Upcycling a Classic Coat
I will show you how to up-cycle and simply sew to get a cosy classic coat, ready for the colder weather.
A coat can be an expensive garment to make, unless you up-cycle one you like the fabric of.
Here is my charity shop bargain, £3 for a wool navy coat, in very good condition.
I would love to be able to report that this “before” picture is really an “after weight loss” picture. However, my size has stayed the same but the coat was far too big, several sizes too big.
The material was good quality, a great colour for me, so worth some care and sewing. In fact, as the cost of material rises, I both buy, and advise others to buy, clothes that will provide fabric and haberdashery to use instead of buying new.
You may be interested to see how I up-cycled some denim jeans and some shirts to meke a lined tunic dress
Sometimes a £1 bargain rail charity shop, or car boot sale find will generate fabric, a zip and/or buttons. Extra—large cotton men’s shirts are a favourite up-cycle of mine for patchwork and crafting. It’s worth training your eyes to see pre-worn garments in a new light!
It’s much easier to take fabric away than to increase the size of a bargain!
This wool coat needed taking in by 12 inches, to have a fitted rather than sack like feel. After measuring, the first thing was to cut up the back of the lining to expose the coat’s construction.
Here is the maths:
The 12 inch reduction was then planned and divided:
4 inches by taking in the back seam by 2 inches
5 inches by taking in both side seams by 1.25 inches. (this was continued for the sleeve seams).
2 inches by creating 2 back darts, and 1 inch by moving the button position (the buttons were also replaced)
First some unpicking was needed:
The shoulder pads were removed
Either side of the bottom back and side seams
Either side of the top and bottom sleeve seams (armhole and cuff)
The seams were pinned and the new seam position marked with tailors chalk.
Because wool does not fray, straight stitch on my trusty Bernina
machine was used.
If the fabric had been one to fray, I would have considered using my overlocker (serger), to cut and finish the seam in one action.
After sewing the seams, they were trimmed to the original seam allowance, clipped in to the stich line and then pressed (with a steam iron on wool setting)
The lining was then taken in at the same places, except for the inside back.
The unpicked cuff, armhole and hem were then reattached to the lining, to complete the seam
The back darts were positioned, pinned and marked with chalk as shown.
After stitching, these were pressed towards the centre back seam.
The centre back lining cut was then taken in and with right sides together stitched, leaving a portion to allow it to be turned back so the inside main and inside lining seam were together. The gap was slip stitched together to close.
The new buttons were sewn on further in and the original buttons removed. You can up-cycle something from one garment to create further designer items!
To embellish the completed coat, I made a brooch which was attached with a brooch back.
The coat was brushed to remove threads and fluff, and then steamed to remove a stain and refresh both the fabric and lining.
The completed upcycled coat. 12 inches smaller.
I would love to hear of your up-cycling, please get in touch, or comment below.
Read more on getting cosy