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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Repurposed denim jacket by StyleArc!

Do you subscribe to sewing magazines?  I do and there are some great articles and inspirational pieces.  In the July 2017 issue (Number 191, pages 66-69).  Below you can see the author's use of recycled denim jeans to make her jacket.  I absolutely fell in love with this and just happened to fall upon the Sewing Pattern Review contest of upcycling.  Bam!  It was an inspiration made just for me and the timing was perfect!

If you'd like to read more, click on the link!    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/66974/jeans-to-jacket

Trendy jean, denim or woven jacket

I really needed a few more spring/summer/fall jackets and thought about this Stacie Jean Jacket by StyleArc.  I had made it previously in red and love everything about it!

I enlisted the help of the hubby and he picked up four pair of jeans at a local thrift shop.  Here you can see I had started taking them apart.

Playing with the placement of the pattern pieces was interesting and a fun task.  I didn't have any issues until I tried to find a piece that would fit the center back of the jacket.  Everything else fit, just not that piece.  So, I slept on it, and then decided to try and have some fun with the fabric! 

So here is a glimpse of what I did with the back section that just wouldn't fit anywhere on the jeans.  Recently I found an article on a 'woven' jacket.  Of course, I couldn't find that article anywhere so I will have to tell you about it!  

I cut 3.5 inch strips of the denim, folded them in half, folded 1/4" in on each edge, and then stitched them together.  Next I wove the strips into a pattern that fit the back of my jacket!  It worked!

I purposely used some distressed pieces because this project is all about highlighting the re-purposed denim.  Wow, was it windy today!  You can see what the wind is doing to my hair!

This is how I started.  I started cutting strips and laying them out on the pattern piece.  

 This was the most fun of the entire project.  I played with it until it fit.  

I love the different colors of the denim and how it looks well-worn in some areas.  That was my plan!  After I had these strips in place, I sewed on each side of the edges in order to secure them in place.

Those sleeves are legs.  I took out the lower hem, topstitched along the seam and then re-hemmed.

I knew I wanted about 3/4 length sleeves and that is what I ended up with.

Had I not used the leg of the jeans with the seam, I would have struggled to make this work.  

There are some nice color variations on the front as well.  I decided to just stitch the pocket flaps to the jacket so they didn't flap.  The flaps are made from the back pockets of one of the pair of jeans.  

An inside peek!

I used jean buttons along the front and regular buttons at the flaps.

I purposely cut one of the front yoke where a pocket had been.  I love how faded the rest of the denim looks.

Here is a closer-up of the sleeve.  If you look closely you can see the topstitching I did in the white thread.

And of course the jean buttons on the front.  

Thanks for reading!  
So tell me, have you ever read an article in a sewing magazine and then created the garment based on the article?  If so, please tell me about it!  I love the inspiration!

Sue :) 


  1. Oh I love that basket weave effect.

  2. Wow, thais clever and looks great. I love the effect of the weaving, that is very clever.

  3. The basket weave idea was genius. I love it. You did a great job!

  4. Fantastic one of a kind jacket. Good luck with the contest!

  5. Wow! This jacket is so unique. The basket weave back panel looks so effective...and to think this entire jacket is made from recycled jeans. You are certainly doing your part for the environment.

  6. Love the weaving !! This is such a fabulous jacket -great job !

  7. Very very cool, and so special. I have some old jeans of my husbands that I could use for something similar... I mainly use Pinterest for inspiration, but just used my first Style Arc pattern (Kerry Cargo Pants) and was very impressed!

  8. Wonderful jacket! I've been seeing so many of these refashioned jeans made into jackets but I've not seen one with this lovely basket weave on the back panel! What a brilliant idea and it looks very cool too :)

  9. I saw the article too and loved the jacket. And yours is just as nice!

  10. Sue, you've made such a wonderful jacket! I love it. I, too, saw that Threads article and ideas are simmering as I think of how I can take that idea and make it my own. I'd like to make a jacket or maybe a vest.
    The basket weave back is such a good idea and wonderfully executed. Enjoy wearing this.
    To answer your question: Although I get ideas from sewing magazines (Threads is the one I subscribe to), I haven't yet sewn anything based on the articles. That's not to say I don't use some of the techniques I read about. But this jean jacket may just be the one I make.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Wow, you did such a remarkable job on this one. What a creative solution on the back for the lack of fabric problem. I love that you left some of the details of the denim in the woven piece--it really gives it some great character. Good luck in the contest. People were really creative and thoughtful!

  12. Congratulations on your win Sue! You were my top pick, and this jacket is a well-deserved win. It's really an extraordinary refashion and it's just beautiful on you!

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth! I'm blushing!

  13. Really fabulous jacket! I love the story that your special touches tell (former pocket, leg seam). Absolutely "Better Than New"!