A warm Jacket from two pairs of jeans!

Perhaps you remember the Designin’ December Sewing Challenge? Find a designer original you like and recreate it for yourself. I always say: Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money? Last December, we had a lot of lovely entries and generous sponsors too. You can read all about it right here! Perhaps you would like to join in this year?

For my Designin’ December entry I chose to make my version of these “BY WALID” jackets! I loved the patchwork design, the repurposed denim and the stitching! Absolutely loved!!

So scrounging through the bottom of my closets, you know, that stuff that you know you should get rid of but never actually do, I found two unwanted pairs of my kids’ jeans. BINGO! Add to that a metre of denim fabric I had leftover from a project and we were all set. I had already sewn up this McCalls pattern #M6657 in January 2014, so I was very familiar with it. I still have and wear that original me-made coat – handmade lasts forever! I’d just have to adjust the front and maybe the length of view C. By the way, why is this pattern for sale on Amazon for $46.12 CAN?

As you can see here, I was determined to place the large back pockets of the jeans on the front of my repurposed denim jacket. Sophie came over to inspect the process!

First step was to cut my fusible fleece to the correct shape and size as the front pattern piece. Then I cut the pocket off my jeans and cut the leg into pieces and laid all the pieces out on top of my fusible fleece until it was all covered. Notice the lighter coloured denim? I was a bit short so I just filled it in from my metre of denim. Some pieces I could just overlap as they were proper jeans seams. I would just top stitch them down. I didn’t mind if they frayed a little in the wash. Adds to the character! Some pieces had raw edges so I folded them under with a 1/2″ seam allowance and planned on sewing them down that way. A fun fabric puzzle!

Now for the other side of the front of my jacket. I first flipped over my fusible fleece and cut a mirror image out of fleece. Then I pieced together my denim cuttings to fill the mirrored fusible fleece front. This time I needed a small scrap of light coloured denim on the bottom side seam. I love that the only thing matching between the two fronts are the precisely placed jeans pockets!

Of course, the jeans pieces of the two fronts were being held together with a thousand pins pushed through the fusible fleece, so now was the time to top stitch everything down! Did I say I LOVE TOP STITCHING? I didn’t have much trouble sewing through the thick denim seams and fusible fleece with my Janome HD 3000. I did use a strong denim needle and my walking foot (sometimes), regular polyester thread in the bobbin and top stitching thread in the top. I did forget to remove a couple of pins as I was sewing, and only discovered them after I used my iron to press the fronts. Ouch!

I used my “stitch in the ditch” foot with my needle to the far left position to help with even top stitching. I think I went through 1 1/2 spools of top stitching thread and I even played a game of chicken with one of the spools. Don’t you hate it when your top stitching thread runs out in the middle of a line of stitching? Don’t you LOVE it when you make it to the end of your stitching line without running out?

The back of the jacket was made using the same procedure as the front of the jacket, but I only had the one piece of fusible fleece to cover as it was cut on the fold. I used the legs of the small jeans, all cut open and flattened out, and again filled in the gaps on the fusible fleece with the lighter coloured denim.

The collar and sleeves were cut from my lighter coloured denim as well.

I did trim the excess fusible fleece out of all the seam allowances as much as I could. I also tried on the jacket as soon as I could, as I knew I would have to trim down the curve in the front opening of the jacket since I had made this pattern before. I absolutely LOVED filling in the so called “blank” spots in the jeans with random rows of top stitching!

The pattern didn’t call for it but I wanted to try mitred corners when finishing and hemming the bottom up. I really enjoyed the look of the mitred corners so I’ll have to keep them in mind for future projects too! I am thinking mitred corners would make a good YouTube video. I’ll have to do that next! The lining pattern pieces were provided with the pattern so cut the pieces out of a bright polyester fabric from my fabric stash, sewed them up and sewed it in according to the pattern instructions. I had the BEST buttons, saved from a purchase long ago from a button speciality shop.

