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Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY Pea Coat Refashion

I don't suppose there is ever one right way to do anything, but here is what I did:
By the way, you will need:
A pea coat
Sewing machine
Matching lace (I used 3 yards)
Needle and thread for minimal hand stitching

 Start with a pea coat and cut it apart. Hem the inside lining.

Then, fold the new edge of the coat under and zig zag stitch. I chose to do this because it preserved more length then folding twice like I do for hemming. It also looks nice on the outside and will hopefully keep the wool from fraying.
Next, I cut the bottom part of the coat into pieces. I wanted to use as much of the coat as I could so that I could get the most ruffles out of the material. This was difficult because of seams, buttons, and pockets, but I sewed even the littlest pieces together into strips. I came up with two strips, each 7 feet long. One was 2 1/2 inches wide and one was 3 inches wide.
Ok, so determine which edge of the strips you want to be the top and which you want to be the bottom. I hemmed the bottom and the two side edges of both strips. To the top, I folded under once and zig zag stitched just like I did for the coat.

I took the wider of the two strips (remember that one of mine was 3 inches wide and one was 2 1/2 inches wide) and cut a stip of lace the same length. Pin to the top edge and onto the right side of the wool strip. Sew in place. I wanted more lace in the back, so I added a second layer under the first. Make sure to center this!

What I did next was stupid. I stitched thru the top of each strip with very large stitches, you know so I could form my ruffles. This did not work. I think the combination of all those seams from sewing my strips together and also the thick wool kept it from bunching. So, save yourself the hastle and don't do that! Instead, pin the top of the narrower strip (the one that doesn't have lace on it) onto the coat. Right sides together. In order to form the ruffle look, I folded the strip here and there. I had to do this anyway since the seven foot strip was longer than my coat was around. Don't stress that your folds may be different sizes or at uneven distances from each other. Ruffles are beautifully imperfect!  Stitch and remove pins.
Do the same thing to attach the strip with lace to the strip already attached to the coat. Except this time, you want the wrong side of the top strip pinned to the right side of the lacey strip.
 I had a little extra lace and two spare buttons, so I hand stitched them onto the back.

That's it! What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with it.


  1. that is absolutely adorable..great job!

  2. Wow, that is so cute! I amazed by your talent!