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Distinctive Jean Jacket

Sewing distinctive garments from stash fabric was the topic of my American Sewing Guild Virtual Conference Class this past Saturday morning.  It was fun putting together this presentation because transforming stash into garments is one of my favorite things.  During the planning process I got a fun e-mail from our friend Judie Travis.  We met Judie through the ASG and she has been sewing with our patterns for a while.  When she shares a project it always makes us smile, but this one fit right into my class planning.  Here is Judie to tell you about her very distinctive denim jacket.

A Pile of the Jeans and the Patterns used.

The Project in Judie’s Words

“I came up with a crazy idea at the start of the covid shut down that I wanted to tackle a creative project and not just sew garments that I would not get to wear much this season (no place to go!).

 Last year, when my son cleaned out his closet, I saved all his old jeans, just knowing that SOMEDAY I would have a use for them.  I decided a jeans jacket would be something to use them for, but not the traditional style.  So, after looking at many patterns I decided on the Tabula Rasa jacket with inspiration in cutting and layout from the Quilted Jacket Tips Booklet.

 I used a total of 7 pairs of jeans, all different colors/shades and textures of denim, but kept the weights of the fabrics as similar as possible.  I incorporated several pockets, flat fell seams, waist band (as a belt), rivets and some decorative machine stitching.

Sample of decorative stitching, what great notes.

The biggest challenge was keeping the grain line straight and arranging the pieces so the bulkier seams did not meet at the same spot when I was piecing that main sections of the garment.  I did not want to add any more weight to the jacket with a lining so I used the Hong Kong seam finish. It was a fun project and only took a week to complete once I got motivated. It was a work in progress that changed with each step.

Beautifully finished seams.

 It was helpful that I started with a blank slate, The Tabula Rasa Jacket and being creative with each step.

Judie’s wearable mock up started in class.

 Having a great fitting jacket from the class Rae and Carrie presented a year and a half go Columbia SC to our ASG Chapter was a huge help because that was one detail I did not have to worry about.”

And the back fits beautifully.

Why Not Make Your Own

I bet you have a pile of old jeans or leftover denim sitting around your house too.  It can be the start of a very fun and wearable jacket or even a vest like the one Carrie included in last week’s vest post, her Recyled Denim Vest.  Another denim vest post came from Martha several years ago.   Fall is a great time to craft a Jean Jacket in any style to throw on for walks in the cooler weather, or just to run an errand in style.

Recycled Denim Vest
Recycled Denim Vest
Martha modeling her vest

Start with a Well Fitting Pattern

Get out your Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern. If you don’t have one, order one right now.  Members of ASG can receive a 20% discount on patterns this week with the coupon code found in the Virtual Vendor Hall.  Then you can make a mock-up if you have not yet started your Tabula Rasa Jacket journey.  That mock up will inspire you, along with Judie’s great ideas, Variation Patterns, Fit for Art Blog posts and our Photo Gallery, to stitch up something fun and distinctive with that pile of old denim.

Ruffled Jean Jacket
Ruffled Jean Jacket

Gather your Materials

No pile of old denim pants, use denim scraps to make a jeans jacket like my Ruffles and Flourishes jacket.  It was made with remnants and scraps from previous denim projects.  Or make a basic TRJ in denim and trim it with old ties.   Bet there is a box of old ties in your stash somewhere too.

Denim Tie Jacket
Denim Tie Jacket
Denim Tie Jacket
Denim Tie Jacket

Share the Process with Others

Be sure to post your photos with the hashtags #fitforartpatterns and #tabularasajacket so everyone can see them.  We would love to see photos along the way, perhaps your pile of fabrics before you begin, inspiration along the way and the finished jacket.  Judie has shared many more photos with us and we will post them this week on Facebook and Instagram.

Stay well and sew happy, RAE



1 thought on “Distinctive Jean Jacket

  1. Big fan of these jackets and I have a collection of jeans jacket. you have shared great ideas of changing these jacket and this is the best part of this jacket that these are convertible.

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