We totally agree with Joan Crawford’s now cult one-liner from Mommie Dearest, but we add “naked.” Au naturel, these coat hanger skeletons don’t belong in our cupboards and certainly not in our amazing, recently lined, wardrobe. Such a beautiful show-case deserves only the best dressed hangers.
But unlike the horrible harpy, we don’t reject Albert J. Parkerhouse’s prototype little brothers. On a glorious day of 1903, the dear boy, employed by Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company, had an epiphany. During this blessed moment of great revelation, he folded a piece of wire to produce the classic metal hanger as we know it. His boss, John B. Timberlake, who had a flash of genius too, registered the patent and made a fortune.
This basic, really great to hang up your laundry because it dries faster, is not a pretty sight. Luckily, it is easy to change it into a real beauty: just slip it into a sleek, simple, sexy little cover and you get a fashion icon.
For this total makeover, rummage through your fabric leftovers – including the ones used to line your wardrobe – and your stash of ribbons and lace.
Take your chosen piece of fabric, fold it in 2, right sides together. Place the hanger on the wrong side and draw a stylized straight-lined contour, adding 1cm to the sides and 5cm to the bottom. At the top, draw a 5cm straight-line for the hook slit. With a firm hand, cut the fabric, preferably with pinking shears.
Still on the wrong side, sew the sides, then flatten the seams with a hot iron.
Turn up a 1cm hem along the bottom edge, iron it. Pin up the lace top edge – wrong side against the hem – and sew the fabric and lace together.
Wrap a ravishing ribbon around the hook, leaving two 10cm bits.
Turn the cover inside out and slip this elegant poncho on the hanger. Pick up the 2 bits of ribbon and tie a lovely bow at the base of the hook.
Now that you’ve made one cover, you can dress the rest of your hangers. If you want to make them even smarter, give them a little padding.
Take some thin wadding. Fold it in 2, draw the hanger on the wadding, as you did previously, adding 1cm all round for the hem.
Cut without shaking and sew the sides. Leave a 5cm opening at the top, for the hook.
Turn the wadding inside out, slip this lovely pouch on the coat hanger and sew along the bottom, as close as possible to the base of the hanger.
Place this coated hanger on the fabric folded in 2, right sides together. Put your hanger on the wrong side of the folded fabric and draw the outline as previously and make your lovely slip cover as before.
Then, bursting with pride, admire your creation.