Friday, March 4, 2016

DIY: Create your own personalized jean jacket that's actually warm!

I've had a love/hate relationship with my jean jacket for many years. It paired well with my outfits, gave me a little extra warmth, it only cost me $5 at a thrift store, and had a secret pocket on the inside - perfect for carrying a bag of jelly beans. Alas, it had it's faults which ultimately resulted in it's demise. It didn't keep me as warm as many of my other jackets and I couldn't lift my arms without feeling like I was in a straight jacket. I wasn't quite sure at the time what I was going to do. Either make it into a jean vest or donate the jacket once and for all. Then I was given a gift of beautiful thermal leggings. They were amazing! Soft all over, colorful and bright, covered in skulls! Could you want anything more?! Well, I did want something more from the leggings. I wanted them to fit, which unfortunately is a wish that didn't come true. They were too small and my heart shattered knowing these pretty leggings would not comfort my legs. I couldn't part with them and was determined to reinvent them in some way. After tossing a few ideas around, I came across the dreaded jean jacket and that's when it hit me. I grabbed the leggings, put an arm through one leg hole, and by the good grace of god, it was a perfect fit! Not too tight, not too loose. I threw the jacket and leggings onto the floor, grabbed a pair of scissors and thread, and proceeded to create what is now my favorite jacket ever. If you'd like to make your very own unique jacket, prepare to be amazed at how simple it is! Just grab your jean jacket (or any jacket) and a pair of thermal leggings (or any sleeve material to be honest, even from an old leather jacket) and get ready to be a fashion designer! 

I should mention that I sewed this by hand. I do own a sewing machine and use it frequently, but for this particular project I didn't have room for error. Since it wasn't a huge sewing project, I decided to hand stitch for optimal result. I used hair extension thread from Sally's beauty supply. It's extra thick and hold together after washing without any wear or tear. I've used it for MANY of my projects. I would also like to apologize a head of time. I will try my absolute best to be descriptive, so please bare with me. I've also included pictures at the end to help. Now, let's get started!

First thing I did was cut off the jacket sleeves. I made sure to NOT cut directly on the seam, but leave 1 inch of extra material on the jacket, so I could sew without having the new sleeves be too small. Then I placed the cut jean jacket sleeves onto the leggings and traced the outline, again adding 1 inch extra material of the leggings, as to match the jean jackets 1 inch. After having both the jean jacket and the leggings cut, you can begin sewing. Simply place the leggings on the matching sides of the jacket, making sure the legging fabric is inside the jacket sleeve, and the extra 1 inch of the jean jacket you left is folded inside to match up with the leggings 1 inch. Then sew from inside the jean jacket near the jean jacket's old sleeve stitch. (Don't forget to see pictures at the end for a visual description)

I went over the stitches once after the initial stitching, just to ensure it wouldn't come apart, making a total of two rounds. Now, if you sewed from the inside like I previously described, you should have zero evidence on the outside of any sewing, making your personalized jacket seem store bought. Try on your newest creation and enjoy!

Show me your creations!
Here is the picture showing the 1 inch of material I left on the jean jacket, and where I sewed the leggings to the jean jacket.
Here is how I traced the jean jacket sleeves onto the leggings. Remember to add an inch!
This is the leggings showing the 1 inch added, and where I sewed it to the jean jacket. 

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