I bought this ‘lovely’ coat from the Sense shop in Deptford for £9.95. It was only on getting it home that I started to feel buyers’ remorse. The buttons, the size, the style, all that can be fixed. The only real problem with it is… it’s mint. And by that I mean… it’s green. When I bought this I thought it was blue. How wrong I was. The mint green pastel shade has left it looking even more early noughties than it otherwise would.
On the plus side, it’s a wool/angora/cashmere mix, and is well-made, from the now-defunct label Ronit Zilkha which closed in 2007.
In terms of what to do with it… I decided to go a bit left-field and make a sleeveless coat. Believe it or not, sleeveless coats are in fashion now…. (L-R) Lanvin, Etro, Antonio Berardi, Marni, 3.1 Philip Lim…
…and the queen of the sleeveless coat, Victoria Beckham.
I had slight doubts about the practicality of such garments but the internet convinced me that sleeveless coats are perfectly fine with a thick jumper underneath. At least, they are if you live in Southern California. Sadly, this is London…
The first thing I did was, obviously, cut off the sleeves. That was easy enough.
I then had to address the size. There were side seams but they were too close to the front patch pockets to be taken in. After playing around on the stand for a while, it seemed like a good idea to take it in at the back. The back had a long tab sewn between the side back panel seams.
I ripped the side panel seam out of the left hand side up to the bottom of the tab, and pinned out the excess by moving the panel towards the centre back.
Then, I sewed basting stitches by hand along the new seam line to mark it.
Here’s what it looked like.
I could then cut away the excess, leaving a seam allowance, up to the top of where the tab was.
I used the part I cut off as a template for cutting the other side the same, flipping it over and pinning it on.
At the point where the tab joins the seams, I folded the excess into a pleat on both sides.
I cut the tab to its new length by measuring the new distance between the panel seams on the coat.
I could then sew the new tab in. Here’s what it looks like.
The shoulders had to be moved in a bit, which meant detatching the shoulder pads and cutting a new armhole before reapplying them.
The final step was to true up the lining and sew it all in place by hand.
Here’s how it ended up. I removed the covered snap on the lapel, but decided to keep the buttons, at least for the time being.
Wearing this over a thick jumper actually looks fine, but honestly, I still have my doubts about its practicality. London is COLD right now, folks. For that reason it’s had very limited wear so far.
What do you think, would you wear a sleeveless coat?