Frugal Farm Fashion

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Barn coat 002

I am a self avowed thrift store junky. Really. So much of what I have on the farm has been found at thrift and junk stores; from galvanized water troughs to garden fencing to clay pots for vegetable and flower starts, to my newly acquired barn jacket.

The find was a pure accident. I wasn’t even really on a mission to haunt the many thrift stores that dot our area, but am unexpected trip to the other side of the county found me on the main drag where some of my favorite stores are located, and since I don’t get over that direction very often I decided to make the rounds. Several stores had some interesting items but nothing tempting enough to lay out cash for. It wasn’t until I breezed through the last store that my find was discovered. I wasn’t even really looking after so much defeat, but as I made my way to the door a dark green jacket caught my eye. Turns out it was an aged Eddie Bauer barn coat with real leather accents. Thinking there must be something wrong with it I looked it over carefully for tears or stains or split seams, but none were found. I checked to see if all the buttons were there. They were. I checked to make sure the zippers worked. They did. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it other than the fact that it was an older style.

I couldn’t believe anyone would get rid of such a lovely and useful jacket, but we live in such an over consumptive society now a days that it shouldn’t really surprise me. At any rate their loss of giving away a useful piece of clothing was entirely my gain. As it turned out the thrift store was having a sale that day and the jacket cost me a whopping $2.50!

The only thing wrong with it, at least in my eyes, was the completely hideous blue liner, but that was easily remedied a few days later when I stopped by the fabric store and found a wonderful quilted fabric on the clearance table. I bought two yards, just to be safe, for $4.

When I got home I unbuttoned the liner from the coat and proceeded to rip the seams. I laid each piece out on brown paper bags and traced them to make a pattern. I’m not much of a seamstress, but the idea was simple enough that I thought I could manage. Once the pattern was made and laid out on the new fabric I took a deep breath and began cutting. After I cut all the pieces I hopped on-line to research the steps in assembling the new liner, simple enough. The new quilted fabric is reversible, so I trimmed it in black bias tape left over from one of Brianne’s school projects. Now if I wanted to change the look and feel of the jacket all I have to do is turn the liner around. The final and most daunting step was making the button holes. But, I have to say I didn’t do half bad. Now I have a barn jacket that is not only warm, but also farm fashionable too.

It never ceases to amaze me, or make me happy, that something so simple can be turned into something so beautiful with a few adjustments. Every time I wear the jacket I get complements, even if people do look askance when they learn of the jackets history. It never bothers me though. Let other people spend hundreds of dollars on a jacket like that. I’m thrilled to have my piece of wearable art for just $6.50.

3 Responses to “Frugal Farm Fashion”

  1. Jacquie says:

    What an excellent idea. I made an impromptu visit to my friend’s farm to see just born lambs. Who can resist? I didn’t think about the handmade alpaca sweater when I pitched in, spreading hay and straw. That’s when I understood the genius behind just such a barn coat. I was itching and scratching for ages, which makes me wonder if romantic rendezvous in haystacks are a myth. The liner is perfect. As is going to different thrift shops. Thank you!

  2. Diana says:

    Great find! I love the update that you did to it.

  3. jenn says:

    Thanks Diana,

    It’s amazing what nice stuff you can find at the thrift store. Best of all, letting someone else pay full price while you pick it up for a song.

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