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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Duffel Coat Makeover


When my Dad and I were in Japan, we noticed girls everywhere wearing cute duffle coats. Dad saw one in a department store that was exactly like one he used to have. I said I knew exactly which coat he was talking about, because I've tried it on before and wished it was my size. Ever since I first read Paddington Bear I've loved the look of duffle coats.

I started looking for one of my own, which seemed easy as every store was stocking a variety of duffle coats. None of them were quite right though. They all had fur trims, the fabric was too thin and cheap, they had crazy linings, or if they were nice they were too expensive (or they only came in tiny Japanese sizes).

I kept saying to dad 'It needs to be that nice camel colour that yours is'... 'I want proper horn toggles like on yours'... 'I like how yours has a tartan lining'... you can see where this was going. Finally sick of wandering around crazy Japanese clothing shops, Dad said 'If you can make my old coat fit you, it's yours'. I thought about it and realised that although it would be a big job (literally - it was a huge coat), it would be worth it to have the lovely fabric and proper trims.

So when we got home, we dug the coat out of the wardrobe.


It was huge, had a few little moth holes and stunk of moth balls. I was happy though, because the fabric and trims were just as nice as I remembered and the way it was constructed meant that the job would be a little bit easier than I originally thought.

I re-set the sleeve, bringing the shoulders in and making the sleeve just the right length. I narrowed the sleeve and the side seams. I added princess seams at the front and darts at the back. I moved the pockets upwards and hacked about 25cm off the bottom.


I'm so happy with how it turned out! I'm glad I took my time to do it properly, and extra glad I didn't buy a cheap reproduction in Japan. I love this coat!


Of course the weekend that I finally finished this lovely warm coat has been the warmest weather in weeks! Winter is supposed to be just over a week away and we've had sunny 24 degree weather (that's 75 fahrenheit). So I had to throw on a winter-y outfit to take these photos because it looks stupid wearing a coat over a t-shirt and shorts.



I googled Gloverall and found that they are still making duffle coats in a huge range of beautiful colours! For three hundred pounds though, I think I'll just stick with my customised vintage version!



mum said...

Ali, it looks fantastic! Does this mean if i find a big coat, you can small-an-ize it for me!

Kaylovesvintage said...

looks great, guess I should look for one

Z--- said...



cara said...

Are you kidding? That's insane! Amazing skills, looks glorious!

Aria said...

What a tranformation! It's so cute now!!
I have a new pair of glasses now, but I'm still trying to fix the old pair with glue...mmm...

Anonymous said...

Cute coat. Love the toggles!




Josie said...

You look so cute! I love how you altered this.
xo Josie

Evelin said...

Very very lovely job! I have a few of my grandmother's old coats waiting at home as well, but I've been too scared to hack into them. Hope I get encoraged soon, because one is the loveliest shade of leaf green!

Ruta, Look Ugly in a Photograph said...

WOW!!! You did such an amazing job! That coat looks so incredible. I would just assume that you bought it at a store instead of fixing up a vintage version. BUt wow. incredible job!

Kelsey K. said...

wow wow wow, jealous of your skillz. The coat looks great!

Lexy @ Quirky Explosion said...

AWESOME. I love hemming my clothes - they go from grandma to CHIC. (Or that's what I think, ahahah.) Your jacket is so unique and fabulous! AWESOME.

(And congrats on graduating! In response to the post below hah.)


Chris (tinytines.com) said...

That is an awesome job!!! I can't believe it's the same coat. You do crazy workkkk!!

lamina @ do a bit said...

Your new old coat looks fantastic! So much better to revamp a classic than have it just sitting around in the cupboard doing nothing!! LOVE IT :)

Thansk you for your lovely comment on my little blog xxx

P R I M O E Z A said...

what a satisfying project. it looks fantastic and yes, such nice quality.

Anonymous said...

lovely!great idea, much better now!

Looks and Books said...

Wow--fantastic job on the coat! Looks like it was custom fit for you.

Thanks for stopping by Looks & Books!

JB said...

That is absolutely amazing. I wouldn't even know where to start. The alterations look perfect and so nice to wear something that once belonged to your dad!x

NICOMADE said...

i can't even begin to tell you how impressed i am. you worked some serious magic - your altered toggle coat looks amazing and fits you perfectly.

Laura said...

You have done an amazing job with this coat! It looks great, you are very talented!

Laura - White Winters

Andrea Vaughan said...

Great job! Love a good makeover.