How to Applique: Denim Jacket

by Afrayedupcycling
7 Materials
45 Minutes

Sometimes, my inspiration comes from scrolling through Pinterest boards. I like to look at the different fabric and pattern options until I find something that strikes me. Today is no different. After scrolling through countless colors and styles I decided that my fabric would be used best as an applique on denim!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Denim jacket
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Sewing machine
  • Walking foot
Before applying the applique

Denim applique

Make a jacket template 

Remove the belt loops from the bottom of the jacket by pulling out the stitches. Next, use an old magazine or newspaper to make a template of the jacket. Simply rip out pages of the magazine, tape them together, and cut them into the correct shape. Remember to mark any buttons or pockets. (This only needs to be with the area that you’re applying the applique to.) Next, draw the shape of the applique onto the template and cut it out. 

Applique on denim

Cut out your applique 

Place your cut out shape onto your fabric wrong sides together. Then, using a pen, trace out the shape - I added an extra five millimeters to the edge. Next, grab some scissors and cut out your fabric. 

Applique denim jacket

After that, grab an additional fabric and begin cutting out circles (or any other shape you desire). Strategically place these shapes around your applique to add an extra element of design. 

Denim jacket with applique

Repeat on the other side

Rip out some more pages of your magazine and make a new template (of the other side). Trace out a new design, some new shapes, and repeat the steps we just went through. 

Fold over the edges of the applique

Apply the applique 

Using some tailor’s chalk, trace out the exact area where you want to place your applique. Then, hand stitch the edges of the applique to keep the fabric from fraying. Pin the sewed edges over and iron them down. Next, loosely hand stitch the applique to the jacket before using the sewing machine to secure them permanently. I used a walking foot to make sure the stitches looked nice and neat. 

Hand stitch the shapes

Hand stitch the shapes 

For the shapes (in my case circles), use some thread and a needle to hand stitch them in place. Continue sewing in a spiral until you reach the middle of the circle. This will give the jacket some added texture and style. 

Clean the chalk off the applique

Remove the markings 

To remove the chalk markings, simply dampen a washcloth and gently run it over the jacket. Then, place it outside in the sun to let it dry and you are done! Your jacket is ready to be worn. 

Finished jacket

Jacket with applique

Side view of the jacket

Front view of the jacket

I love this denim jacket with applique. I think it came out really nice and is the perfect accessory for those warm spring days. Keep in mind, this jacket is completely customizable. Choose your own shapes, patterns, and even string color! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Paper
See all materials

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