Upcycle A Patchwork Denim Jacket With Old Jeans

3 Materials
$5
3 Hours
Medium

Denim.


The fabric that's so durable, can seemingly last forever and is EVERYWHERE in the thrift store. The problem is, trendy jeans and jackets are rendered essentially unwearable until the trends recycle.


And that comes a quite a cost. The materials and resources needed to create denim are massive! Did you know it takes the equivalent of 61 bath tubs of water to make ONE pair of jeans?!


I found a quality denim jacket in the thrift store but it had a "sassy" patch that seemed like it walked right out of a junior high school hallway. I figured that's how it ended up in the thrift store in the first place.


I loved the jacket, but didn't want to wear it with the patch. So I got to work to upsize the jacket and give it a new look with old denim I had around the house.


This project is fun, easy, and something virtually anyone can do with old jeans or denim shirts! If you have anything you want to cover up or replace on denim, this is the way to do it! Let's get started ...


This was the original jacket. The heart patch said "Do Not Disturb."


Not for me.


Unfortunately it was embroidered into the jacket so there was no way to just unpick it and remove it. I knew I needed to replace the entire panel of the jacket to get rid of it.


This method could be ideal for jackets that have a hole or stain in just one section as well!

I also had another thrifted jacket in my closet that hadn't been touched for two years. It was a jacket I got from the thrift shop and upcycled with beads for Mardi Gras! I loved the jacket, but it was falling apart because I attached the beads with hot glue. The beads had started coming off, but the glue was stuck on there for good.


It was time to recycle that jacket a THIRD time  !


I knew I could use the material from the back of the jacket to serve as a patch for the panel I would remove from my other jacket.

To get started I took my heart patch denim jacket and a piece of tissue paper. Feeling around the seams I traced the size of the panel I wanted to remove to make a pattern.

I took that pattern and placed it on my Mardi Gras beads jacket and cut a piece out in that same shape.

I pinned that new panel to the underside of my heart patch denim jacket and then sewed around all of the edges to fully attach it to the heart patch denim jacket.

This gives you an idea of what it looked like once it was attached.

Once that was secure, I pinched the fabric to make sure I was only cutting the top layer where the patch was (this step makes a lot more sense in action, please refer to my YouTube video with any questions!) and cut off the original panel that had the heart patch. To do this I found using a seam ripper was especially helpful in achieving a distressed, frayed look.


Once my patch area was fixed I decided the jacket needed more patchwork to appear normal and not like I had "fixed" something.


I decided to use more of the Mardi Gras jacket and realized the two jacket waistbands were exactly the same length.


I cut off the Mardi Gras jacket waistband about 2 inches above the band.

I then pinned the band directly under my main jacket's band. This was great for achieving a two-toned look, while also adding some length to my jacket!

Then I dug in my huge denim scrap pile and that's where the real fun begins.


I seam picked a few pockets off of jeans and sewed them to the front of my jacket.

I started cutting up other scraps, focusing on finished seams and texture.

Which gave me a huge pile of scraps to embellish the back with.


I did a patchwork shirt project a few months ago, so many of those scraps came in handy for this project!

I then randomly sewed the scraps to the back of my jacket panel. To see my hack about how I easily attached these pieces, check out this video.

And here's my finished result!


It may not be for everyone but I am in love with the unique features in this piece! Something about denim on denim on denim just gets my heart!


If you are more artistically inclined than I am, you could even make pictures out of pieces of different colors of denim on that panel panel or in the pocket of denim shorts.


If you try it, be sure to share it with me! I love seeing other projects and hearing from you all!


Let me know what you think of this project, and connect with me on my instagram Sew_Much2Wear!


FTC Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Suggested materials:
  • Thrifted denim jacket
  • Old jeans
  • Seam Ripper   (https://amzn.to/3fdbrBb)

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Sew Much 2 Wear
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