Most of us gals have at least one trench coat in the closet. I have a few of them myself. A couple of years ago, I bought this traditional khaki trench at Target on sale. I’ve worn it a lot, and somewhere along the way I lost the belt, and a few buttons. It was starting to look a bit shabby, so I thought I’d give it a face lift. With some vintage buttons and a little patchwork detailing, it’s easy to breathe new life into an old shabby jacket!
Here’s What You Need:
*Vintage Buttons the same size as your original buttons
*Vintage Feed Sack Scraps or other fabric scraps
*1/2 yard of fabric for the back side
*Self Healing Mat
*Sewing Machine and Coordinating Thread
*Hand Sewing Needles and Thread
*Iron and Ironing Board
The first thing you need to do is cut your fabric pieces. Measure the length of the belt loops that are on your jacket, so you know how wide to make your belt. Mine was 2″ long, so the width of my belt needed to be 3″ wide to account for my 1/2″ seam allowance on each side. So, I cut my squares for the belt at 3×3″. Measure the arm band loops. Mine were 1.5″ so I cut my arm band squares to be 2.5×2.5″. Measure your waist and take that measurement by 1.5 or two and that will be the length of your belt. Measure the circumference of the sleeve opening on your jacket and that will be the length plus an inch for seam allowance for the arm bands. Divide the square measurements into the length and that is how many squares you need.Cut the backing fabric and the interfacing to be the width of the belt and the length of 1.5-2 times your waist measurement. Do the same for the arm bands.
Stitch the first square to the second square at the side seams. Then stitch the third square to the second square at the side seams, and so on, until you have all your squares sewn together in a long patchwork strip. Do this for the belt, and for the arm bands.
Iron open all of your seam allowances and iron the interfacing onto the backside of the patchwork strips.Lay the front patchwork strip and the backing fabric right sides together and pin if you like.
Start stitching down one side with a half-inch seam allowance, then pivot across the bottom in a diagonal and then stitch back up the other side. Turn the belt right side out. You can use a spoon or chopstick to push the right side of the fabric back through from the wrong side to the right side. Iron your belt flat. Fold under the seam allowance for the open side and press. Then top stitch a quarter-inch from the edge all the way around the belt.
Do the same thing with the arm bands, sewing the patchwork strips to the backing fabric. You can stitch your ends to be square on these. Stitch around the right side, across the bottom, and then back up the left side. Turn right side out. Press flat and turn under the seam allowance in the open end. Topstitch all the way around.
Next, you need to add your buttons to the coat. First, remove all the old buttons. Mark the spots where the old buttons were if you need to. Stitch the buttons on your coat with a hand sewing needle and thread. I use embroidery floss for my buttons. I used a mix of buttons on my coat. You can use any kind or combination of buttons you like best. Slip the arm bands through the loops on the sleeves. Take one end of the arm band and overlap it over the other end by a little bit. Stitch a button onto the middle of the overlapping ends to secure them. Repeat with the other arm band. Slide your belt through the belt loops and you are ready to wear!
I LOVE the update to my old trench! I am a total sucker for vintage fabrics, especially feedsacks, so the patchwork detailing is right up my alley! It’s great how just changing up a few details can really give an old coat a unique new look. I hope some of you will give this one a try with some of your old coats, you’ll have a blast! The design possibilities are practically endless! I’ll be back next week with another fun project. Until then…