The charity shops and thrift stores I frequent have a few departments that seemingly don't get much traffic. Menswear appears to be one of them. Every time I visit my favorite shops I see the same couple of rows of suit coats that have been there for months. Sometimes I'll scan the jackets to see if I can find one for my husband. I've purchased a few high quality, 100% wool jackets hoping he'll like them. Recently I purchased three. I thought it was some kind of karmic coincidence that I found three quality wool jackets in his size. When I brought them home, I was excited to show him what I'd found, but I didn't get the reaction I'd hoped for.
"Why'd you buy these again?" he asked.
"I bought them for you. Look how nice this fabric is, and look, they're exactly your size! But what do you mean, AGAIN?" I asked.
"You already bought those for me," he said.
"No, Babe, I just bought them today," I explained.
"I know," he added. "But I just took those to the Goodwill last month. Looks like you just bought 'em back!"
Apparently I really liked those jackets!
But knowing my husband wasn't going to wear them, I took it as a challenge to come up with a repurpose project idea for the lovely wool fabric.
My mother gifted me a great shoulder bag she made from a men's jacket years ago. It's a great bag and it served as my inspiration for...
a laptop case. I knew I wanted to maintain the suit jacket's structure, as I wanted there to be evidence of its previous life. I opted to use the button front and pocket flap, planning to use the existing buttons for my case closure. I simply cut the jacket fabric about an inch wider than my laptop to allow for 1/2 inch seams. I kept the jacket's original lining attached and finished each seam with a zig-zag stitch.
Now my laptop wears this tailored, classic wool jacket.
I incorporated some jacket fabric in this perfect-for-winter wool lap quilt.
Using several wool fabrics, a thin quilt batting, and flannel backing, this quilt was simple to make.
I opted to attach a few of the original jackets' labels for some added interest. With the success of at least two projects using repurposed jackets
I now was fully obsessed with wool!
After putting up our Christmas tree and realizing our tree skirt was less than inspiring, I decided to make a new one. And you know I just had to use repurposed wool jackets.
I had a rough plan in my head how I wanted to construct the skirt. It was important to me to again maintain the jackets' original structures, and I definitely wanted to play with mixing up the fabrics.
Here you see my prototype. It's almost there. Almost.
It seems I need three more jackets to finish it up. But before I go out a purchase them, I'll check my husband's closet first!
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.