Make an Edgy and Chic Denim and Plaid Jacket

by ModernModiste
8 Materials
4 Hours

I recently saw a picture of Hailey Bieber wearing an amazing jacket and felt totally inspired! In this tutorial, I refashion an old denim jacket that needed a new purpose in life! I completely transformed my denim jacket into a chic and edgy plaid and denim jacket.

Tools and materials:

  • Denim jacket
  • 2 plaid shirts
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Denim jacket with plaid

Cut the denim jacket 

Start by marking where you want the denim part of your new jacket to end and the plaid to begin. I marked just above the pockets. 

Cut across

Grab scissors and cut across the line you marked. 

Mark the sleeves

Then go ahead and mark and cut the sleeves. 

Cut the sides

If your denim jacket had a more curved, defined waist, you may want to cut open the side seams, stopping about half an inch from the armpit seam. 

Plaid and denim jacket

Add extra fabric 

Use some leftover denim and cut two triangles to help expand the sides of the jacket. 

Hem the triangles

Hem the two sides of the triangle pieces with a thin, single fold. 

Pin on the triangle

Then pin the triangle into the open side seam and sew it in place. 

Trim the bottom of the triangle

Go ahead and trim the excess fabric from the bottom before repeating on the other side. 

Cut the plaid sleeves

Add new, plaid sleeves 

Starting with the plaid, you can go ahead and buy plaid fabric but it is much easier to use old or thrifted plaid shirts in this upcycle. Start by using the denim sleeve as a template and cut your new sleeve from the first plaid shirt. Cut using about a ¼ inch of seam allowance along the top. 

Mark the width

Make sure to also mark the width of the denim sleeve on the plaid sleeve. Use pins to hold the fabric in place and then sew. 

Trim the excess plaid

Repeat the same steps for the second plaid sleeve. Then go ahead and trim off the excess fabric. 

How to make a plaid denim jacket

Finish the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch and a straight stitch through the zig-zag stitch. 

Sew on the new sleeves

Next, place the plaid sleeve, inside out, inside the denim sleeve, and line up the raw edges. Then pin the raw edges together and sew. Then go ahead and repeat this step for the other sleeve. 

Easy plaid denim jacket

Add the plaid bottoms 

For the next step, you will need to cut the bottom half of the plaid shirts. 

Cut down the center back

Line up the side seams of the plaid piece and then cut down the center at the back. 

Match to the bottom of the denim

Fold the denim jacket in half, and pin the two plaid pieces together so that the top edge matches the length of the raw edge of the denim jacket. 

Cut to get the right length

Sew the two plaid bottoms together and then cut the excess fabric to get the correct length. Finish the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch and a straight stitch through it. 

Sew to hem

Then sew over the raw edge towards the right side of the plaid and sew to hem.

Pin on the plaid bottom

Next, pin the raw edge of the denim jacket to the hemmed edge of the plaid. 

Cut straight

This is the perfect opportunity to try on your new jacket! When I tried mine on, before sewing, I decided I wanted a raw, straight edge so I cut the plaid. You can leave the bottom of the plaid intact if you prefer. 

Sew the plaid to the denim waistline

Go ahead and sew the plaid to the denim jacket. 

Close the buttonholes

Close the buttonholes and remove buttons 

If you used plaid shirts, you may encounter the same problem I did. I didn’t concentrate on which piece had buttons and which had holes and I saw that the piece with buttons was on the wrong side. If you see this on your jacket, close the buttonholes by zig-zag stitching and seam rip off the buttons. 

Sew the pockets

Attach pockets 

Before making new buttons and buttonholes, cut two pockets from the extra plaid sleeves. Sew around the edges leaving one side open so that you can turn the pockets right side out. 

Topstitch the pockets

Once you have turned the pockets, topstitch making sure to close the open side.

Sew on the pockets

You can then go ahead and pin the pockets to the jacket and sew them on. Always measure to make sure that your pockets will be aligned. 

Add new buttons

Make new buttonholes and add new buttons 

Next, use a ruler and chalk to mark where you want your new buttonholes to be. Use your buttonhole foot to sew them. 

Seam rip the buttonholes open

Then use a seam ripper to open them up. 

Sew on new buttons

Finish off your new jacket by sewing on new buttons to line up with the buttonholes. 

Plaid denim jacket

Plaid denim jacket

This jacket could not get more chic and edgy! I don’t ever want to take it off! I would love to hear what you think about this denim jacket upcycle! Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

How to fold a jacket

Do you struggle to store your jackets neatly? Check out this tutorial on How to Easily Fold Different Jacket Types!

Suggested materials:
  • Denim jacket
  • 2 plaid shirts
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 62 comments
  • Rosemarieh66 Rosemarieh66 on Sep 11, 2021

    Awesome idea. I'm going to try it.

  • Christie Decker Christie Decker on Feb 07, 2024

    I have an insulated denim jacket that my puppy chewed holes in...I have some plaid shirts I can repurpose...This shows me what I can do to 'repair' my denim jacket to make it useable again. Thank you!