jazzing up a denim jacket

You know, it occurred to me that I haven’t share any DIY/craft projects for a while… and this post has been sitting in my draft folder for quite a long time (given I started this project while living in Tasmania!) waiting for more up-to-date-though-never-finished pics.

I figured I may as well share what I’ve done to my plain denim jacket so far. I hadn’t had a denim jacket for many years and decided I needed one, but when I went looking I couldn’t find one I liked so I bought a cheap one thinking I’d jazz it up myself. The one I ended up buying was comfortable but didn’t have breast pockets which made it look really boring… ugh.

Don’t know about you, but I love the crazy stitching a la boro/sashiko/japanese style etc. I also love visible mending and generally badly stitched and mended stuff. I have a huge collection of such images in my Pinterest boards if you wanna visit.

This image is the inspiration for part 1 of the jacket makeover.

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Only I went with a patchwork of fabrics, and only under the collar for that flash of colour. At least in Part 1 of the makeover…

Step 1: Distress the jacket. I used a razor blade and worked at fraying some of the edges. I had planned to run over it with the car a few times but chickened out.

Step 2: Select fabrics that compliment eachother in colours you like. I chose different red tones and patterns.

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Step 3: Start sewing them on. I did this by hand as I didn’t want the stitches to show on the top side of the collar. Plus I wanted to do it in my own very messy way. (I’m really not that good at hand sewing… or sewing in general for that matter… its part of my charm.)

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Sorry for the blurry pic.

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This is how the collar looked with the fabrics layed out and pinned to be stitched on.

Step 4: Colourful seams. I brought some needles and embroidery thread with me when I came to Greece on holiday last summer and whiled away some quiet hours inspired by this image on Pinterest:

I loved the different colours and thought they’d make the jacket stand out a bit… and turns out I was neater with the stitching than I meant to be.

Funny story actually… I have a natural tendency towards neatness and have real difficulty with randomness. I worked hard to loosen up my art for instance – not using glasses so I couldn’t focus on details, using my whole hand and pastels instead of coloured pencils and my face an inch from the page, forcing myself to go for expression rather than each individual hair on a dog’s head, etc.

Reversely, my sewing sucks. No matter how hard I tried for years to make my stitches neat and even, I just can’t do it. Yet when I want to be messy and random I end up with something that looks neat. How on earth does that happen?

Ok so I couldn’t find a photo of the jacket with just the coloured edging on the seams, so you a step 5 image…

Step 5: Embroidery… I began sewing random patterns and trying really hard to do messy embroidery. My french knots are pretty bad actually.

This is how the jacket looks currently, but its a work in progress. The blank area on the right side needs more french knots, kind of scattering out. The back yolk needs a whole lotta embroidery. And I’m considering something big on the back…

By the end of it I should know how to do any stitch you care to name, have made up some of my own, and have a jacket I need a forklift to put on.

Its real purty though, ain’t it?

z

upcycled jewellery organiser

 

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I’m so excited about this project. I just love how it turned out, to the point of wanting to keep it for myself. But I have to be realistic. I don’t have the right place for it and I already have enough spots for my own jewellery (which I hardly ever wear –¬† bracelets or necklaces don’t go well with dog grooming … or power tools!

So, here’s the story of this project – It began life as a chair in our kitchen. I went through a phase of buying vintage chairs from tip shops (ie chairs people have thrown away. ie wobbly chairs), painting them, and using them in our kitchen.

All good, except when you have a partner who treats chairs with contempt. He’s not exactly gentle with them. And old chairs need TLC. This was one of his victims. He broke one of the back legs by leaning back on it, rendering the chair useless.

It sat in the workshop for ages while I figured out what to do with it. Obviously I cut off the legs. Then I decided I had to cut the seat in half cause it was way too big for a wall¬† shelf. That meant I needed to put an ‘end’ on it. Done.

The basics were done. Then came the fun part…

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Firstly I had to decide what this little chair would be in its new life. A jewellery organiser was my choice so I began by painting it with a DIY chalk paint I mixed up. Then I started working on what someone would need for their jewellery.

I found a round base, cut it in half and added it to the chair using a rusty hinge, providing an extra shelf. I added a vintage double hook under it for bracelets.

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Next I added little eye hooks for earrings.

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Last I added a variety of knobs for hanging necklaces.

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The result: very pretty, very practical project! A bit shabby, a bit fun and a lot girlie.

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I love how this turned out (did I mention that?). I’ve listed it for sale locally as its one of those things which are way too big to put in my Etsy shop.

So, back to work. No rest for the wicked yada yada. Yesterday I finished sorting out the jungle which was our vegie patch. The weeds were waist high. I had weeded the raspberry patch a few weeks ago in order to find the fruit and to plant some pumpkin and cucumber plants which were given to me by a friend. The rest remained buried under old growth weeds. I’ve managed to cover the two jungle beds with weed matting and heavy objects to kill both weeds and seeds. If that works, next year I’ll have nice enriched soil to plant things in. Without using poison.

At least that’s the theory.

Today is going to be too hot to work outside so its ‘clean up the craft room’ day. After grooming. If I’m not too tired or its too hot…

It’s good to have plans.

z

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