If you look through the pattern listings on the website for Twig + Tale you will see loads of finished projects made from upcycled materials. While all the patterns can easily be made from new materials, the designs lend themselves to creative reuse. I’m a big fan of upcycling not just for green reasons but the creative challenge has always been a bonus for me. Needless to say, nobody had to ask me twice when I was invited to participate in a upcycling themed tour organized by Twig + Tale!
I probably have more clothing items stashed away for the purpose upcycling, than clothes that we actually wear. Really! Sometimes the potential makes it hard to pass something on and sometimes I hold onto it for sentimental value. The latter was the case with the denim dress I decided to use for the main body of the coat. For the lining I used the remains of a fleece blanket.
Both materials were perfect to combine to make a warm and cozy Pixie Pea Coat. I was already familiar with the pattern since I tested it way back when Twig + Tale was known as Big Little. For this version I selected the classic hood option and cut the 3T pattern out for Pen. The boxy fit of the coat works well with thicker linings and leaves plenty of room to grow. I’m sure Pen will be wearing this coat at least through next winter. In order to maximize upcycling potential I did fudge a few features of the original pattern. I cut the jacket pieces with keeping the original dress pockets and button placket in mind. Inspired by the original dress, I decided to “hack” the pattern to give the coat a gathered empire look.
Don’t let the idea of a “hack” scare you off. Believe me, this hack is super easy with no more than a few steps. Even the math part is completely optional! If you are interested in doing this hack for yourself, I put together a quick tutorial over here.
Part of the reasoning behind me salvaging the button placket was to reuse the buttons from the original dress. After I had the outer shell of the coat completed, I decided that the dark blue buttons looked a bit muted for a kids coat and I replaced them with a pretty set of vintage daisy buttons.
Some eagle-eyed observers may notice strips of bias tape on the inside of the placket. The original dress placket was close enough in size to the pattern piece where I could not afford to loose any. That made me concerned that fraying while unpicking the stitching would create a mess out of things. I ended up cutting the original placket attached to the bodice and taking the extra width into account. Since I was still going to reuse the button holes, lining the interior of the placket was out of the question, so I neatly covered the seams with similar colored bias tape. Funny how upcycled projects have a tendency to direct themselves!
Don’t let her ugly-cheese face fool you. Pen loves her “lotsa buttons coat” to bits. Now both my kids have coats more awesome than my own! I guess I should get to making a coat for me…
Pixie Pea Coat by Twig + Tale
Gathered Empire Pixie Pea Coat
Twig + Tale is posting updates daily as part of the Upcycle Blog Tour. Be sure to stop in every day and don’t forget to check out all the other tour participants for more upcycling inspiration featuring Twig + Tale patterns.
Day one: Sew Shelly Sew – Handmade Boy –Nap time Creations – Boevenbende
Day two: Stylin Stacy – The Craftingfiend – Gaafmachine –While she was sleeping
Day three: Huisje Boompje Boefjes –Life in our busy household – The Crazy Tailor – Sew Sophie Lynn
Day four: Crafty like a Rox – The Wolf and the Tree – NZ Green Buttons –Vera Luna – Paisley Roots