Tuesday, November 08, 2016


For almost two weeks I have had this coat on my mind all the time when there has been some free thought-time. Today, while preparing coffee in the kitchen, I quite suddenly heard the big wall clock tick and I wondered how loud it sounded and then realized that I had been so deeply buried in my thoughts for the past days that I had not paid much attention to the surrounding world and its sounds. Usually I am not this wrapped with my projects but since this one was the first big upcycling project I have done; it took all my concentration and I was eager to see how it would turn out and could not wait to get back to it.

To recap: I had a coat, that was not usable, as the front closure was broken. Otherwise it was in good condition, except for the sleeves, they were worn and stained.
All sorts of doily-projects have been all around the internet for the past, maybe two years or even longer. I have seen doilies on walls, sewed on hats and dresses, maybe even on jeans somewhere; therefore, making doilies for the coat back was not genuine idea. I sort of followed the stream. First I thought that I would make the same doily in several sizes but soon realized that it would muddle the allover design and decided to stick to the same size. With 2mm crochet hook and brown Alpaca I made these three doilies. All right, I made four altogether, because the very first one I made with 2,5mm hook and it came out little bit too soft. I washed them, pinned them out to dry and then was ready to sew them on to the back of the coat.

At first I picked out the lining seam along the hem of the coat. The wool fabric is not very thick or that stable, so for a while I thought about ironing a fusible to the inside of the back to stabilize it more, but it would have affected the drape of the fabric and I did not want to do that, as the movement of the cloth was and is so nice. My main concern for the whole time I was working on the back was, that the sewing and embroidering would pucker the surface of the fabric.

I kept sifting the doilies around the back to find out the best placement and this is the best I could think of. I pinned them to their places, and then attached them with sewing thread and big running stitches. This might have been the most important part of the sewing procedure. This way I could check that they looked what they were supposed to look, nice and round and I could also see that the background would stay neat and I could embroider without having to worry them moving around or becoming misshapen.  
 I had thin embroidery wool that matched the color perfectly and I could be more casual when sewing the pieces. Also, the alpaca with a good halo would cover all the unsatisfactory stitches. At first I thought about using this blue wool, but realized quickly that I would run into frustration trying to make tidy stitches. I could have done a better job with the embroidery and could have used more variety with the stitches, but mostly I am happy with the outcome. I had made two small doilies and did not want to throw them out and attached them to the coat too. The first one to the front piece and the other to the inside of the coat.
When I was satisfied with the embroidery, I steamed the coat thoroughly through a wet cheese cloth. When steaming, it is important to let the fabric cool before you handle it, so it takes some time.
After steaming, I closed all the lining seams and then…
I sewed a small red button to the inside. It is my signature… stick a red button to it and call it done! And now it is.
Reflecting on the project; the good and the bad:

The bad:
We already covered the neck-piece (it is not perfect, but good enough, and it does not bother me anymore). (I had to make a button hole to the knitted collar so that the button of the coat would go through both of the button holes, one on the coat and one on the collar; both button holes line up and sort of act as one.)
The sleeve hemming… if you look at the sleeves, you can see how much I have turned inside. I never believe how loosely you need to hem and always, always end up making the stitches too tightly. Hopefully this will stick to my brain so that next time I remember/believe it.
The snap closures… I realized that I should have used brown snaps, not the silvery ones! Argh… this bothers me little bit, but I don’t think the straps can take any more handling, I am forced to keep the shiny ones.

The good:
I am happy and proud that the embroidery in the back worked out so well; no puckering, no pulling, all is stable and beautiful. I love the sleeves and the tight hugging ribbing. It does add lovely woolen touch to the coat. 

This project left me with a belief that instead of having a closet full of not-loved clothing, I suddenly have closet full of possibilities. And that is a lovely feeling!

In this last picture you can see, how lovely the trapeze cut it; it is very flattering and flares so beautifully!

Wool with you,

PS. Ruusu seems to manage to get into all the pictures! 


  1. Oh my gosh! Lene, this is so beautiful. I LOVE it. You have done a fabulous job. So unique, so individual, I love your signature red button. The entire coat just looks like such a fun piece of clothing. The two small doilies are wonderful as well. Well done!

  2. Gorgeous! And I like the silvery snaps with the silvery faux-fur collar. Never in a million years would I have thought of adding crochet motifs, but they look fantastic.

  3. Anonymous22:06

    I love your results. Can't wait to see what you work on next. Helen

  4. Oh Lene that's a wonderful upcycle coat and it looks fabulous on you!

  5. ...I can just say: "Wow!"!!!

  6. Anonymous15:56

    Thank you so much for sharing all the intimacies of this project. It is beautiful and I appreciate that you took the time to show your readers not only the step-by-step of this, but also your thought process. Inspirational all the way around!

  7. Beth in Maryland19:37

    This has been fascinating and the result is beautiful! Looking forward to seeing what you will do next.

  8. This coat looks so wonderfully unique now. Thanks very much for sharing the details. You are always an inspiration!

  9. Thank you for sharing all the way with this project. It has come out just great; the drape is indeed stunning. Your ideas executed perfectly !~!

  10. Take a bow Maestro! Fabulous! Keep inspiring us always.

  11. Anonymous12:46

    The "snowflakes" are a lovely touch. Congrats.

  12. I love this and thoroughly enjoyed watching it come together. Very nice!