Friday, February 3, 2012

Old Sweatshirt and Jacket = New Coat!

 I have been searching all season long for a sherpa-lined denim coat with a collar (not a hood), but hadn't been having much luck. Mainly because it had to be practically free, since I already have a totally decent, lining not ripped out, still warm, non-hideously stained, only 1 year old coat that I just HAD to have last year and now I don't like it because it was trendy I just can't legitimately justify the expense of buying a second coat - but I really wanted it anyway. So, I made it happen. =)
I went to a thrift store and found this cute little jacket for 6$.
 There were quite a few to choose from but this one still looked new and it had the cut and front pockets the way I wanted. At home, I looked in my hubby's closet for the sherpa shirt he hadn't worn for two years but still looked good. He didn't want me cutting it up at first, until I told him I could just go buy new sherpa for 15$. Still a bargain, but not close enough to free for him (or for me, to tell the truth). You can always use a sweatshirt or flannel if you don't have such a handy sherpa shirt as this, but make sure it's a few sizes larger than your jacket since you have to dissect it. Oh, and if your jacket already lined you want to remove the lining, or it will be bulky.

First things first, cut apart your shirt. Lay your jacket sleeve onto your lining sleeve, and trim off the excess material at the bottom. It's very important that your seam on your sleeve be at the bottom. Use a tape measure to measure the inside back panel of the jacket. Measure the same on the back piece of sweatshirt, flannel shirt, etc. Mark it with a piece of chalk or pins and cut it out.
Do the same for the front panels, keeping the hem at the bottom so you can save yourself from having to tuck that in later on. If you're not sure about cutting around your jacket, you can lay it out on tissue paper or even newspaper and trace the pieces you need to cut out. Hopefully, if your shirt was large enough, you have plenty of room at the top of the back piece to cut out the shape for your collar. Don't worry too much about seam allowances on the sleeves, back and front pieces, as this goes inside you want it a little bit smaller than your jacket so cut it to match and the seams will take it in to where it needs to be. But the collar, you do want to trace the shape of the existing collar on the jacket, then add about a half inch all the way around. In the end, your lining will have two sleeves, two front panels, and one back panel, all cut to size of the existing jacket. Then one collar pieces, cut to 1/2 inch larger all the way around. If you don't have enough fabric to make the collar, it's ok. You don't have to have that, I just think it looks better.

Lay one of the front pieces on top of the back piece, right sides together, and sew it at the shoulders and sides. Do the same for the other side, so you have a vest.
Lay the collar, right sides together, on top of the back piece and make sure it is centered. Pin it and sew it on.
Fold the sleeve pieces in half, right sides together and stitch up the side to make the tube.
Turn the sleeve right side out and the body of the lining inside out. Tuck the sleeve into the sleeve hole as in the picture below, and match up the seam of the sleeve to the side seam of the body (where the armpit will go) and pin it in place, then sew it. Trim off your strings and turn the whole lining inside out. Stuff the arms of the lining into the arms of the jacket and your getting pretty warm. Just need to sew it in!


I started at the collar and folded the edges of the sherpa in, then hand stitched the collar at the sides. This is the one area of the coat that I am worried about looking strange, since it is the most visible.

 I was careful not to cover up the button holes with the lining, so I folded the edges of the sherpa in and pinned them just to the inside of the button holes. I took it to my machine, and using a dark colored thread, sewed the lining down the front. The sherpa hides the stitches perfectly. I did the same thing on the other side, but I folded the sherpa in right at the edge of the jacket so there is no unlined area when the coat is buttoned up.

 Since I used a shirt that was already hemmed at the bottom and the sleeves for my lining, it was really simple to just tack them into the jacket at the edges and it was neat and tidy without any fuss on my part. Now I have the new coat I've been wanting and it's every bit as warm as I thought it would be! The "trendy" one gets put in the closet for when I'm feeling more glam.

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