Monday, September 7, 2015

Simp 2153, the No Grain, No Pain jean jacket upcycle!



This has been a fun, no rules  project every step of the way. I am pleased with the outcome and as soon as the weather cools a bit I'll have a great throw on  jacket for going to the town dump or a run for groceries. I really didn't follow the pattern or a lot of rules you would normally follow when sewing but that was the whole point. Girls just wanna have fun! Let me share all the fun deets with you.


Pattern:
This is Simplicity 2153 and my third iteration. The first was my winner for the Threads Fall Jacket Challenge. Then I couldn't resist using it for the Ikat Jacket you can see here.  Have you figured out  I love this pattern yet? I wear these two jackets A LOT. I think every sewist needs a good anorak pattern in her stash of TNTs (Tried and True patterns). It is such a versatile style and I think you would agree that the three variations are each quite different. And, I've yet to make it in rain gear or a woolen winter version! I will let the two links tell you about the pattern. I wanna get on to the fun!;)

For this design I did not follow the pattern at all. The collar is my own design and the rest, well, it is whatever landed where I put it!

Fabric:
For this garment I went to our local St. Vinnie's, a weekly Friday habit I have before I go to work, and for one dollar got a XXL sized man's acid washed jean jacket that looked like it had never been worn. Score! It had to have enough fabric for a jacket for five foot tall me, or so I hoped. I pulled out my trusty box cutter and started to take apart every seam. I've seen a lot of jean upcycles and the tutorials usually have you just hacking out the pieces with your scissors. In the case of this jacket I wanted to preserve the very dark seam allowances hiding under all those acid washed flat felled seams. So, I ran the edge of the box cutter blade along the felled seam while the garment was flat on the table. One evening to do that and a bit of TV and every section was apart and preserved. I did not take apart the smaller details, like tabs, waistbands, pockets, etc. I did take those and re-place them in non traditional spots on the bodice and sleeves, very unlike the "normal" jean jacket. I used them to bring balance around the jacket. As a matter of fact, all the pieces of the original jacket were reused but in different ways from the original.

The jacket is not lined. What jean jackets are? But I  did do a Hong Kong finish on the side and sleeve seams. I also faced the hem as well as bound the neck seam and for those tasks I used some quilting cotton in the stash. This was all part of my effort to deal with the bulk and keep it down.

Construction:
The first decision for making this jacket is I broke all the rules, really. After all the pieces were cut out from the original I decided on a three prong plan of attack, first piecing it back together, then painting what I had pieced, and then final embellishment from additional stitching.


The closure is a center front heavy aluminum jacket zipper from Zipper Shipper.  One one side of the zip is the original button band. On the other is the waistband from the original jacket.  One bodice front was used for a sleeve, Tabs were placed wherever I needed a bit of balance. No rules, remember! All of this had to fill each piece of the Simplicity pattern and it took a bit of ingenuity to make that work. Pieces were added from scraps here and there and for the collar I used a bit of old denim from some of hubby's discarded jeans. I like the contrast it gives on the collar.
Speaking of that collar:
  I love it. This was the one area I didn't have a clue how to make work. In the end I pieced what I had left in scraps to make a collar about 175% the size of the original pattern collar. It was at least 12 inches longer and 2-3 inches wider. I then connected it to the jacket with lots of lapped zigzagging. Tucks were made at the neckline sides to make the big long collar fit into the much shorter neck. I left one side longer to get that asymmetrical thing happening and closed it all with a rivet button and thread loop. I love how it turned out, the contrast from hubby's jeans and how the point falls right between the two buttons. A bias strip covers the zigzagging.

Sleeves were sewn on using a mock flat fell. First I serged the edge of the sleeve. Then I stitched it into the armscye. I trimmed back the non serged layer and pressed the serged layer over it. I then double topstitched from the outside. The sleeve seams were bound HK style. I did all this topstitching and edge stitching without the aid of my edge stitching foot. Talk about withdrawal, but my Pfaff was in the spa and my Kenmore, a bit of a monster, was better at dealing with heavy bulk anyway. So all top and edge stitching are eyeballed. 

