|The trench coat front view with the patch on the side|
|The trench coat back view|
|Close-up of the patch on the shoulder|
The first step of the project was to map out an original design for the tote bag, which I modified a few times. I purchased a tote bag pattern (McCalls 4118) and laid it in different areas of the coat to see where it would fit. I modified the pattern and decided that I could use the bottom of the coat for the sides of the tote bag, as that had the most fabric in a single piece. With the trench coat having already been made and having multiple seams, I was limited on the amount of fabric I could use. I couldn't be sure if my design would work until I deconstructed the coat. This was a lengthy process, as I had to tear out all of the seams and the lining. The coat was made of a melton wool and was very heavy, but included additional lining in the sleeves and top portion of the coat.
|The inside of the jacket that I had to deconstruct.|
|Removing the lining from the coat|
After I laid the fabric out flat and tried to determine where each piece would fit. I cut each piece out of wool and lining. Some pieces even needed interfacing. We selected a medium weight interfacing to help give the bag some structure. I followed the pattern directions and started sewing my bag. (These are brief instructions, so for the full instructions, please buy the pattern).
|Laying the fabric out flat and placing the pieces.|
|Cutting out the pattern pieces.|
|A lining piece with interfacing|
When Ann and I first discussed the plans for the bag, she said that she was going to use it to carry her iPad in. I wanted to give her a way to carry other items in the bag in addition to the iPad, yet protect it. I decided a pocket would be a neat way to allow the iPad to readily be at her hands. I used one of the coat's inside pockets instead of having to make my own. This is definitely zero-waste upcycling. :) First, I made a narrow hem on the pocket and pinned it to the front of the lining. I turned the pocket up, baste in place, and stitched the bottom and sides. I tested the pocket with the iPad and it was a perfect fit. I sewed a tab on the top to keep the pocket from falling out. I placed the lining pieces together right side to right side, sewed the seams, and trimmed them to eliminate bulk. I repeated the process with the outside fabric pieces.
|The pocket stitched to the lining|
|The two lining pieces wrong side out|