Monday, July 13, 2015

The No Grain Jean Jacket Recycle

I think this may turn out to be another epic project and that's OK. I have learned I absolutely love the challenge of a unique cutting layout and this will certainly provide that.

I started with a man's extra large acid washed jean jacket from St. Vinnie's, our local thrift. It had no wear or soil whatsoever and for two dollars, it came home with me. I put it in the washer and dryer to get rid of any strangers and then proceeded to cut each piece apart with my box cutter razor. That took about an hour or so of TV time. Then a good pressing and I was ready to figure out the layout.
I love the intense contrast between the blue and white.  I want to incorporate those dark blue seam allowances in the design so they are pressed open and will somehow be topstitched so they show.

 I spent this afternoon playing with all sorts of layout options to make sure I had enough fabric in this big jacket to pull off my plan. Fingers crossed but I think I do.

Once I decided to actually cut I needed to help my pattern lay flat. This is a tried and true pattern, Simp 2153, the anorak jacket I have made twice already. I cut big Xs where the buttons were and a slit around the pocket. Then it laid flat. I pinned the center front stitching line along the edge of the placket and drew a line around the pattern. Then the pattern was removed and I cut. (For newbies, the red circle with a star inside is the bust point. It is normally printed on the pattern but sometimes needs to be moved like mine. It's a major frame of reference for fitting.) While playing I thought the pocket was too close to the armscye. Then I looked straight down at the retail  denim shirt I happened to have on and the pocket edge was right on the side seam line so I let this one be.

I definitely added pieces of fabric here and there to get what I needed for each pattern piece. It was quite a challenge! I ironed them together with Steam a Seam for now but the additions will all be stitched down. There will be raw edges and felled edges. As I built each section, it was then marked with an outline of the pattern. I used a crayola marker as that washes out really well. Once pieced and outlined, the pattern was cut out. 

If this all looks a bit odd to you, I am using the existing edge of the button placket as center front on one side. On the other side, I will attach the waistband to the center front edge. (Wha?) There are assorted riveted buttons on these facings and waistband but they will not overlap like a traditional placket. I will be running a zipper up the center front instead, with the edges of the "old" button plackets being the edge the zipper is sewn to. Should be fun!
Remember, this is made for a huge man. You cannot imagine how big and deep the pockets were. They were ready for baby kangaroos! The long pocket intruded on the hem edge. So I cut them way shorter to eliminate bulk and will stitch them across where you see the green dotted line, just right for smaller feminine hands.

Above, on the green dashed line is where the zip will go.

This is where I am now. Don't judge till I am done as much will happen to this further up the road, paint, thread play, and color. This will be a very fluid, evolving, fun, artsy project that I hope I get miles of wear from. It should be a lot of fun. It will either be an epic fail or a pretty good win/win between me and the thrift store. Love me a challenge.


If your husband/partner is like mine he has a small box that he keeps some personal treasures in. My husband's has dog tags (military), military ID cards, a St. Christopher medal his late father gave him and other sorts of very personal items. I never look in this box, well, may three or four times in all of our marriage. It's his and I respect that. I have my own treasure box. We were both searching the house for some foolish thing and he yelled across the house, "look in my little box" and I did. I haven't looked in this thing in years despite it always being on the dresser in the open. There were the expected trinkets but then in the bottom I found this picture that was taken forever ago. It really surprised me. I truly don't remember ever looking like this but I guess I did.  I love knowing he found me beautiful and special enough to keep this in his treasure box all these many years. I felt like a treasure myself. I hope and pray you all have had someone at sometime in your life who thinks you are a treasure because you are. It's a lovely feeling...........Bunny


  1. I love the contrast too! these are my favourite types of projects so I'm really intrigued to see how this will turn out.
    That's a really lovely photo of you, and even lovelier how you came to find it.

  2. Such a fun project and I'm sure it will be fab! I have a pair of teal/green jeans set aside to make a vest for the Fall. Your jeans jacket will definitely inspire me. Karen

  3. I am very interested to follow this. I have a vague idea about using some of my husband's discarded (but in very nice shape) denim shirts for the Sam pattern. I love my wool version, but it would be nice to have a lighter weight piece.

    I can definitely see you in your younger self. A nice treasure to find.

  4. Made my day with the lovely photo and what it means. Love is a wonderful, tender thing.

  5. You are, indeed, a treasure. Thanks for sharing this sweet story. And that jacket looks like fun. I enjoy seeing how your mind works.

  6. I look forward to seeing what you create! You always make something very interesting, stylish and unique. Thanks for sharing that sweet story of the photo.

  7. Such a cute story, and you looked beautiful, I can see why he kept that photo!

  8. Aww, that is so lovely. And your jacket is gonna be a stunner!

  9. Great treasure. How sweet!
    Looking forward to what you'll do with the jacket from here.

  10. You are fearless, Bunny. Can't wait to see this evolve. The picture of you (taken a few years ago, I suspect) is lovely! Very special husband you have!

  11. Darling photo and story! No doubt that he still sees you the same way! The jacket...well Holy Moley...what a start...what an adventure and thank you for taking us all along for the ride, Bunny!

  12. Intrigued to see the jacket. You haven't changed in the photo at all.

  13. The jacket looks like it will be just great! What a lovely story about the photo. You were certainly lovely (still are).

  14. Those of us who have loving and sentimental husbands are really lucky.
    And I love the effect with the dark denim and I am very excited about this project - in my book slow and epic is the way to go!

  15. How lovely - the sentiment and you!


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