With piecing done it was time to switch gears to painting. I used Lumiere paints and just brushed them on in the direction of the twill. It filled in better that way.  I used a hard stencil brush to get the paint down into the fabric.  I also used a smaller stiff brush to paint into a lot of the flat felled seams to give them a bit more dimension.This was totally hit and miss and really took no time other than drying and getting heat set with the iron. Easy peasy!


 Finally it was time for Phase Three, the stitching embellishment. This was simply back and forth straight stitching.  and some odd zigzags here and there like you can see above. This also went rather quickly . In areas where a lot of bulk happened I literally cut out some of the layers and pieced in a single layer of denim. On these areas I topstitched with big zigzags to cover up the cut away areas. You really can't see them at all. This was very necessary where the above pocket and its flap went into the armscye seam allowance. I also banged a lot of the bulk out with a hammer and the cement basement floor. If you give yourself permission to sew rough and ready, it all works out in the end, at least if it is a conscious decision. Accidentally, not so much. 

When I installed the zip I really didn't have room for a second line of topstitching. So I decided to do some more of the embellishment zigzagging in the zip seam allowance to further secure it. This is a heavy jacket and it definitely needed more than one line of  stitching to keep the zip from being pulled out. In this pic you can see where I did that in the SA left and right of the zip with the red arrows.  That band left of the zip is the bottom band of the original jean jacket. 

Conclusion:
I REALLY enjoyed throwing out the rules, getting all asymmetrical and painterly, and just having fun making this version of anorak pattern Simp 2153. Just for the creative joy of it all, I would suggest this type of project, with any pattern. First, find your garment and a simple pattern. Then do the piecing, painting and stitching in that order. Don't get all couture-y and just enjoy the creative flow of it all. 

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 It did take forever to get this jacket done, didn't it? We are now done with all construction and landscaping and are really happy with those results. We have had loads of guests as well as travelled out twice this month  to New Hampshire and Mass. for long weekends with family. Hubby has been having extended health issues that hopefully will be relieved soon. Then there was dealing with the whole excaped prisoner debacle right in our neighborhood and at work and everywhere else we travel in the area.  IT'S BEEN A BUSY SUMMER! But I am now ready to get back to sewing and our usual quiet lifestyle. I am looking forward to all sorts of projects and can't wait to share them with you. Next up is a Marcy Tilton top. It's flat pattern measured, cut out and ready for interfacing. More to come. It feels good to be back and I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Happy Labor Day!...Bunny

30 comments:

  1. Bunny, that is super cute!! All the creative details are what set this jacket off. Love the placement of the bunny. Love, love the collar. Very nicely done.

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  2. Good Golly, Miss Bunny...what a coool jacket you have produced! Love the collar most of all and the right sleeve with the pocket. The painting really adds the pizzazz to liven up the blue denim. So clever of you to resist the temptation to undo every last seam in the original; jacket and keep the double stitching seams and lines for accents and adding just the right amount of paint without making it look like the drop cloth for a few DIY projects. Best of all it fits you and does not overwhelm your body! Fabulous as always!

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    1. Thanks, Jo. I have more "painting" sort of coming in the next project. It will be very subtle and I am still working it out in my head but the project is cut out. More to come.

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  3. Wow, Bunny your creativity + mad skillz = something to be very proud of. I especially like the way you've incorporated so many details, but as mrsmole says, it doesn't overwhelm you at all. And your hair is adorable!!

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    1. Thanks, Robin. I've been wearing the hair real short like this for a while. I like it better too, no fuss, no muss.

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  4. The collar is a stroke of genius - love it. What a great project.

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    1. I kept looking at pics of Marcy Tilton collars and just sort of winged it from that inspiration. It turned out way better than I thought. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  5. It's just fabulous! I hope you won't grow tried of telling the story, because it's going to be a show stopper and everyone will be stopping and asking you, " where did you get that jacket?" Excellent, as always!
    Joyce

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  6. How totally creative....LOVE that collar!!!

