Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hang 'em high

Sometime in the late 1980s I started padding coathangers.  Not the nylon lace knitted covers so beloved of my grandmother, but an improvisation on what was to hand.

I needed a wider hanger as my clothes were wider than most.  I needed a way to avoid the horrid "angel wing" effect of coathangers on clothes, I wanted delicate fabrics to maintain their shape and I needed to be able to do it for nothing or next to nothing.

So not much has changed, really.

I came up with a way of using materials readily available - wire coathangers available for free from clothes shops and the shoulder pads that were on the wane fashion-wise and available cheaply (or occasionally free) from op-shops.

The best shoulder pads to use are the fat, shoulder-shaped raglan pads.  If there is velcro attached, so much the better for gripability.

A pad is folded over the end of the wire coathanger and whip stitched into placed.  For extra width allow the padding to extend the hanger 1/4 to 1/3 the length of the pad. 

 To help the pad stay in place, stitch through the pad around the metal end.

On these hangers, I can hang wet shirts in woven or jersey fabrics to dry in small spaces and after ironing, rehang them to preserve the shape - no "angel wings" on my tops.

This week, I found a bag of raglan shoulder pads rescued from an op-shop. I whipped up six padded hangers using the last of the shoulder pad stash.


Olivia said...

that is brilliant! I've spent years hating how much space padded hangers take up in the wardrobe (they're often very wide). I got some slim foam-covered ones recently, but this trick looks even better.

Donna Lee said...

I love them. I own 6 padded hangers that I got on clearance at a drug store. For some reason, they are sold around the holidays (maybe to give as gifts?) and I picked up some really cheap. I love them for light sweaters and such.