Upcycling a coat for Grandma

NOTE: I noticed I had this post lingering in my archives as a draft. So today I decided to publish it.

This past April, my grandma started going to adult daycare. It was cold that month so they suggested that she have bring a winter coat to bring with her. My aunt passed the request to my dad who then passed on the request to me since he knew I was being a thrifty shopper. I had been reporting my deals and findings during my thrift shopping adventures.

The coat that I have got for her was a maroon Ann Taylor coat. It was purchased for $8 at the Salvation Army in Hawthorne, CA. I found most interesting was that the coat was made in USA. With globalization, a lot of goods recently sold in the US are made in outside countries. So I am guessing that this item was made sometime before the 2000’s (1999 or earlier).

The wool on the coat was still in great shape. The only thing was that the lining was falling apart. So I ended up taking a seam ripper and gutting out the lining from the coat.


I then gingerly dismantled the lining to recreate the pattern so I can cut and sew a new lining. The fabric that I used was from the Michael Levine Loft in Downtown Los Angeles. (If you are a sewer in the LA area, I highly recommend you give that place a visit. They sell fabric by the weight!)


The hardest part was sewing the new lining onto the coat. It took some very slow speed stitching on my sewing machine to make sure the lining was not misaligned but eventually I did it!


I have since then purchased about $30 worth of used clothes from the Salvation army all waiting to be updated / upcycled / reloved. This thrifting and upcycling experience makes me realize how involved I can be in consumerism. The items I bought were in fair condition and needed some mending to be good again. I know that what I just said contradicts my love for fashion as fashion is always on the forefront and ever evolving. There must be a way to be fashion forward yet sustainable.

What are your thoughts on sustainability and fashion? How can we eliminate excess in our lives?

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