Tuesday, 10 July 2018

New Life for an Old Coat

I'll do almost anything for family, so when my SIL requested a couple of teddy bears to pass along to her grandchildren in memory of her mother, it had to happen!

Vintage coat - the "before" shot
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SIL also wondered if I could make a little something to preserve her mother's name embroidered in the lining . . . who would say no to that??? In fact, it sounded like fun!

Visions of upcycling upholstery and home dΓ©cor samples I'd rescued danced in my brain!

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The first step was to disassemble the coat. Out came the lining, pockets, shoulder pads, and so forth.

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The bottom was double-lined. I think it was to ensure the coat would drape well and slip back into place as its (wearer? occupant?) moved around. Clever.

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Seams were opened and the sleeves and collar removed.

Just enough for a couple of bears!
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Once the fur was flat I could trace the pattern pieces onto the leather and cut them out.


Snippy, snip - use the tip to avoid cutting the fur
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One bear - an "exploded" view.

Reminded me of hieroglyphics for some reason
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Two "exploded" bears. They are similar, but not identical.


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I lined the bears with muslin to keep the leather from being overly stressed when stitched. Wouldn't want to create perforated, tear-away seams!

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I used locking doll joints in the neck, shoulders and hips so the bears can be moved and repositioned.

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I also used safety noses and eyes that lock into place. A stitched nose is beautiful, but doesn't work very well on leather. That whole perforation, tear-away thing, ya know?

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To preserve the fur, I did the bare (bear? haha) minimum of facial trimming. I also left some springy whiskers by their noses for character.

Fun whiskers
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Oh, and the embroidered lining?

It became the genesis of a crazy patch cushion . . .

Collaged and fancy-stitched on this side
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. . . with fur on the back.

Pieced the scraps for this side
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Nice and plump!

Something from nothing!
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The cushion is about 16 inches square. Here, you can see that the bears are sizable, too.

Paw pads = upcycled clothing
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Bye, guys! Have a good trip home!

Test fit - they were plastic-wrapped and packed snugly for shipping
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The box - and everything in it - made the trip in good shape, and my SIL is now sporting a big, happy smile!

Linking up with:

Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

11 comments:

  1. Awesome πŸ‘πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

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  2. Wow, what treasures. You did an amazing job and they are likely to be soft, cuddly, and enjoyed for years and years!

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  3. Great job! Tackling such small pieces of fur in a feat in my opinion, and they all turned out so neat and cosy.

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  4. Those bears are beyond precious!! How cute, and what a wonderful way to have a memory.

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  5. Wow, what a great treasure you've created, Carole! You have skills, lady! And what a special way to repurpose a keepsake.

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  6. So amazing and special! Fur coats are no longer in fashion, yet the materials if cared for properly will last another 50 years in these treasures.

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  7. Those are the cutest, sweetest bears I have seen. The pillow is an extra special touch. What treasures.

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  8. WOW!!! I don't know if I could work on that project myself, but you made the cutest projects out of that coat! What an heirloom! xoxo

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  9. That is so incredibly special. SIL will be blown away!

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