school days jacket: a few tips
11 years ago
last year, i made my third version of the school days jacket, but the first that didn’t hold up as well as i would have liked. i purchased the leather lace from joanns and it ripped in half (!). my wooden toggles looked worn out after only a few wears and my fleece lining stretched waaaay out. thankfully, a little mending was all it took to get this jacket back in order. but i thought i’d share in hopes that others might avoid my mistakes and get it right on take #1. 🙂 the details are here.11 years ago
I made my first one with leather thonging too, and I’m about to have to unpick the toggles and replace them using a synthetic thin strap. The leather certainly hasn’t stood up to the twisting and fiddling that kids do. Good point Rachel, I won’t use leather again either.11 years ago
This is a wonderful post. Thanks for the tip about the deertan laces. I used heavy cotton cording and I tried synthetic cording. Both failed. I replaced the cording on 2 of the coats that I made. The replacement cording is fraying now. The coat hangs on the toggles if the child doesn’t snap it. I may use velcro next time instead of snaps. I don’t like velcro very much. I couldn’t get my needle through the leather strip from Joann’s.11 years agoRpankow @excytin
Thank you so much for the tips! I know the first winter coat I made for my daughter I ended up being in a bind not having any cording around and made my own with fabric. I have to say, that did end up working out quite well and added a little color to an otherwise boring tan wool coat. The one addition I made to my coats is the use of sew on magnetic snaps that I purchased at my local fabric shop. I think they’re Dritz brand. They’re not cheap, but at the time I was looking for a solution for my young daughter to be able to fasten her coat by herself. I LOVE the magnetic snaps. When we’re running out the door in the mornings before school and work, she can just simply touch the coat together and it’s fastened quite well and not have to fiddle with the toggles when we’re running late. I have tried velcro on my first school days coat and it seemed to wear out since it wasn’t “industrial” velcro, just standard stuff from Walmart or something. Good luck with your coats and happy sewing!
Rebecca11 years ago
Rebecca, the magnetic snaps sound awesome! I had never thought of that! I’m happy with the look of the snaps that I used, but my son really has to yank to get them apart. I’m going to look into magnetic for next time! Thanks!
Jennifer, this deertan lace is very thin (maybe 1 or 2 mm thick). i could easily sew through it without changing to a leather needle. But they do make needles specifically for sewing through leather – Maybe you know that already, but thought I’d add that just in case. 🙂11 years agoNicole @motherof5
I used Drizabone press studs but I love the sound of the magnetic snaps.
Thanks for the great tips Rachel.11 years ago
I have a fear of inserting snaps. I have never used them. I really want to give it a try. I actually Goggled Drizabone Snaps to see what they were.11 years ago
The problem I found with using leather wasn’t the needle but the fact that if one sews transveresly across leather the perforations just create a weak point and it tears. I remembered that from high school art/craft but not until after my first strap had ripped at the sewing point. I can’t imagine how fiddly it would be to attach leather thonging using a V shape instead of a straight seam.
I think I’ll go with magnetic snaps or press studs with my next ones as the sew in snaps are tough to get undone.11 years agohighpowermom @highpowermom
I’ve always wanted to try doing the coat with toggles, thanks for the tips.
I made my first (and so far only) version of this coat two years ago and my little boy is *just* about to outgrow the sleeve length. Mine is nylon supplex, since in Florida we need raincoats more often than winter coats, in a two-tone color scheme. I dragged out the industrial snap setter and resin snaps I acquired in my cloth diaper sewing days and used snaps both as closures for the jacket AND in place of the buttons for attaching the removeable lining (install the snaps into the jacket facing so they don’t go all the way through). I made the lining out of fleece finished in such a way that it could be worn as a layer on its own, but he complains it’s too warm so we only ever used it on a winter vacation north.11 years ago
Hmmm, I had never thought of how the needle could perforate the cording. Boy, I sure hope that doesn’t happen with this jacket!
One thing about sewing in the snaps is you have to pull the facing away from the jacket front if you sew the snaps on last, otherwise the stitching will show through to the front of the jacket. Perhaps it’d be better to sew them on when the instructions say to sew in the Velcro?11 years ago
Oh and the jacket with the removable fleece lining sounds impressive!11 years ago
I’ve thought about sewing the snaps on earlier too, as then I’d be able to use the sewing machine to attach them. My current snaps are hand sewn on to avoid the stitching showing thorugh, but my lazy/poor hand sewing combined with how hard the snaps are to undo, I’m always worried they’re going to come off.11 years ago
I have used sew in snaps. I agree, they are not easy for little hands and fat fingers. I have tried hard to make my sew in snaps look neat and they look messy- homemade. I think magnetic snaps would be the best solution. I just need to practice inserting them.10 years agohighpowermom @highpowermom
Rachel, thanks. Sorry for the delayed response; I must have been busy sewing (and I just figured out how to subscribe to follow-up posts)! 🙂
As I mentioned I used the Kam snap machine on my son’s nylon supplex rain coat. My girlfriend made this same coat out of Amy Butler laminated cotton (with cotton lining) and also used my press. Last week I used it to put snaps in a baby bubble for a baby shower. Easy, fast, and the snaps are relatively inexpensive; if you have access to one I recommend it. I’m just glad to be finding uses for it, it’s been gathering dust since our diapering days ended (I bought it thinking I’d go into business and then that whole lead testing thing happened and killed that idea)!10 years ago
I am so bummed to report that the deertan lace that I had used for cording broke! I was soooo disappointed, plus I feel guilty for recommending it. I seemed so durable when I stretched it, pulled on it, etc. I’m sorry if anyone used it based on my rec and had the same problem. 🙁
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