Denim Jacket Refashion - the Refashioners 2015

The refashioners 2015 - a challenge not to be missed!

The refashioners 2015 - a challenge not to be missed!

Throughout August I really enjoyed reading this year's series of 'the Refashioners'. Such amazing creativity coming through refashioning a simple shirt into something wearable. I love the idea of refashioning and it really is something I aim to get more into and what better way to start than by joining in. 

A fairly bog standard denim shirt - perfect for the refashioners 2015!

A fairly bog standard denim shirt - perfect for the refashioners 2015!

About 4 years ago I visited a vintage wearhouse in Barnsley where you basically pay by weight for old/ vretro/ vintage clothing items. It was a fun experience and I came away with a tonne of stuff (almost literally!) I had the idea of re-making the items into something wearable but one thing lead to another and I never quite got round to it... So when I heard about the refashioners challenge I dove straight into that suitcase (or two...) and dug out a denim shirt. 

Casual Sweet Clothes

Casual Sweet Clothes

Now what to make with said denim shirt? I then had my 'light-bulb' moment and remembered a Japanese sewing book I have which has a denim jacket in it that I had always wanted to make but again, never quite got around to. Et voilà - a project is born!

Whilst working out placement I discovered my original denim shirt (pictured above) wasn't quite large enough for the jacket. Luckily I had another two denim shirts in that big stash of retro wear (I wasn't kidding when I said I bought loads of it!) and I added those into the pile. Sadly I omitted to take 'before' shots of those but they're pretty much your average denim shirt. Only slightly different tones of denim. Inspired by Wendy Ward's refashion I ploughed on - nothing wrong with two tone denim!

And here she is (queue A LOT of photos):

My refashioners refashion 2015

My refashioners refashion 2015

I'm really pleased with how it all turned out. It doesn't look dramatically different from the shirt it started out as but it is much more wearable now and isn't that the point of refashioning? 

I was a bit nervous about using the two different denims but the jacket pattern seems made for this - it has a side panel and upper and lower sleeve section which were perfect for making out of the paler denim. 

I sewed half of the original pocket back on to make it a bit different

I sewed half of the original pocket back on to make it a bit different

I used the darker denim shirt to construct the front and back of the jacket and the upper sleeves. I then used the paler denim for the side panel, lower sleeve sections and the facing. 

For the facing I used the front of one of the paler denim shirts. I love the pocket fade detail!

For the facing I used the front of one of the paler denim shirts. I love the pocket fade detail!

The denim shirt refashion

The denim shirt refashion

I love the way the darker and lighter denim contrast in this garment and for someone who doesn't wear any denim at all this is quite the statement piece to add my wardrobe!

A glimpse of the two tone denim.

A glimpse of the two tone denim.

The jacket was really easy to sew up so there isn't a great deal to talk about to be honest. I was surprised by how easy denim was to sew and it pressed really well. Score! 

Having not 'set-in' too many sleeves I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out!

Having not 'set-in' too many sleeves I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out!

As seen in the above picture the inside facing at the neckline does seem to want to peek out all the time. Not entirely sure why but I don't actually mind it too much as I quite like the paler denim showing through at the top. This may irritate slightly with wear so I may have to figure out a way of sorting that out but for now it doesn't bother me enough for all the thinking and resewing! 

The denim jacket refashion - a couple of ugly shirts into a lovely jacket!

The denim jacket refashion - a couple of ugly shirts into a lovely jacket!

I followed most of the instructions for the original jacket but I did do the hem slightly differently in order to reduce bulk. I'm not sure if this method has a name but it's the same method Tilly uses in the instructions for the Arielle skirt - you sew the facing to the outside of the garment, trim it and then turn it all to the right side (or wrong side to be more precise about it!)

The back view of the denim shirt refashion

The back view of the denim shirt refashion

A close up of that side panel - I'm loving the two tone look here.

A close up of that side panel - I'm loving the two tone look here.

When I was cutting out all the pieces I had a bit of a nightmare as I didn't quite have enough sleeve to cut out the sleeve pieces from the pattern. So I decided to add the cuff back on to the final piece to give it more length. It also harks back to the original garment that it once was. I think I may try and source some new buttons though at some point. 

Not having enough shirt to fully fit in the sleeves I decided to add the cuffs back on!

Not having enough shirt to fully fit in the sleeves I decided to add the cuffs back on!

Another close up of that denim braid. 

Another close up of that denim braid. 

So there it is. My shirt refashion. It's not the most complicated of refashions but it's good enough for me. It's also pretty different to any RTW denim jacket on the market so another score for the handmade crew! Whoop! 

I have really loved seeing what everyone has come up with in the refashioners project, particularly impressed with Emma's lovely dress which was self-drafted too. Digital high five for this one! Stunning!

Now to work my through that pile of retro gear...