Thursday, May 8, 2014

Jean Kimono Jacket - Boro inspired

 I recently completed a garment for Canada College's upcycled denim contest.

I started with a thrifted foundation garment of a cotton waffle robe (Stanford logo) so I could build from scraps and parts of jeans. 

Doing the work on my dress form allowed me to play with how I wanted to color block and the sizes of the pieces I wanted to use. I'll admit it would have been much easier to open the side seams and build the garment flat (next time maybe.)

My inspiration was the wonderful utilitarian mended japanese 'boro' garments I've been seeing on Pinterest.
Boro Kimono
wanted a bit of drama as my garment is fairly plain so I took a man's leather belt and cut it into a closure and sewed it on.  The sleeves are the bottoms of pant legs as-is.  I can add some stitching for more character later.  You can see I did a bit of machine quilting type stitches.  

And on the back I added one reverse appliqué circle to replace an ugly grease stain, and a decorative center back section using a waistband bordered by belt loops.  I like the way it turned out!  I will wear this one.

Updated post available here 

2017 update:
Since this original post I've created many upcycled garments and developed instructions/patterns so you can too! How does it work? 

In the example below 3 dress shirts are transformed into a woman's blouse.  The "Pattern" provides step-by-step illustrated instructions guiding you through the deconstruction and reconstruction process. No pattern pieces to pin and cut out and the tough bits are already sewn: collars, plackets, buttonholes, etc.

March 2018 update: 
Upcycling sewing instructions are now available for this jacket!!  Make your own version. 

Start sewing your upcycled Jacket today! 

More info about Paganoonoo instructions at:
Upcycle Sewing Made Simple


  1. Really like this Michelle. You have inspired me.


  2. Instructions are now available to make your own!