Monday, January 10, 2011

An Amazing Coat Transformation

Hey, there! Welcome to the second-ever post on Crafting Chronicles! I've been working on several things at once, which is my usual M.O.  I thought I'd wait until I was finished with certain things before I posted them here, but my son says I'd never post if that were the case.  I usually forget to photograph things until AFTER they've gone out the door with the client!  With that in mind, thought I'd post what I have in progress, then post the final photos tomorrow.  Was planning on having this done by today, but I'm an on-call seamstress for a sign shop about 10 or 15 miles away and got called in today, so there went that plan.
A friend of mine was gifted this lovely off-white coat (some kind of synthetic blend) after working at a church function.  She loved the coat, but kept it in her closet for almost a year because it was beastly long.  Like me, she is vertically challenged.  She brought it over in hopes that I could make it a bit more user-friendly.  Right away, I could see that it would be great as what we used to know as a "car coat" - one that kept you warm but wasn't so long that it would get caught in the car door.
Before the transformation
As you can see, I pinned it to a more appropriate length for her.  Two stupidly placed buttons have been removed - they hit right on the bust points! Off they went, to be used again toward the end of the refashion.

Off with their heads!

Next went the shoulder pads, which could have qualified my friend for the NFL.  I had to cut through the lining to get to them.  That will be handstitched shut.
Good-bye, shoulder pads! Make friends with the other remnants!
Next, I marked the hemline with chalk, then opened out the lining and cut the coat.  (I don't know why, but this part always feels like I'm going to get into trouble for chopping up a perfectly good garment.  Hard to shake that little voice in my head!)
Chop, chop!
Of course, I left enough below the chalked hemline to turn up.  Next came the lining, cut to match the new coat length.
Whacka, whacka, whacka!
The coat's previous hemline, lining hemline, and front facings were all hand-hemmed.  I think to retain that "professional" look, a lot of hand-stitching is coming down the pike.  Here's an example:
Loosened hand-stitching can be seen near the top.

Tomorrow: New buttonholes, new button placement, hand-stitching, and Voila! New coat!  Stay tuned!

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