Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blinded by excitement

When I first started out thrifting, it was more than a regular occasion that I would bring a piece of clothing home and find either a minor or even serious issue with whatever I had bought. In my excitement of finding something cheap and haste of purchasing, I overlooked holes, yucky stains, and rips that should have been obvious with even a bit of inspection. In a few cases, I was able to fix the issue and wear the garment anyway, but often it would result in said item finding its way to the trash or being re-donated.

Over time, I've learned to look things over a lot closer, but once in awhile I still get so excited that I simply don't check things as well as I should. It happened to me again this week, but I think you'll understand why.

On first glance, it's just a huge tweed overcoat. Then, you flip it open and voila!

Although it was just a bit on the big size for me in terms of girth, this huge Harris Tweed overcoat had me incredibly excited (especially considering it was $4). Leather braided buttons and thick, thick tweed with lots of little unique hints of color in it. It would have been one of those items that I'd probably only break out a couple times a year, but it would be massive.

Unfortunately, I got it home and realized that in one area on the back (closer up near the shoulder blade), there were several decent-sized moth holes that went clean through. There's enough extra fabric on the coat that I could nick some pieces off somewhere and possibly do small patches, but suddenly my dream of the overcoat lost its luster, especially considering it was a little bulky in size to begin with.

In addition to the Harris Tweed tag, it has an absolutely amazing department store tag in it, and now my thoughts have turned to other projects that could be done with it. The full circumference at the base of the coat (with inner flaps flipped out) is 68", and it's 48" in height. When you include two sleeves of 26" length and 16" circumference, there's probably somewhere in the range of nearly 3 full square yards of tweed (minus the smaller sections with the holes).

I'll have to do a little planning, but I'm thinking of doing something like this handmade patch wool scarf from the fine craftsperson at The Cordial Churchman. Mr. Affordable Wardrobe himself got crafty with something similar recently, so I can certainly draw some inspiration from one of those places.

Now, I just need to get some Singer featherweight pointers from my wife.

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