Friday, March 9, 2012

Renewed Peacoat Lining

I got a great grey peacoat from the Gap Outlet about seven years ago.  It's been my go-to coat for mild winter days or times when I need to wear something a little fancier than a ski jacket.

Peacoat in action on a cute date at the Kennedy Center in Washingon, DC

This year, though, it started looking a little rough.  The wool on the outside has worn wonderfully, and still looks new.  The lining is a different story.  The pockets are completely shredded and unuseable, and the inner lining is slowly disentegrating.

It looks even worse in person

I had a new peacoat on my shopping list for the past six months, and had even browsed for one last winter, but I never saw anything that seemed just right.  They were all too long, bulky, artsy (weird collars), or cheap looking.

Thus was born the idea of simply fixing the coat I already own!  I was originally considering completely replacing the lining, but my mom and my best friend talked me out of it.  It would be too much work and a genuine pain in the ass.

Because the entire lining wasn't wearing out, just the bottom, I decided that I could patch it.

A trip to Hancock Fabrics yielded a lovely floral fabric that feels like lining (1 yd.), Pellon wonder-under transfer web (i.e., double stick iron on stuff for fabric, 2 yds.), and some cute flannel (1/3 yd).  I wanted the inside to still be silky so it would move nicely over my clothes.  I got the flannel for the pocket lining.  You never see it, and the flannel seemed like it would be soft and snuggly.

I ironed the transfer web to large sections of the fabric, then cut out one edge along the flowers.  The other edges I trimmed to fit perfectly over the old lining.  I pinned the piece in well, and ironed it on.  I then repeated this for the other side of the coat.  To finish it off in a fun way, I cut out complete flowers and ironed them on top of everything, sometimes covering the wool.  I apologize that I didn't take intermediate pictures!  I just got so caught up in all the fun.

Floral lined peacoat

Next I tackled the pockets.  They were clearly unacceptable as-is.

 I cut out the existing lining to get a fresh start.  One of the pockets wasn't too bad, so I used it as a template to cut the new lining.  I traced them and then added a generous seam allowance.

 Next I pinned the new lining into the coat.  I really had to wrestle to get it in there, but the pinning was well worth it later!

pin twice, sew once!

I sewed as much of the seams as possible with my sewing machine, because it makes a stronger stitch.  I had to really wrestle all the fabric to get under the presser foot, and I was terrified I would sew my finger, but it ended up OK in the end.  Plus, the seams are all inside this coat, so who cares if they look a little wonky?

see?  you can't tell it's wonky inside!
I finished the seams by hand, and ... ta da!  New pockets!!!

I'm really happy that I won't feel like a rat chewed up my coat anymore, and I'm super excited about the snuggly pockets!

Altogether, this project cost a whopping total of $13, and took about two hours (which includes a tea break).  I didn't even use up all of my materials.

I'd say that beats $100-$200 and six months of shopping for a new coat!!!  And who knows?  Maybe the floral lining trend will be the next big thing.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lemon Cake

I volunteered to make my future-mother-in-law's birthday cake this year.   A little bird told me that she loves lemon, so I decided to make her a lemon cake!

Some light googling led me to this lemon cake recipe, and the comments made it sound easy and no-fail, so it was an easy choice.  I'd never made a cake from scratch though, so I was a little anxious how it would come out.

lemon cake ingredients

My kitchen aid mixer was awesome for this project, as many steps require mixing for several minutes.  I was also happy I had my handy dandy zester, which made zesting all those lemons much easier!

The cake came out a little dry, but that may have been due to forgetting the step of dousing the cake in lemon syrup right when it comes out of the oven.  I did this step the next morning, and the syrup didn't soak into the cake well.

However...the icing was AMAZING.  I really could have eaten the entire bowl of it.

lemon cake

In the end, the cake turned out pretty well, and my future-mother-in-law was happy!  Success!

PS: This cake is also delicious for breakfast!