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. 

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.

hole in coat seam.jpg

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.

stitching seam.jpg

My thread was a good colour match and I kept my stitches as small as possible.

Ta Dah! Easy Peasy! Good as new! 

finished repair.jpg

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.

damaged jacket needing repair

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.

jacket repair
Jacket repair
shoulder detail.jpg

The last step was just to change the buttons on the front, just to tie in the contrast colour piece on the back.

shoulder detail left.jpg

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.

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?