Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I felt compelled to make this coat. I had in mind a coat I wore, back when I was about the same age as my granddaughter. The big hurdle was the cost of materials--I didn't want to spend even $50.00, which would be on the low end of cost for wool, lining, cotton batting and a pattern.
I used an old dress pattern that I paid .50 for from a thrift shop. I made the pattern larger, added a long sleeve from another pattern, added pockets, collar, belt and switched the opening to the front. At the thrift shop I found the gray wool in a roll for $1.00, the lining in another roll for $1.00. At home I knew I had some left over cotton batting.
Turned out the gray wool was large scraps left over from someone's sewing project, and the wool had a few small holes in it, probably from moths or mice? I washed all the fabric, feeling a little discouraged that I wouldn't be able to use the wool, but I did have enough if I pieced the sleeves together (note the seam half way down the sleeve). I also had to darn a small hole or two with gray embroidery thread. I used some dark blue thin corduroy I had on hand for the collar and trim. I ran into numerous problems along the way, but because the fabric only cost me a dollar, I felt a sort of freedom to try this pattern alteration. The flannel at the wrists came from my rag draw! It's a piece of an old sheet I had ripped up into rags, but it's soft (she has sensitive skin!!),and was the right color. It's kind of funny too--when it came to the buttons, I didn't want to spend more on the buttons than I did on the fabric, so my granddaughter and I picked out a set from a scoop of buttons we bought for $1.00
She really likes the coat, which is the most important thing--the lining is smooth and silky feeling and the wool with the cotton batting makes it a good warm coat. It's big enough for a light sweater underneath for extra cold days. I feel good that I made this for under $5.00!