Sunday 21 January 2018

fully baked Chefs Coat

Many people commented on the transformation of the Chefs Coat. Perhaps some didn't realise those pictures shown on my blog a few days ago were only of the first few hours work on it and I intended to cover the whole surface....?

Since then I spent 2 more days working on the coat and finished it yesterday. In total the entire working time to transform this $6 thrift shop coat took about 16-18 hours.

Here's pictures and commentary on how it was done.

front of the finished Chefs Coat, buttoned up

All the fabrics appliqued to the coat were from my scrap bin or from clothes or discarded fabric lengths purchased from thrift shops, including the buttons. No new fabrics were purchased.

back of the Chefs Coat

To work on the coat the only alterations I made were cutting about 20cm(8") off the sleeve length and slitting open each underarm seam to the side seam. This allowed the sleeves to be opened out flat to apply the applique.

close up of buttoning on the front

I tossed my pile of black and white fabrics on the work table and randomly picked bits to cut squares, triangles and narrow strips of randomly sized pieces. A number pieces were then collaged onto the coat surface, pinned in place and sewed. About 8-12 pieces at a time were sewed in place. Sometimes the pieces overlapped or the underneath was allowed to show in spaces.

To applique the pieces I used a 7mm wide 3-step zigzag stitch and left the fabric patch edges raw. I like shredded, fraying edges as it adds texture and mobility to the surface. But the 3-step stitch is secure enough that the raw edges will only fray back to the stitch. In the picture above the 3-step zigzag most clearly shows around the edge of the white spot on black patch near the coat bottom. I also like the stitch to be a decorative element so would switch between black and white thread to purposely highlight it on the surface. However, on the bobbin I used only black thread throughout so the sewing on the inside of the garment is hardly visible.

opened up Chefs Coat shows how the stitching is barely visible on the inside

When the surface was about half covered with applique patches I laid the coat back out on the work table and did some stenciling over various parts, especially where there were big gaps showing the underneath fabric. I also stenciled a big strip of white cotton voile with black and cut this into small patches to be added to the surface.

stenciled patches, some of which were added to the coat

detail of buttoning at the neckline of the coat

When the fronts of the coat were nearly done I decided to cut out 2 very deep triangles down the front edge. In the style of Chefs Coats the front was double breasted so there was a very wide overlap. I saw that this offered the potential to create an interesting zigzag feature. When buttons were added it had the neat effect of allowing all sorts of combinations of closing some and leaving various bits to flap open....

the cut out zigzag front of the Chefs coat allows for all sorts of ways of closing and leaving parts to flap back...