29 May 2011

Pretties for my wardrobe

Don't they look pretty?  And because I've recycled things I already had, instead of costing $20, they cost a big fat $0.  I can live with that.

During the April Get Organized challenge I very bravely tackled our walk-in robe.  It was a complete mess, very disorganised and decidedly over-crowded. I came to the conclusion that we just had too many clothes. And shoes. And handbags. And coats.  Alright, I came to the conclusion that I have too many of all those things.  It's OK,  I went through everything and donated a lot. Then I went through what was left and donated more. And after I'd dropped those bags off at the op shop I went through once more and found a few more things I  no longer liked, wore or needed and donated them too.

Which means that now the wardrobe is very tidy and there is room for everything to hang neatly, without getting squashed and creased. It was as I was hanging up my remaining few garments (not really, I still have far more clothes than I need) I noticed that the coat hangers were looking a little worse for the wear.

These hangers really are vintage, they're older than me

Some of these coat hangers are as old, perhaps a few months older, than I am. My Great-Grandma  knitted them for me when I was just a baby. They are knitted in that lovely old-fashioned loopy pattern, some pink and white, some blue and white, although they are a little yellowed by age now. The padding in them has collapsed and some of the knitting has worn and is turning to holes. It's time to lash out on new hangers.

I priced some at Dollar King, a local $2 style store last Thursday. Padded, satin covered ladies coat hangers were available in packs of 6 for $5.99, or packs of 3 for $2.99, so $1 each.  I need around 20 but I am not prepared to pay $20 just for coat hangers, especially when the actual hangers are fine, it is covers that need replacing.

I've been busy knitting hanger covers the last couple of weeks because I knew this day was looming.   Knitting coat hanger covers is a great way of using up scraps of wool which I just happen to have bags of (thanks Mum!). They are really easy, quick and you can let your imagination run riot with the colour ways.

The padding on these old hangers was well and truly gone. Grandma had used strips of cloth, it looked like it may have been old pillowcase or sheeting, tightly wrapped around the hanger in layers to pad it.  I thought about using strips of old t-shirt, then found some odd pieces of quilt wadding so I used them instead.

To make a cover for an adult-sized wooden coat hanger take a pair of 4mm knitting needles and cast on 20 stitches. Knit until the cover measures 30cm. Cast off loosely.  That's it. I told you it was easy. Of course you can pretty them up by knitting in a lacy pattern or adding in stripes of different stitches.  Moss stitch looks nice in a plain colour. You can knit contrasting or blending stripes. Use your imagination and see what you come up with.

To cover a hanger, pad it with wadding or strips of old (clean please) t-shirting or other fabric. Fold the cover in half to find the centre. Slip the hook through the centre of the cover. Turn so the seam will be underneath the hanger. Using ladder stitch and matching yarn, sew the cover seams together.

To cover the hook I just cut a length of wool, threaded it onto a darning needle and worked a row of blanket stitch around the hook, pushing it down tightly to make sure the hook was completely covered.


  1. they look so pretty! really love them!

  2. Well here in Downunder a few of us are going to do what you have, also I am going to cull the clothes like you as well. Thanks for the motivation & basic tips.

  3. hi does anyone have an easy coathanger pattern and what size wooden hangers do I use?
    haven't knitted since I was a kid but I'd appreciate no bumps on my sweaters.
    thanks :)

  4. You don't need a pattern as such. Cast on 20 stitches and just knit in garter stitch until you have a length long enough to cover your coat hanger. You'll need adult sized coat hangers for adults or child-sized hangers for children - they are pretty much a standard. You'll find your hangers at most discount stores or the likes of Kmart, Big W, even some supermarkets.


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