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.

2 comments:

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.