Last of all photos of all the details…

and photographic proof of how warm bag making fusible fleece (yes that is what I used) and denim can be on a cold, snowy day …

Thank you for being very indulgent with me and browsing through this long post, full of photos! If you have any questions, perhaps I have missed providing some detail, please leave a comment and I shall try to answer! If you have an inkling to make something out of an “old” pair of jeans, please do, and let me know, I’d love to see it! It’s a wonderful way to bring life back to something that was previously headed for a second hand shop (hopefully) and a landfill (eventually).

Happy Sewing!

Thank you for reading and commenting!

Stash busting with this project was minimal – I used up some polyester for the lining and some denim for the sleeves and collar. I think I am still at 117 metres in the fabric stash! Oops, I better do a recount. I just recalled that I bought a few metres of knit fabric to finish off my casual capsule wardrobe!

28 thoughts on “A warm Jacket from two pairs of jeans!

  1. That jacket is so cool! I’m not brave enough to try a jacket yet, but I take the legs from my hubby’s old jeans, & turn them into pup tents for my parrots.
    They’re just a tube, doubled over, with a piece of plexiglass slid in to make a flat bottom, & a couple of split rings at the top to hang them with.
    Thanks for the inspiration though!

  2. GORGEOUS!!!
    You make it look so easy.
    Well done!

    Now all I need to do is learn how to make a similar pattern out of a suede, or leather-like denim with fleece lining.

    1. Well with the proper equipment I’m sure you could do it!

      1. I’m confident that the robust PHAFF can do it! I would need a lot of good leather & suede material. I’ve got a messenger bag project in mind that I’m game to try.

  3. Beautiful!!

  4. Wow – that is so cool! Thanks for showing your process.

  5. I love the decorative stitching you added to this, the entire jacket was a fabulous example of recycling!

    1. Thank you! I really really enjoyed adding the top stitching to this project!

  6. Your jacket looks lovely…and your weather is starting to look like ours. Stay warm!

    1. Thank you! The snow was a wonderful winter surprise that melted quickly thank goodness 😊

  7. Love the jacket with all the patch work. You always do a great job and I would like to add that the splash of color with those boots just finishes it off. Again, nice job.

    1. Thank you! Those boots are my rubber ones, rain boots, with the scrabble print. I searched high and low for them ❤️ My husband thinks they are weird! 😂😂😂

  8. Brilliant bit of recycling!

    1. Thank very much! It took some thought to get it how I wanted it. It’s my new favourite 🤩

  9. Joanna Vandervlugt February 6, 2022 — 8:49 pm

    This is such a cool jacket. I like all the details.

    1. Thank you! I’m surprised how well it turned out! It’s a real favourite now.

  10. Oh, this is so fantastic! I love denim and projects from repurposed denim. The stitching on the back of your jacket looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you very much! I spent more time on the piecing and the details than sewing together the jacket! 😃 I really really enjoyed doing this project! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  11. I really really love this Linda, and have a question – did you use the fusible fleece to keep the pieces together or was it for warmth? or both? I am thinking of doing this for more of a spring jacket as I tend to run hot these days.

    1. The thought process was a bit strange. Sewn together the denim pieces will stay together on their own. When I started, thought of using the lining bodice and back pieces to guide me on how to place my pieces and over lap them for sewing. Then I thought that I wanted a bit of warmth so I pulled out some unused fusible fleece and used it to guide my placement. I hadn’t been using it for bags for a while, not my favourite, and I thought this way I could use lots up and not waste it and end up with a warm jacket, and I did. I would say if you want just Jean jacket warmth, the lining would be enough, fusible Shapeflex would make it a bit sturdier with a pretty lining and the fusible fleece would make it have lots of body and warmth. I’d love to see yours, when finished! ❤️

      1. So for spring … no fusible fleece. Piece together with lining pieces as a guide. If you think your jacket is floppy something like shapeflex fused or sewn on would give it enough body.

        1. Thank you for the reply Linda – I will think on it for sure. So much inspiration and so little time!!!!!

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