New old coat

Have you been to a clothes swap? They are genius. You invite a large number of ladies, bring all the stuff you don’t wear, madly try a bunch of things on, score some new stuff and the host takes the leftovers to the op shop. The challenge is to invite fresh meat each time so you don’t just keep swapping the same polyester 70s vest over and over (still, that does happen).

Despite knowing a bevy of similarly statuesque clothes swappers, I don’t usually score much. But a few weeks back I had my best haul ever. A cardie, couple of tops, silk dress, and a corker old coat. I’d guess early 70s perhaps, all wool. It just looked a bit tired.

That was then, this is now. After a clean, hem and button refastening and tucking in some pulled threads, tis lovely again.


The most important alteration was to let the sleeves down because it was a bit Herman Munster length on me. These old coats often have generous turn ups on the sleeves, and by simply inserting a strip of lining, you can add a good 2-3″. Which I did with some nearly matching acetate lining. This pic also shows the intense electric blue and brown weave of the cloth. Hooray for new free coat!

A parting shot of a Thing Of Beauty: neatly refolded and restacked stash. This is probably one sixth of the full stash. Yessirree, I think we have a problem.


Waistular areas – added and subtracted

In a fit of usefulness last weekend, I did three things.

Thing the first: I took an old ratty petticoat I’d bought at a garage sale that was too short and had lost the stretch in its elastic top and fixed it. I sawed off the old top with my overlocker. Then I traced off the nicely-fitting waistband of the 80s skirt I shortened a while back and used it to make a new top from a thin cotton. No, it doesn’t match, but it’s very fine so it adds hardly any bulk at all. Yay.

Thing the second:  Bolstered by my waistband drafting success, I had another bash at New Look 6981 that I’ve made previously with a poorly-fitting waistband. I used a winter-weight denim pinstriped with little rainbow threads and drafted some in-seam pockets. Other than me botching the left pocket due to to too-short zip/overzealous seam allowance trimming incident that we need say no more about, it’s a good ‘un.

Here Headless Esme models the skirt and, simultanously, because she can multi-task despite her cerebral disadvantage*, she models Thing the third. From a recent clothes swap, I picked up a silk tunic from a friend who complained it was shapeless and didn’t fit. Thus, sadly, is the nature of tunics, I find. So slashy-slashy, hemmy hemmy, I took it up and made a top.

NEXT. Well, next is some sort of warm weather pfaffing about sunfrock. Yup, it’s the middle of winter. But I am off to warmer climes to pfaff about for a couple of weeks. And that deserves a new sunfrock.

*she must, however, be excused for not ironing said garments. She has no arms. Be kind.