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Nov 10, 2014

Re-visiting (and Improving) an Old Project



Do you ever re-work old projects?  I do occasionally: I'll change a shirt collar or narrow a pants leg, things like that.

Remember the wool tweed peacoat I made last year?  Well, it's nearly cold enough to start wearing it again.

But either because the back was drafted badly or something was cut slightly off grain, the back flap sometimes flips open and stays open.  Like this:



Instead of this:



Can you see how the vertical edges aren't completely straight, but rather curve a bit near the hem?  I think that's the problem.





Last week I was walking the dogs and I passed a man in a beautiful wool overcoat and I noticed that the back flap of his coat was held closed with a little tab extension and button.  Brilliant!

Today I decided to add a similar tab extension to my coat.  Luckily, I had kept an extra cuff tab I'd made and hadn't used -- I thought it would make a good bookmark.



I decided I would cut it, bind the raw edge, and attach the tab to the middle of the flap, like so:



I added a buttonhole to the tab and, fortunately, I had an extra horn button in the correct size.





Then I handstitched the tab to the inside of the back flap and attached the button. 



I am so happy with this little tweak, readers.  Now, when I wear the coat, I don't have to constantly reach back to make sure my back flap is hanging correctly. 

Any tweaks you've made lately to an old project?

Have a great day, everybody!

31 comments:

  1. But will you be sitting on that button?

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    1. Possibly. Thankfully it's not a pincushion.

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  2. It not only solves the problem, but adds a nice detail. I hope the other guy did catch you staring at his tuckus

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  3. That is a great looking detail!

    I'm going to start a series on my blog called "Can This Garment Be Saved?" I'll take garments I've sewn but don't wear for whatever reason and tweak them to make them wearable.

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    1. Brilliant idea! I'll be watching for your series, Kyle.

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    2. An excellent idea! It is probably my favorite sewing activity (and my excuse for saving the hem chunks and selvage bits).

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  4. You actually improved on perfection! I mean, you also explained the lack of perfection first and all, but still. STILL.

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  5. I've seen that tab in the past, especially on "car coats" and always thought it was a helpful/design detail. Maybe showing my age here?

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  6. Now you'll have to undo that button every time you get on your horse!

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  7. Perfect solution! It looks so clean and polished….like it was meant to be there and always was.

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  8. I don't often re-visit old projects but this is a really good little tweak.
    Of course, it's only possible because your coat is well-sized so it has enough ease to walk and sit in, even with the back vent closed.
    In the street, you often see women but also men who have bought styles like this with the "if I can get in to it, it has to be my size" attitude. The back flaps on those coats always gape open because they actually need the extra room for even the smallest movements.

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  9. Yay! This validates my obsession with saving all my scraps. I'm not crazy after all for thinking they may come in useful some day.

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  10. Excellent amendment! Those back vents in coats have always been a sore point with me. The only purpose they seem to serve is to let the cold in, especially when it's windy. I've rejected coats I otherwise liked because they have a long back vent (this became fashionable for women's coats). I prefer one with a fuller skirt and no vent.

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  11. Sorry, but this isn't a very good solution. The cut has a function.

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  12. I think this solution is brilliant since the flap is long enough for movement but this will keep it in its place. But now I feel fearful about giving away my scraps too readily on craigslist!

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  13. Why did you use tweed for a peacoat?

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    1. This post tells the full story:

      http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2013/12/pea-coat-version-20.html

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  14. That's an incredibly stylish fix! I really like your coat.

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  15. I love it. Sometimes fixes look less than stellar, but this is perfection. Nice save.

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  16. " I don't have to constantly reach back to make sure my back flap is hanging correctly. " Hahahahaha - now that's an euphemism if ever I heard one. You have made my day worthwile (she says, wiping tears of laughter from her face..)

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  17. great fix, Im awful at fixing old stuff.

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  18. I made a 1930's coat in beautiful lavender wool, so anxious to finish that I skipped the interfacing in the hem. Every time I wore it that winter I could see the hem. Took it apart, placed the interfacing and hand stitched correctly. Now I can wear it without shame.

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  19. That's a fantastic fix. Functional and fashionable. :-)

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  20. Looks good - doesn't look like a fix.

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  21. I agree with Alex. It looks like it was always there! Nice fix and a lovely detail!

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  22. Your tab solution is beautiful. Adds an element of "Yes, this is custom" to your already gorgeous coat.

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  23. Fantastic, I ran into your blog while looking for the color TAUPE for my jewelry packagings, and connected first with your smile, then with your passion, then with you picking up sewing in 2009, and read about you "revisiting" old projects topic. ( i do that all the time)
    What a wonderful soul you are! Hope to meet you someday in Ny and that your mom gets better soon. Heloisa Fitzgerald

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    1. Thank you so much, Heloisa. Any time you're in NYC, let me know.

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