Button-up Shirt to Bomber Jacket
Making a Bomber Jacket isn't as hard as you might think. You probably have almost everything you need to make it right in your own home. All you need is a button up shirt, some stretchy fabric for the trim and a open-ended zipper.
If you're like me and need to watch someone do something first for it to really sink in then you are in luck. I happened to video most of the process to help you out. Feel free to watch it.
I really liked this button up shirt. It had an embroidered floral print and faux suede look. However, it was just super out of date so it wasn't getting much wear. I decided to fix that and do a little upgrade on it by turning it into a cropped Bomber Jacket.
First, I tried it on and marked where I wanted to crop it with a straight pin. I measured and drew a line straight across.
Then I cut along the line to remove the bottom portion. I saved that bottom part though so I could make some patch/faux welt pockets. I also removed the arm cuffs, button plackets and collar.
These pieces are going to be the pocket bags. They will be sewn to the outside of the jacket like a patch pocket. The opening to the pocket was going to be on the side, and look kind of like a welt pocket.
To make the pocket bags, I finished the outside edge and top of each piece by folding it under 1/2 inch, pressing and stitching in place. The edges were left raw on the bottom and inside edges of the pockets because that's where the zipper and waistband were going to attach.
Then I placed the pocket bags on top of the jacket, matching up the edges to the middle front and bottom of the jacket; trimming where needed. I also matched the finished side edge of the pocket with jacket side seam. I made sure the pockets sat evenly across from each other. Once I was satisfied, I stitched across the top of the pocket bag, down the front and across the bottom, leaving the sides open. This gave the pockets a faux welt look as well as little more design to the front of the jacket.
Next, I measured the neck, the wrists and the waist for the trim/bands. I was going to be using scuba knit as the trim because it's stable and has good stretch. You could use and old t-shirt or whatever stretchy fabric you have access too. After I took each of those measurements I subtracted two inches because I wanted the trim/bands to stretch to fit those areas.
**For a tighter fitting waistband you will want to subtract more than two inches from the waist measurement. However, this will depend on the amount of stretch in the fabric you use for the trim.
I cut out the trim pieces twice as tall as I wanted the finished band to be. It's going to be folded in half "hotdog" ways to attach it. Make sure the stretch of the fabric is going along the long part of the fabric. That way it can stretch to fit the places it is going to be.
You should have the neck piece, two wrists pieces and one waistband. The zipper should be the length of the jacket with the waistband attached.
I needed to make the neck band tapered on the edges to have the look of a Bomber Jacket. To do that, I folded my neck piece in half and used my French curve ruler to round the raw edges at each end of the neck piece before attaching it.
Then I marked the middle of the jacket and neck piece, stretched and pinned it on. I sewed it on using a straight stich because it wasn't going to need to stretch. Once it was attached it looked like this.
I found the quarter points on the waistband and jacket by first folding it in half and marking the middle, then folding the open sides in to the middle and marking those folds too. I matched them up on both the jacket and waist band, pinned and sewed it on with a straight stitch as well.
It now looked like this and was so close to being finished. All that is needed is the wristbands and zipper.
I matched up the seams on the wristbands to the seams on the sleeves. Then I pinned the wristbands on, stretching as I went. I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to sew the wristbands on because they needed to stretch more than the neck and waist.
It's finally time to install the zipper and complete the Bomber Jacket! I pinned one side on face down, unzipped the zipper, flipped it over and pinned it to the other side fce down. Then I sewed it on using a zipper foot.
And there you have it! I think it took me less time to sew this jacket than it did to write this tutorial. I am super pleased with how it came out and I want to make anther one.
Using a shirt to make this light weight jacket was a great idea for our mild winters here in the desert. It's perfect to wear on cool mornings or evenings. The bight color makes it a fun little accessory to add to any outfit.
I hope you enjoyed this quick refashion project and want to make a Bomber Jacket of your own. Let me know in the comments if you've done something like this too!
Enjoyed the project?
- Nice fitting button-up shirt (your closet or thrift store)
- Knit fabric for trim (fabric store or your own stash)
- Open-end zipper (Wawak sewing)
- Plate or French curve ruler
- Matching thread
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Great Restyle! I have a couple oversize button-ups that I would probably wear more as a jacket. Thanks for sharing!
Darn clever of you!!! I would like to try this! Thanks you 😊