Coat revamp

As everyone can tell by glancing at any thermometer, or just the trees and sky, winter is upon us. The jumpers invade drawers previously occupied by light-coloured tops, you trade your light jacket for a winter coat, and sandals for shoes and boots. In my case, however, it’s not quite as simple as that. I’ve lost more than 16kg since last winter, and so my winter coat doesn’t fit me. I’ve gone from a size 14 to  size 8 (or 10, depends on the store) and now i look like I’ve borrowed my coat from a relative. Being insanely bored of it after 3 winters doesn’t help much either. Well, it’s 2 coats really, but this one I’ve had nearly 3 years now. So I decided to alter it.

Originally, it’s a very straight charcoal grey coat with 4 buttons down the front and a little black fur collar. I haven’ tbeen able to locate any “before” pictures though… And I didn’t think of taking any before altering it. When I say altering… Given that it’s my only coat and I seem unable to find a good coat on the market, I didn’t want to cut into it or undo any seams. So this had to be a superficial alteration. I went with sticking a zipper on top. Something I saw on another coat on the high street, and I thought looked quite nice & funky.

Coat revamp. Neck detailI bought 1 long zipper, a 15cm one, and two 13cm ones. I took off the coat’s buttons (they were almost falling off anyway after 3 winters’ worth of wear), sewed the button holes shut, and applied a nice big zipper down the front, while pulling it tighter to get a slight nearly-double-breasted kind of overlay for improved warmth.




Coat revamp. BackThe medium zipper went on the back, like a mini-belt, again pulling the coat a tiny bit to cinch the waist a little more and give it shape, from the tube-like thing it was. The 2 smaller zippers will go on the sleeves for decoration and  a bit of narrowing, biker-style. That way less air will go up them, and I won’ t be as cold, either!!

I’m quite proud of the alteration, as now it almost looks like I have a new coat, and I have to admit that it’s quite a bit warmer. I’m surprised by how much.The alteration was made very easy by the dressmaker’s doll. I put the coat on it, pinned the lapels into their new position, and hand-sewed the zipper on. Easy peasy. Really!

Coat revampI’m glad to have done it. My ambition was/is to make myself a winter coat, but I have been unable to find fabric.

So now I’m looking for coats at various places, but nothing seems to be warm enough. HOBBs has good quality, but at exorbitant prices (above £300), REISS has a beautiful design, but at £300 for something with 60% wool and no cashmere, they have to be kidding. And everywhere else has rubbish fabrics. Except Laura Ashley. There are 4 coats there that I’d consider wearing. They go for £150 each, and are 70% wool, 20% polyester and 10% cashmere, which is a great combo for an everyday coat. Hope I can figure this out before it gets too cold!! Any tips either for coat fabric or actual warm winter coats are welcome! I am considering going to an outlet mall. Has anyone been?