I mentioned previously on the blog about how I was a little bit in love with Topshop's leather edged mac, but I struggled to justify the £100 price tag. I bit the bullet and decided to use my old faithful charity shop mac and give it a make-over (or should that be mac-over?). It already featured some gorgeous tortoiseshell buttons, which I decided to keep, but I added leather on the cuffs and on a single lapel. The leather was left over from some trousers I bought on Ebay and turned into shorts, but you can buy offcuts from any good haberdashery or even just buy a cheap imitation leather product and use the raw material.
Here's a shot of the upper part of the mac, with gold studs in the top that I bought in a pack from a local haberdashery store. You can also just about see my hand-sewing of the leather onto the coat fabric, in a basic running stitch; I do have a sewing machine in the house, but I prefer to rely on hand-sewing if there's a lot of layers involved, as it can jam easily or break the machine's needle if you're not careful.
A full frontal view of the finished mac. I had originally planned to put leather on both lapels, but they were different sizes so I stopped half-way through to survey my work. It turned out that I preferred the asymmetry of having one plain lapel and one shiny.
I put the mac in the kitchen for these shots, as the light is strong there in the evenings. I also liked how the creamy colour of the base fabric contrasted with the stained wood. My D.I.Y. project seems to be a success and I'd happily add leather panels to another item in the future, such as a pocket for a t-shirt or as elbow patches for a jumper. It was incredibly easy but looks very expensive, and it'll see me through more than the current fetish trend - the mac will always be a fashion staple.