I found this wool coat - I believe it's from the late 70s - at a thrift store the other week. I tried it on in the dressing room. It was a little large, but the cut and color was so flattering and I fell in love with it. I checked for any signs of age and it looked to be in good shape.When I got it home and under better lighting I noticed a moth-hole. A bad one. Then a second one, and another. There were bunches of nasty little moth-holes all over this coat. And the more I touched the coat, the more tiny fibers seamed to flake off in my hands. So, with nothing to loose, I did what the vintage 'dry-clean only' label inside ordered me explicitly not to do and tossed it into the wash. Then into the dryer. Miraculously, it did not fall apart. It did get rid of the flakies and shrink to exactly my size - except for the sleeves. Now they were absurdly short. The lining hadn't shrunk, though. The hem of the sleeves was not sewn, so I was actually able to pull them out so that the lining and the sleeves were the same length. Easy fix! (You can still see where there's a bit of a crease where the sleeves used to end).
But what to do about the nasty moth-holes? I found this tutorial. It was a quick and easy fix (with no sewing, I might add), and I had nothing to lose (except a few inches of fusible web tape). I cut a small piece of the coat hem to patch the holes. And, although you can see the tiny patches if you look really hard - they blend in remarkable well. I was impressed with how well this technique worked.I don't think I'd recommend buying a coat with moth damage, even if it's only $5. But if you happen to already have one, I'd give this a try. At least this coat has a new life. It was recently featured on the Modcloth blog.
By the way, if you haven't seen my interview on the Wac Ave Street Photography Blog, please check it out! :-)
vintage wool coat: thrifted
pleated skirt: target
ankle boots: thrifted