Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Recycling denim and a sweatshirt for a great jacket
Beware, this is heavy and warm jacket when you're done, so enjoy it!
I had an oversized red sweatshirt that was so yummy soft on the inside. That is the base for the jacket.
The second ingredient was a pile of denim scraps. I cut 2" strips first, and then embellished each strip with a piece of ribbon. I have spools and spools of ribbon that I've been collecting. I get it just about everywhere - Freecycle, yard sales, online, or from friends who say "I bet you can use this!" With the strips, I made 8" log cabin squares. Yours can be larger or smaller and you certainly don't have to use denim, but it is a scrap stitching project after all. You also don't have to use ribbon, but I had so much and it was begging to be used.
I cut the sleeves carefully from the sweatshirt, maintaining the integrity of the sleeve and armhole where it was to be re-attached. I also removed the collar band, cuff bands, and waist band, and cut a straight line up the middle of the front of the shirt.
With the sleeves, I added strips of squares with some machine stitching in-the-ditch around the squares. I then added strips to the back and noticed I had a lot of leftover space, so cut some 3" and 4" strips of old blue jeans and added them to the sides and in the back as a yoke. From the shoulder to hem, I added a couple strips of squares.
To finish, I reattached the sleeves, now covered with log cabin squares. I then added bands back to the hem of the shirt, the cuffs, and to the neck. My initial intention was to put in a separating zipper up the front, but the jacket was fairly bulky. I added a folded strip of denim and then created buttonholes and stitched on some buttons. This worked better than the zipper because it also served as a finish for the front opening without adding bulk.
The finishing is a bit tricky, but you can definitely reuse the fabric you removed; just put it right back where it came from. I don't have a photo of the finished product, but you get the idea. I made this jacket in 2007 and it has since been passed on to a friend.
The lesson here is that you can make something out of essentially nothing if you are creative. This is how I chose to use some blue jeans and old sweatshirt. What will you do with yours?