UpCycling and Repurposing Old Clothes: Sewing Hack without a Sewing Pattern Men’s Coat to Child’s Coat

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Upcycling and Repurposing Clothing: Sewing Tips for Making Clothes without a Sewing Pattern.

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Following in the footsteps of my grandmother…

My father, Kenny, is pictured with my grandfather just before grampy shipped out to Africa in 1944, serving in the Army Aircorp, during WWII.  He received the purple heart and bronzed star for his service.  My grandfather passed away in 2018 after a very good life at the age of 100.  

My dad is wearing a one-of-a-kind jacket, designed and sewn by my Nana, repurposed from one of my grandfather’s old peacoats.  Nana’s family had come to Chelsea, Massachusetts from Biolystok, Poland in the 1920s.  She had only a sixth grade education, quitting school to supplement the family income, but she had gained skills as a seamstress which also benefited her when she had her own children.

I had been dying to recreate this toddler coat by the same methods my grandmother would have.  Nana needed no manufacturer’s pattern to make it.  She would have fashioned it or created her own pattern based on several factors from the host coat.  She would need to work around the existing pocket type and position, lining/no lining, side seams, sleeve type, etc.  She would have carefully examined the garment, created a pattern out of paper, tried it in place until the design would fit to her satisfaction.  She would have planned the measures and starting cutting right away..likely finishing the project within a day or two.

Nana’s generation of sewers were so skilled in fact, they created detachable collars and covered their own buttons. purchased at stores that have long since vanished, like Woolworths Department Store.  

We will share with you over a course of a few blogs, how we found an old coat to repurpose into a toddler sized jacket very similar to my dad’s coat.

We found that we needed only a few tools and started with a small men’s blazer we found on consignment.

Upcycling Men's Coat to Child's Jacket

Upcycling Challenges

We found there were several challenges along the way.

The Upcycled Host Coat

We found that contrary to our original thinking starting from a men’s coat sized small, was actually not the best way to start.  The bigger the host coat, the less time spent thinking about how much fabric is usable.  The small coat caused restrictions in patter placement, which caused extra time in planning.

Welt Pockets

The biggest challenge was the welt pockets, which needed to be salvaged and not cut into.  We needed  to consider the side seams, which were too far away from the welt pockets for proper placement for a child’s coat.  So we designed a front panel pattern piece from a similar child’s coat (using the punch method, we will be explaining later on in our blogs) and examined and decided that we had enough space to create a bodice pattern front panel.  We took the seams out and trimmed the side seams including the lining keeping some seam allowance for later. 

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Sewing Welt Pockets

Marjorie Vaudreuil

HI. I'M MARGIE I love creating and creations of all kinds! I love Jesus, I love my family and I love to teach! That's what makes life exciting for me and that is why I have so much to share with you. I am founder and owner of SewingPatternSecrets LLC, based in Boston, MA. I am a writer and an avid sewist with a background in fine art and design from New England School of Art and Design, Boston. Sewing Patterns Secrets was conceived with my husband (my #1 supporter), inspired partly from my grandmother, but largely inspired by my mother, who passed in 2017. She supported many decades of my artistry, including, but not limited to, sewing. Whilst my mother was indeed, an important benefactor, my husband has unfailingly supported all of my endeavours and is the Director of Sales. As the Product and Project Director, I conceptualized, developed, produced, tested, and edited all of the 125+ curated sewing patterns, instructions and ebooks, using my decades of experience. I managed a team of fashion designers to help me with the 3D software and production. I and three other master seamstresses, vector artists, graphic designers, and one amazing fashion illustrator. Production took two solid years of detail and hard work and another six months of sales funnel creation. I give thanks to: Fer, Rima, Oksana, Debbie, Kathreen, Suanne, Elizabeth, Jacki, Bronwen, Kimberly, and the many others who contributed. As such, I am gifted with the ability to share with you my expertise and everything that I have learned along the way, as relates not only sewing, but to project and product creation and all areas of design: web, graphic, fashion, pattern and product creation. This would include 10s of software, marketing and SEO tools, affiliate marketing and so much more. All you have to do is ask! In addition to writing all of the ebooks for Sewing Pattern Secrets, I am also the main writer of this blog, but looking for other (Human) sewing bloggers who would like to partner with us. We welcome guest bloggers, vloggers, influencers and also an invitation to blog for you as well. We always want your advice and we also want to hear from you regarding ideas and improvements to our blog, product, or advertising. PLEASE COMMENT. Please do write me at support@sewingpatternsecrets.com. Blessings, Margie "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 www.sewingpatternsecrets.com/vsl www.thesewingbuzz.com www.marjorievaudreuildesigns.com www.buysewingpatternsonline.com (coming soon)

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