Isn’t it nice when a plan works? My thoughts on how to best resurrect that well worn coat were enacted pretty much exactly. First I removed the lining. It was cut away from the sleeve slits and cuffs. Only the front and neck facings were unpicked. My take on unpicking these days is very much to minimise it. If one can get away with cutting the unwanted parts away, then do. Life is too short and my arm’s work capacity is limited.

Then the wool outer was washed, gently.  Then I dyed some of the fine but strong and hard wearing beige wool suiting in stash to a nice green. It didn’t go quite as dark as the forest green would have liked but the hue is really good.


Then I cut a deep facing for all the edges (except the hem)from the newly dyed cloth and applied it by machine except for the hem finishing. This will be fine for it’s intended use and the whole refurbishment still took me about a day of labour spread across three. Oh and I top stitched down all the seams because they are no longer protected by a lining. Plus I added straight grain reinforcing for some seams, such as the shoulders. It won’t last for forever but should do another couple of years.

From this:


To this rather more respectable version:


The owner is pleased. As he should be.



Dead or worth saving?

I made this coat as a present for a good friend over 6 years ago.


It has just been returned to me looking like this. The owner hopes for refurbishment. I’m trying to decide if that’s worth doing. At least I know it’s been worn and appreciated!


I’ve cut out what remained of the lining. In places, the cotton velvet had disintegrated and felted up in the seams. Below is the cuff after the lining was cut away. Interesting, but icky enough that I cut again just above the stitching and brushed away as much of the felt as I could.


The wool outer is in the machine now on a handwash cycle. I’ll see what comes out before deciding what can be done. IF the wool survives the wash, I’m thinking I’ll face it with hardwearing fine wool suiting but not do a full lining. Oh, and sewn by machine not by hand. That will be fine for the purpose.