8 November 2017

How to Make a Padded Coat Hang

So you’ve poured your heart and soul into your handmade dress, snipped the final thread, heaved a satisfied sigh, squealed with delighted pride…and then promptly hung it up on a natty wire coat hanger!

If this sounds like you, consider giving your dressmaking projects the badge of honour they deserve by whipping up one of these beautiful, silky, padded coat hangers. Vanessa here today, with the steps to show you how. I was inspired to make this hanger for my Etta dress - far too special for a regular hanger!

Not only do these hangers protect your delicate clothes from the lumps, bumps and indents that wooden and wire hangers can make, but they also allow you to channel your inner 1950s boudoir goddess, (or “inner Nana” as Tilly says, but let’s ignore her!).

To make one padded coat hanger you will need:

  • A plain wooden coat hanger - one without a trouser rack
  • 50cm (5/8 yards) cotton or polyester wadding
  • 50cm (5/8 yards) light-weight, silky fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric pencil, and basic sewing tools
  • Optional: Decorative ribbons & bows

Lay the coat hanger over the wrong side of your fabric. Measure and mark 12cm (4¾in) beyond either end of the hanger’s arms. Remove the hanger and cut out a rectangle of fabric this length and to a width of 10cm (4in).

Make a second rectangle by repeating the step above on a new piece of fabric, this time marking 2.5cm (1in) beyond either end of the hanger’s arms.

Cut each rectangle in half widthways. This will allow you to easily slip the covers over the hanger’s arms later.

Set your sewing machine to a long stitch length (4-5mm). With a 10mm (3/8in) seam allowance, stitch a row of gather stitches down both long edges of the longer rectangles (you're sewing gather stitches on each piece separately - you're not sewing them together). Don’t back tack at either end, and leave the thread tails long so you can gently pull them to gather each long rectangle up.

Distribute the gathers evenly until they are the same length as the shorter rectangles.

Pin a gathered rectangle to a non-gathered rectangle, right sides together. Using a 15mm (5/8in) seam allowance, stitch the pieces along one long edge, in a semi-circle shape around the short end, and along the other long edge, leaving the other short edge unstitched. It might help to mark your stitching line out with a fabric pen before you sew.

Trim the seam allowances to 5mm (1/8in). Using your thumb or a chopstick, turn the fabric pieces right side out. Finger press the seam allowances open to sharpen them up a bit.

Wrap one side of your hanger with the wadding you’re using, then repeat on the other end. We’ve used cotton wadding, but this is also a great opportunity to use up the fabric scraps from another project!

Secure the wadding with hand-stitches along its length, at either end, and where the pieces meet in the middle.

Slip the fabric covers over either end of the hanger so that they meet in the middle where the hook is. Fold the raw edges of one of the ends to the inside and cover the raw edges of the other half with it. Slipstitch the two ends together all the way around the hanger to secure.

And there's your lovely hanger!

Consider adding optional but very lovely trimmings, such as a little bow at the centre seam, wrapping ribbon or a gathered tube of fabric around the metal hook, or even a little pouch of dried lavender to hang around it!

You might be the only person to ever rest eyes on this delightfully indulgent little boudoir accessory, but by gum you’re worth it :)

PS. Like this post? You may also like How to make an eye mask and How to make bias binding.