Customising a Jacket

As some of you may know, we ventured out this week to run a 'Customising Lounge' for Miss Selfridge. It was the launch of their high summer collection. Yasmin Yusuf, their creative director, had been inspired by a trip to India which you can clearly see in  the collection. So in keeping with the Indian theme we helped fashion journalists and bloggers customise an army jacket with trimmings ready for the summer festivals....

I thought you might like to know how we did it....

First we decided on which trimmings and where. The jackets are perfect for customising as there are so many places to add a little accent trim or two. The collar, under collar, around the cuffs, the pockets and the shoulders.

For the large pockets I cut the ribbon (or incredible embroidered fabric in this instance!) to the exact size and just made sure it didn't cover the press studs. Then pinned and machined it with and edge stitch, around the sides and bottom. As I still want to use the pocket, the top edge had to be hand sewn (a back stitch will do).


I decided to put some ribbon on the underside of the collar so it was more subtle. First I pinned the ribbon to the collar, lining up the ribbon edge with the collar edge. Then I trimmed the ends to match the collar. I machined along the lower collar edge and the inside edge. Make sure you use a thread colour that blends well with the jacket as you will see this on the top side of the collar. Then just do a little hand stitch (a back stitch) at either end.

For the shoulder detail I cut the fabric to a similar shape and at least 1cm bigger all the way round. Then I folded the edges over and with a little overstitch (hand stitch) I anchored the fabric to the underside of the flap. I then machined across the straight end.

Finally the cuffs. As long as your jacket it isn't too small you can machine this. Again I cut the ribbon to size and allowed a little extra for an overlap. (Keep the overlap by the underarm seam so you won't see it.) Pin and then stitch with an edge stitch along both edges of the ribbon. You may need to stitch the overlap down or just leave it unstitched as it may not be that noticeable. If you can't slot the sleeve on the arm of the machine then sew with a back stitch.

And voila! A coat that no one else has. Now all I need is a festival to go to. Any suggestions?!
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