Saturday, 23 May 2015

Making Good - Coat repairs

I was invited by Agy of Green Issues to join her "Making Good" Blog train. Since the beginning of May a whole collection of bloggers have been sharing how they saved something from the bin and repaired it. The variety is amazing, people have been fixing all sorts of stuff! There is a full list at the bottom with links to them all if you want to take a look. 
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Yesterday was a pretty amazing repair from xoxoGrandma who fixed a wicker day bed. You need to check it out, she did such a good job you can't even see the repair at all.
I do a lot of simple sewing repairs as they are needed; hems coming undone, buttons falling off, holes in seams, that sort of thing. I never take photos of the process to blog about it so when Agy first asked I thought I'd have to say no. That same weekend my daughter came home with a hole in her coat! Bless her, I've never been more happy to see a potential repair!

This coat is quite a few years old now, these close up photos make it look a little bit bobbly. In real life it still looks ok though. It's usual problem is buttons pulling off. I think the top one takes a lot of strain with heavy bags on shoulders pulling on it as she lugs all her stuff about at uni. Those buttons have been sewn back on numerous times, but anyway, back to the current problem.
Luckily this is one of the easiest types of repairs. The hole is just where the seam is coming undone. All that was needed was to sew it back up by hand, with a simple slip stitch.
My thread was a good colour match and I kept my stitches as small as possible.
Ta Dah! Easy Peasy! Good as new! 

As that repair is almost embarrassing simple to share I will show another, slightly more complex repair I did a while back. Sadly this is one with out any step by step photos so normally wouldn't make it here on the blog. I'll explain what I did and hopefully it will make sense and maybe even inspire you to try something similar if the need ever arises.
Another of my daughters garments, this time a jacket. It's a fake leather jacket and was in fairly good condition all over except an issue on the shoulders/back. 
Where she carries heavy bags/tripods/camera bags (she's a photography student - you can see her blog here - little plug there sorry) the top layer had worn right off.
Not very attractive!
Mad though it sounds, black is very difficult to match in fabric. Our local fabric stall only had a small selection of pleather and the black was not a good match at all. So we went for a contrast instead with a soft cream plastic/fake leather.

Basically I just cut a shape from the pleather that was roughly the shape of the jacket back yoke/shoulder section, just a bit bigger all round. I just laid it on top of the jacket and cut round it - not technical at all. 
Once I had a piece of the cream fabric that was approximately the right size I turned a small hem and used masking tape to attach it to the jacket just outside of the original seam. I used tape as I didn't want to make pin holes. I just worked by way round, trimming as necessary until the whole yoke back section was covered.
Then I stitched it with the sewing machine. 
I won't lie - this was a bit tricky! I just went slowly and my stitching is far from perfect.
As the new seam is away from the original double seam in most places there wasn't too much bulk so my normal domestic 25 year old sewing machine did remarkably well. I did have problems when I needed to cross a thick seam but I just went slow and all was well.
 The last step was just to change the buttons on the front, just to tie in the contrast colour piece on the back.
It has made it last a little longer but I have just noticed that it is starting to go in another place now, so I may have another think about what to do next.
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2 May – Lisa      
3 May –  Millie
4 May – Stella
8 May – Christine
11 May – Lapis  
13 May – Brandi,
14 May – Carrie
15 May – Deborah   
18 May Break
19 May Maegan
20 May – Judith
23 May – Julia
24 May – Amanda
25 May – Diane
26 May – Emily, 
27 May – Emmy –  
28 May -  Vanessa  -
29 May - Jean Chua - 
Have you ever managed to save something from the rubbish bin with a repair or do you send things to a charity shop/goodwill when they are past their best? Tomorrow's is the turn of Crafty Frugal Mom , I'm interested to see what she was able to repair. 

Sum of their Stories
Sum of their Stories

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.


  1. Fantastic, another save for the planet and your pocket! Have a lovely weekend x

  2. Great save with the pleather jacket! It looks kind of 60s retro like that! :) Lisa

  3. It's too hot to wear coats over here but I absolutely love your coat repairs, especially the pleather one. Great saves!

    1. Ah Agy, here in the UK it is rarely too hot to not need at least a jacket with you, especially this time of year. When it is nice we all go a bit nuts and strip off to next to nothing!

  4. #UGH! The Pleather jacket save is BRILLIANT! And stylish! Excellent Making Good! <3 This may be my favorite repair so far!

    1. Thanks Vanessa, what a lovely thing to say. there have been some really different repairs on the train so far.

  5. ohhh looks good! adding the cream looks so much prettier than if you had replaced it with black. Very stylish :)

  6. Pleather is a tricky one to repair and I really love how you approached it, it's such a shame that another spot is showing wear. If it's small perhaps you could add a feature patch?

    1. I'm not ready to give up on it yet! A patch is a good idea, I'll have to see what I can come up with. Thanks

  7. Great saves and really cool blog train! The pleather jacket is awesome because I would have totally tossed it. Sad that another spot is showing wear but I am sure you will come up with a great idea like this one. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday!

    1. Thanks Rachel, it has been great to see all the different ideas people have had. I am annoyed that it's going in another spot now, I'm still mulling over how to save it again!

  8. I never would have thought of saving the coat like this. Smart idea! thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

  9. Hello Gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm, so we can party with you! Lou Lou Girls

  10. I have a really old leather jacket that has a lot of tears in it. It was my dads and I want to fix it up so that I can start wearing it. I am just researching to find us if you can even fix a jacket. After seeing the pictures in the blog, I know that my jacket can be fixed because it has some of the same things that need to be repaired.

  11. Repairing some old, but favorite clothes is a good idea. It's much better to breathe new life to an old item than throwing it away. I myself recently found a nice old denim jacket left from my mother's college years. I'm now planning to add few details and wear it. Greets!


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