oilpainter, Help changing Adult Coat to a Child Coat.

pattiohioOctober 16, 2009


Very interested in trying, Would sincerely appreciate your help with this, would like to do a few for grandchildren and if not too time consuming do a few to donate to those in need.

Few days before you mentioned this on another post I was looking at some wool coat fabric for dress coats for the kids, talk about sticker shock, could buy them for little extra money.


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Well here goes. Understand I haven't done this in a few years, and it's hard to explain without actually doing it, so bear with me. I mostly worked with wool coats too.It takes a lot of fudging too, because you are not working with a big piece of material

First assess the coat. One with big pannels like just i or 2 backs and 2 fronts is best. Measure the pieces and find out how much material you have to work with. Then find a child's pattern that has similar or smaller lines and seams. For instance If your coat has a back seam the child's coat must too. If your coat has dropped shoulders the childs must too.

Take apart the coat and mark the top somehow. I used a white thread loop in the seam allowance with an extra big knot on either the right or wrong side. I did this as I was taking each part apart. Note if there is any extra panels under the lining on the coat. Sometimes they have an extra panel in the back for extra warmth. Not exactly where this is so you can add it to the childs. Also note how the coat is put together.EG. is the collar sewn to the coat and lining separately. You needn't take out the buttonhole or facings. you may or may not use them in the childs coat. Likewise don't take apart the collar you may be able to cut it down for the childs. Do take apart the sleeves. At this point I always left the lining intact.

Then I took all the pieces and and got them drycleaned. You could use the dry cleaning at coin laundries.

When the pieces are clean you can sometimes see the way the straight grain lies, but if not lay go by center back and center front for the straight grain.

Lay out your pattern pieces keeping the top at the top where the thread and the knot are. The pieces may be cut double but if it is heavy material you may want to cut them singly. Cut the back on the back and the front on the front, and the sleeves on the sleeves. Now this is not a hard and fast rule as long as you can get all the pieces on and the top always goes toward your thread you will be Ok.

Once it is cut out follow the child's pattern and refer to your notes. If you have problems check back. I'll be around

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 3:04PM
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If you have sewed for this child you might be able to see if the pattern will fit on the coat before you do anything by taking a dress pattern and laying the pieces on the coat.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 3:22PM
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Okay got the idea, using the fabric in coat just like purchased fabric..
Any other special tips?
Thank you, Patti

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 4:12PM
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One more thing If you have to use the facings the buttonholes may be in the wrong place. It won't matter on the button side but on the buttonhole side it may. I have bought a bit of contrasting material, sewed the button holes together and put a placket of the contrasting material on top of the coat down the front, and repeated it for colar and cuffs. It takes a bit of imagination

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Applause, Applause. Applause.
Excellent Information!!!
Great tips. Thank You so much..

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 7:37PM
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Thanks Pattie:
There is a lot of material in an adults coat. I've been known to go to thrift stores or the Salvation Army store to buy coats. Once I found a lovely red coat and a red plaid wool dress. I used the wrong side of the coat as my material and trimmed it with the plaid and made a beret to go with it. My niece looked lovely in it

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 6:26AM
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Like you I learned to sew from family. You learned from a bridal and tailoring shop,I learned from my Grandmother. She had 9 children and no piece of good material ever went wasted. Like cooking it seemed she could make something good or beautiful out of nothing. She was one terrific lady.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 7:53AM
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I so enjoy trading and sharing formation, do not have many around me who sew.
That red one really sounds cute, great idea my DGD loves berets, think your right I have also said it before we all may have learned different types of sewing that is so helpful to others.
I have a few dated camel hair top/over coats to work with your right a lot of fabric.

Sounds like you came from a large family like I did, each of my parents had 10 other siblings, that is a lot of relatives. Always considered myself lucky to have them all for family.
They were all very creative also, they really repurposed everything.

LOL, I remember my grandmother and great aunt(owned an upholstery/drapery shop) making summer covers for cushions on gliders in the enclosed sun porch, then making dresses for some of my cousins and myself, they took pictures and all you could see were our heads and hair color, we blended right in with the fabric.
Thank you, Patti

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 12:40PM
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