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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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