One night, before it was very cold, I walked out through the back courtyard and spotted this unused jacket in the dumpster. One of my neighbors must have changed jobs. Industrial strength, googled the brand. Blauer emergency clothing. The jacket alone lists for more than $400. Very nicely detailed. Dark brown lined with a great grey blue. Not flame-proof. Wash in cold water, air dry. I liked how it looked but the sleeves were way short on me.
I’ve added cuffs to lengthen the sleeves of other coats. Shopping for suitable cuffs in the notions department always seemed daunting. How many colors would they have? Besides, the first time I needed to lengthen the sleeves of a cotton jacket that had shrunk in the wash, I already had a pair of socks that looked perfect. Sock waste alert! I discarded the foot portion of both. I have since taken to cutting one sock in half (why sacrifice a perfectly good pair when you can finally use one you’ve been hoping to find the mate for?) Raw edges folded under and hemmed (loosely with elastic thread) look just like standard knit cuffs folded under. Although my foot-on-one-arm-and-ankle-on-the-other sock cuffs aren’t identical, I’m glad to have them–and I’m doing my part to fight sewing OCD!
For my emergency uniform dumpster jacket, my own sock wardrobe wasn’t harboring a brown sock without a mate. So I asked my son-in-law–a Marine and footwear connoisseur–if he happened to have one in his. He produced an antibacterial, moisture-wicking athletic number (whose engineering is probably as sophisticated as the jacket’s) in baby-poop brown–which happens to be one of my favorite colors! It had plenty of length to make both cuffs. I decided to wear the looped pile on the outside because I thought it looked cool and my wrists are not in need of perspiration management.
Steps: Turn both sleeve and cuff inside out. I like to use elastic thread. Warning. Inherent temptation to pull it tight. I stretched the thread so far on my first one that the fit was uncomfortable so I started over and attached the sock with independently knotted sections of thread. The sock is attached to the upper part of the existing jacket cuff to hide what we’re doing here. Attaching it higher on this jacket would have made that part of the sleeve too tight for my forearm. Experiment before sewing if you need to.
Hemming. Blind stitch the bottom edge of the new cuff with elastic thread (don’t pull too tight). The color of the thread doesn’t matter because the sock is plenty thick to stitch without going all the way through. See how the stitches in the lower part of the photo hardly show.
Turn right side out
But wait! There’s more! I spotted this fun Betty Boop/Route 66 knit at JoAnn, a large craft and sewing store. A third of a yard gave me a pattern repeat but then I saw how it looked with the plaid synthetic I had at home and decided to make two scarves out of it.
Cut equal pieces of knit and lining, pin right sides together. I also had just enough fringe to trim both ends so I pinned that between the two fabrics with the open end of the fringe pointing in. Leave a gap in stitching to turn the resultant tube and then sew that closed from the right side. But then I sewed too far: top-stitching all the way around. It shows off the pattern but the extra body it added doesn’t quite conform to the neck like a scarf should.
Wardrobe malfunction. The industrial-strength coat fabric against synthetic lining. They slide off each other. So I safety-pinned the middle of the scarf through the zipper pull on the jacket hood compartment. (Why does Bill Cosby and his standup routine about idiot mittens come to mind?)
Find what’s yours . . . truly, danscir52
copyright 2013 Dan Christensen all rights reserved