Friday, December 13, 2013

What to do with a coat that's a wonderful color but unwearable?

Start tearing it up before I even leave the store apparently! (I don't recommend this... I was going to buy it, don't just rip things in stores please).

I found this super cheap wool coat at work (at a thrift store that is). It caught my eye because it was a lovely plum color. I had some ideas for things that needed wool felt, so I figured this might be a good opportunity to try them out without spending a ton of money on wool.

I got too into this project and started ripping before taking a photo, hence the missing sleeve.

Usually I feel super bad ripping apart vintage things because I know they'll never be produced again. Repair and wear comes before destroying/recycling/reconstructing even. I get so sad seeing things that were in good shape destroyed because someone wanted to reconstruct them.
Anyways, in this case, I thought no one would ever buy and wear this coat because of the significant damage it had. You can kind of see in the photo that there was salt stains along the bottom, visible wear along the cuffs/bottom/shoulders, fading, the lining was torn in multiple places, and so on.

The above became this pretty quickly:

This then went straight into the washing machine and through a tumble dry cycle. Don't do that with your good wool coat. I didn't care what happened to this fabric, but I did need it to be cleaned thoroughly. If this washing caused the fabric to felt/shrink, it was a benefit to me because I wanted a thick sturdy felt. I also tested the wash out first on that sleeve I ripped off before taking photos, just in case the fabric disintegrated on me.

At this point, I was left with clean, soft, plum colored felt. I used the reverse side to avoid any discoloration that I might run into, and made two items to start.

The first is a cuff bracelet. It closes with two buttons and has three mobius strips that wrap around your wrist. This was one of the first times I used a rotary cutter. I caved and bought one for small projects like this. Maybe I'll feel better about making bows if I can cut them evenly too... maybe...

The second item is a phone/IPod case. Personally I like a case that attaches to my IPod, but I liked this idea and wanted to try it.

I almost never use the decorative stitches on my machine, so I thought I'd give that a try as well. It finishes off the edges, strengthens the seams, and gives some subtle decoration.

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