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  7. I simply love this jacket - so creative and very wearable! The collar is particularly interesting and I can see the M Tilton influence which is my favorite part. This process makes me want to take a look at my Goodwill store for possibilities. Was so pleased to see a post from you today so thanks for sharing! Karen

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    1. Life has been happening here. It felt good to be back at posting AND sewing finally. All is now quiet on the northern front here so hopefully the creative monster will get satisfied soon!

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  8. Oh, my gracious, how gloriously creative you are! That collar is fabulous.

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  9. Hi there Bunny,

    Totally sublime, and like many others, I particularly adore the collar.
    Yes, I noticed the hair too, you look fabulous.
    Welcome back and have a great day!

    Oh, may I ask on another subject. As you are my go to blogger for technical perfection, could you tell us, have you ever made a tailored jacket that has a dart that sits above a welt; like you see on a man's tailored jacket? I have started work on Vogue 8890 and one of the first steps requires you to slash the welt pocket marking so that you work the dart and then it brings the sides in line and you work the welt. I am desperate to find a

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  10. whoops, computer whizzed off before I had finished!!
    Desperate to find some fabulous pictures on how to do the welt this way and can't find any books that show this. Can you advise at all Bunny, or should I be brave and just get on with it!

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    1. I would really be tempted to put the dart in first and then start the welt process. I know I've done this, particularly on pants with welt rear pockets. It's nice to have the tip of the dart ending in the welt if that's possible, but your design may be different. I think its a matter of how much you trust that Vogue marking to perfectly line up after slashing. I would say a few samples are in order in your garment fabric if at all possible. Keep me posted!

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  11. This is absolutely INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am completely totally in love with it!!!

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  12. You may have had a hectic summer, but you truly outdid yourself on this jacket. I hope there is a contest you can enter it in so you can get your blue ribbon. For some time now, I have been looking for this jacket pattern. Up and down, sideways, backwards, to no avail. Simplicity website still shows it, and a PDF download but I have never been able to get that to work. I thought perhaps they had some patterns still in stock. Anyway, after seeing your jacket today I started my search again. I found it!! On Joann's website. I ordered it so fast it would make your head spin. My little heart is pounding fast. Yayyy!!!

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  13. Bunny,
    Your jacket is just stunning - a real wearable art garment. You should submit an article to Threads about this jacket. Just fabulous. Thanks for sharing your process & knowledge. Janet

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    1. Yes, yes please submit an article to Threads mag.

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  14. You look well pleased! And so you should be – it's a wonderful creation; probably one you'll have for a lifetime – you can turn it into a boro project if it should ever need mending and it will only become more beautiful. Love the collar. The jacket just looks so cozy and interesting. Brava!
    Vancouver Barbara

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  15. What a wonderful creation. - you should be please. Enjoy wearing
    Marciae

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  16. It looks great. I also made a refashioned denim jacket this year. I used my hubby's and kids old jeans. It looks great and I've worn it loads

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  17. SO outstanding. It should be submitted to Threads or in a contest, because hands down, it is a winner. Everything about it is so great- the random and not so random piecing, the collar (I am in awe of how you made that collar work), the painting, and the thread embroidery. Sigh. My heart just goes pitter-patter looking at it. And I've put that Simp pattern on my wish list, not that I would ever come up with anything as nice as the three you've made. Congratulations, and I look forward to learning even more from you than I already have. Lora

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  18. Your jacket is a work of art. I loved how you executed all the details. Maybe this winter I can find a project that would encourage some creative ideas; I usually just do "plain" sewing What a masterpiece.

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  19. This has been such an interesting project to follow along with. I have really appreciated the detail you have supply along the way. My favourite feature is the bias hidden behind the collar and the lovely Hong Kong seams. I know it is all out of sight, but this is what helps prove the work has been done by an artist, even though she was mainly having fun!

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  20. This is just so much fun to see and I'll bet, to wear. I really love all the splashes of paint, but especially love your fine seam finishes. The finishes add a touch of glamour to the inside, besides hiding all those ravelly threads!

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  21. This turned out to be sooooo COOL, Bunny! I love all your special added touches with the pretty hidden bindings & sneak peeks beneath the collar. Great job!! This would cost a sm. fortune in an upscale boutique.

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  22. Sencillamente increible, con unos detalles muy cuidados.

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