24 January 10

From Old Coat to a New Bag

Rachel's Finished Bag

This coatbecame this bag.

I’m honestly so wickedly proud of this that I cried a bit when I finished it. Not only do I feel like I kept the personality of the coat pretty successfully, but I feel like I gave new life to her old coat. A new life to add to the old life that the coat experienced, not take it away.

23-Cool buttons, eh?

There were five buttons on the original coat. I wanted to use all of the buttons on the bag in a way that provided either structure or design, or preferably both. There are two buttons on the left side of the bag, one over each seam. There is one button on the right side of the bag. There is one button holding the flap of each pocket on the side closed. Because the number of buttons along the top of the bag is different on the left and right side, Rachel will be able to tell which way the zipper is pointed just by feeling her bag. A subtle distinction, but an important one for someone who rides public transit frequently and needs to make sure her bag is as secure as possible.

Shiny rings and zipper

I decided to use shiny gold accents instead of antiqued brass accents because I really wanted them to stand out from the metal buttons. I got these rings in New York and I love them. They’re fantastic and I think they really make this bag shine.

The right side of the bag

You can see the single button, the flaps holding the side pockets closed, the single seam on the right side, the gathers at the bottom and the pleats at the top. The gathering really makes the bag hold as much as possible.

Side pocket with button

This is the side pocket. These pockets existed on the original coat. The edges were worn through in parts so I made a new edge. To make the pockets a little more secure, I created these flaps which also permitted me to use these buttons.

Open pocket flap

This is what the pocket looks like with the flap open.

Interior pocket

The original lining of the coat was a black fabric with embossed stripe. It wasn’t going to work for the new bag, but I was lucky enough to find this cool lining that matches it quite closely. I created a zipper pocket to keep lip gloss and other things secure. But Rachel also needed a pocket for her phone and her pen so she could grab them easily.


Thankfully, after I got the bag put together, I still had enough fabric left over to create handles out of the coat fabric. I wanted to make the straps as stiff and secure as possible. Thankfully the loft of the fabric meant that I could get the straps to sink into the fabric pretty easily. Since the stitches sink into the fabric, they’ll have less chance of wearing through which means they’ll wear well and for a long time.


  1. Utterly delightful. I admire the reuse/recycle aspect of it, and the love that both you and the coat owner have for the coat and the process. Well done, well done!

    Becky on Jan 25, 02:14 am

  2. That bag is amazing, Cinnamon, down to every brilliant detail.

    leo on Jan 25, 01:04 pm

  3. Looks fantastic! Such a cool way to give new life to something. Great job, Cinnamon!

    Bessie on Jan 31, 01:00 am

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