DIY Denim Jacket

I have recently discovered the joys of West 38th Street here in Manhattan and am addicted to going there at least once a week! For those of you who don’t know, this is where there is an immense selection of fabric shops, all nestled together and bustling for your custom, on one small section of this street between 6th and 7th avenue.

As I was leaving Cut Fabrics I was absolutely dazzled by this pink, aztec sequin number draped on the wall. Immediately, I pictured this denim jacket that I set out to make-stat!

I watched this great video by Levi’s to give me a starting point, unfortunately I realised that the centre back panel of my jacket, that I had bought second hand, was not stitched in the same way as the helpful video! The Levi jacket was top stitched with the two outer panels on top of the centre panel, meaning you can just rip the inner stitching and carefully insert a panel of fabric on top of the denim and then topstitch it back up, enclosing it and keep it all nice and denimly neat on the inside too.

Alas, mine was topstitched with the centre back panel on top of the outer panels which meant having to entirely remove the centre back panel, this took a LOT longer than it took the lovely Levi’s lady to do! Once it was removed, I used this piece as my template to cut my sequinned fabric out, adding 1/2 inch seam allowance and making sure that my aztec pattern was centred to look nice and symmetrical on the jacket too.

I then pinned and sewed the new panel to the outer panels, length ways, using a plain seam.


This just left the top and bottom. The bottom was fun to do because I just slipped the fabric between the two layers of denim of the waistband and closed it up, the top I had to be a bit more careful with to make sure it lay flat. To help me, instead of pins, I decided to use fabric glue, which is my best friend in any heavyweight material situation!

I rethreaded my machine with the closest matching heavyweight thread I could find from East Coast Trimmings and experimented with stitch length and width to match the bottom and top stitching as closely as possible, the bottom one being narrower than the top.

That was it! The most time consuming part of this DIY was the undoing of the seams, which is always a pain, let’s face it but is something I seem to have had a lot of practice at!

Only one thing left to do- team it with my matching hair and roller skates and take it for a spin! I’ve received lots of compliments on this jacket  and if you would like your own you can purchase the same one-in medium-on my Etsy shop.

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