Years ago I came across an old leather trenchcoat from the 1970s at a thrift store for a dollar. It was a lot like this one to start out, except this coat is mint and the one I found was far from:
There is some wear to the leather, especially around the neck, the button holes are sprung, and there was a tear in the leather under the third button in the front. The sleeves were also almost 2" too short for me. But I loved the leather, and the fit, and the price was right, so I bought it and squirreled it away for inspiration to strike.
A couple of years ago I started working on it, pulling the seams at the waistline and along the side hems, giving me the shape I wanted:
And then it sat in a bin in my basement for almost 2 years, waiting for me to figure out what I wanted to do next. Then in a trip to my favorite fabric store this week, I found exactly the right lace and trim to finish the job:
That's 2 yards of an 18" wide Venise lace in matte gold and black, some gold and burgundy trim, and an ivory lace with gold sequins.
I cut apart the lace into the shapes I wanted for the corners of the tails, and used spray adhesive to hold it in place while I hand sewed it down:
I also added some lacework detail across the shoulders:
For the sleeves, I made cuffs out of the leather I'd cut away from the front of the jacket, with more of the lace:
Altogether, it was about 8 hours of hand sewing for the lace, but it's not going anywhere now. Once the lace was in place, I machine-sewed the gold/burgundy trim from one corner of the front cutaway all around the edges of the jacket and cuffs. On the edges of the sleeve cuffs I also added the sequined lace:
Here's a closeup of the sleeve cuff:
And the applique on the coat tail:
I replaced the original buttons with some brass ones, and added chain closures as it became a bit too tight for me in the years it sat in the bin in the basement:
Full back view:
After looking at this picture, I decided the back still needed something, so I cut out two more flowers from the lace and added them to the buttons on back:
I'm thinking now that I'll use the rest of the chain for a drape here as well.
And here it is on:
Here's the pants I'm wearing, a pair of thrift store stretchy corduroys that I slit up the side and added grommet tape to:
(For the curious, my tophat came from Bernie Utz in Seattle and the pearl hatband was made by the lovely ladies from Aurora Illusionary Travel Emporium )
Looking forward to finding many excuses to wear this coat again now!