It's unusual for me to take part in online competitions/sew alongs etc, but when I saw the gorgeous and amazing projects that were being shared on Makery as part of The Refashioners 2016 and then found a few pairs of my husbands old jeans on the chair in our spare bedroom I knew I had to join in.
I decided I wanted to make a jacket, I thought kind of biker style originally, although it has evolved into something a bit different.
I spent a bit of time browsing patterns and came across Lekala 4530:
I chose this mainly for the cross over front, and originally decided I was going to fasten it with a couple of snap fastenings rather than the zip. I've used a few Lekala patterns now and have always been really impressed with the fit of the finished garment. I actually ended up cutting the neckline down a bit as the back was quite high and stiff in the denim.
Once the pattern was printed out and taped together I started the job of harvesting as much fabric as I could from the two pairs of jeans that matched most closely. I did have another pair at my disposal, but they were much darker in colour and I wanted to keep everything as uniform as possible.
I ended up having to crop the jacket a bit, although it is still plenty long enough for me, and I had to completely disregard grainlines. By doing this I just managed to get all the pattern pieces out of the two pairs of jeans.
I'm not sure where the idea for embroidery on the collar came from, but I have to say I totally enjoyed doing it. So much so that I couldn't stop and ended up hurting my wrist from gripping the denim so tightly as I sewed!
The construction of the jacket was pretty straightforward. I omitted the lining and used bias tape to finish all the body seams, which were then topstitched. All the other seams were finished on the overlocker.
I played about a bit with pocket placement, as you can see from the progress photo above the pockets ended up at a different angle on the finished jacket. I actually considered putting a pocket somewhere on the back just for a bit of visual interest, but it just looked ridiculous so the back is currently plain. I may go back and add some embroidery on the back once my wrist is better!
As you can see, I ended up closing the jacket in a completely different way to how I'd originally imagined, with a single jeans button at the waist. This seemed to suit the finished garment more than and of course, shows off the embroidery to its full advantage.
I wasn't sure how to finish the hems as I had a few areas where the fabric was pretty thick. I was just going to overlock them then turn a single hem and topstitch, but in the end I sewed a line of topstitching about 10mm from the edge and left the fabric to fray. How much that will annoy me as time goes on remains to be seen!
This is a really different project for me - I'm not really into refashioning or recycling clothes - but I really enjoyed it. I love denim jackets, particularly when they start getting a bit worn and faded, so this one is perfect. I really like the faded patches on each upper arm which came from the knees of one pair of jeans.
I also really love the shape of this jacket and I think I'll probably make it again sometime in "proper" fabric.