seems like quite a steal for a giant fur coat, at least to someone with no experience in fur-buying.

So now comes the difficult part. It’s quite easy for me to sit on a high horse and say, “I don’t wear fur” on some vague self-righteous principle. But I feel like the fur in this case has sort of come to me and is now dancing temptingly before me. And it’s lamb, which, you recall, I rationalize is no worse than leather because of that by-product thing. And it so happens that I have some coat-weight cream colored cashmere that has been sitting in my stash for nearly two years now, waiting to be turned into a coat.  And now that it has seen the fur, it really wants to be turned into a coat with luxurious curly trim.

Dear readers, please weigh in.  If I make (and wear) a lamb fur trimmed cashmere coat am I evil (though incredibly chic)?  Or is it no worse than if I just have it lying around in my house? Would you throw red paint on me if you saw me, thus ruining hundreds of dollars worth of cashmere? Is the distinction I’m making between lamb fur and mink just a load of crap? Am I worrying about stupid stuff when there are people out there who have real problems?  Why do I care so much about what other people think?  Why on earth would I pick a coat out of a trash can when it had clearly last been worn by a pimp?  Help! I need answers!

Oh, and there’s one more complicating factor I didn’t mention.  I’m not the only one in the house who has her eyes set on that coat:


But surely she doesn’t need the whole XXL thing?