Wire hangers? Time to untangle them!

Miss Thrifty3 July 13, 2010

wire hanger Like lots of people, I keep my clothes away from flimsy wire hangers, which do nothing to help preserve a garment’s shape. I read somewhere that 75 per cent of wire hangers are thrown away, but doesn’t that seem like a waste?

Lisa Stickley has a eco-friendly, wallet-friendly solution – and has kindly agreed to let me share it with you. Lisa is a seamstress extraordinaire: her fans include Sarah Jessica Parker and Angelina Jolie, and her homewares are stocked by Selfridge’s, John Lewis and Liberty. (Apparently she is also creating a cheaper range for Designers at Debenham, which pleases me greatly.)

Over to Lisa:

There is nothing more infuriating than a tangle of wire coat hangers. Besides, they are not the best things in the wardrobe to look after your favourite silk dresses. These easy-to-make but extremely functional and rather attractive mini coats for those troublesome wire hangers will have your wardrobe organised and stylishly chic in no time. They are also a great way to use up odds and ends of vintage fabric!


2 pieces of light or medium weight cotton or silk, cut to size. (Lisa uses a template for this, measuring 42 cm by 14 cm, cut into a hanger-shaped triangle as below.)

1 wire coat hanger


lisa stickley Hem the panels

Turn 5mm over to the wrong side along the straight edge and press. Repeat this for a second time so the raw edge of the fabric is concealed. Pin in place. Repeat this for the second panel. Stitch the pressed hems, stitching as close to the inside edge of the turned hem as possible for a neat finish. Backstitch at the start and finish to fasten the seam.

Join the panels

With right sides facing, place the pieces together so the two hemmed edges meet. Starting at the hemmed base, stitch from a to b. Backstitch at the start and finish to fasten the seam. Then stitch from c to d. Again backstitch at the start and finish to fasten the seam.

Add the hanger

Turn the hanger coat out to the right side and press. Fit the coat over the wire hanger, taking the hanger’s “neck” through the hole at the top. Hand stitch the hole at the top with a couple of extra stitches to secure.

Lisa’s hanger coats feature in her new book, Made At Home, which is published by Quadrille and is out this month. Amazon has it, reduced from £16.99 to £11.03. Actually, in its Frequently Bought Together section, Amazon pairs Made At Home with the Cath Kidston book Sew. I have both books and in my opinion, Made At Home is better.  Sew is a pretty book but I have never been inspired to actually make anything featured in it. (Shhh, don’t tell Cath Kidston I said so.) Made At Home, on the other hand, features a jolly good Basic Techniques section, gorgeous photography by Ben Anders and the designs, which range from an egg cosy to a patchwork bedspread, are as practical as they are stylish. I like it a lot.

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3 Responses to “Wire hangers? Time to untangle them!

Claire says:

I adore Lisa Stickley’s gorgeous things. I’m a particular fan of her beautiful bone china and always include it on my Christmas list!

On a thrifty note look out for her sales, they are well worth it, both at the Landor Road shop (luckily just down the road from where I live) but also online.

July 14, 2010 at 9:41 am

missthrifty says:

Ah, you would love this book then! I must admit that I hadn’t really come across Lisa Stickley before now – but I’ve just taken a peek at the sale section of her website, and there are some lovely mugs and prints on there. Rather jealous that you live so close to her shop – I’m 250 miles away!

July 14, 2010 at 11:40 am

Carla says:

I have a nice big stash of wire coat hangers and tend to take anyone I knows off theirs hand. I find they come in real handy for home made crafts and have used them for a few diffeent things over the years, nice fiary wings for my nieces etc. Glad to see some of the old ideas are still around by covering wire coat hangers in fabric. My mum used to do this before I was born back in the 70’s.

October 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

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