Friday, November 6, 2015

Magical Boro Inspired Jean Jacket with Belt Closure

Hello, I'm Michelle Paganini a fashion designer addicted to "upcycling", transforming existing goods, such a clothing, into something more desirable than the original materials.

This upcycled jean jacket was inspired by Japanese Boro clothing.  I find the utilitarian nature of the garments appealing and the patchwork and repair process fascinating.  

I ran across a white waffle robe with a Stanford University logo and thought it would be a good foundation for building a kimono jacket. I did not have garments that need extensive repair, but did have jeans in different stages of life.  I decided to use them to build this Boro inspired jacket by piecing them together on top of the waffle robe. 

The rugged nature of the jacket called out for a complementary closure so I used part of a man's belt. 

Read more about the process in the original post

I'm featuring the garment again because my husband George 
just took professional photos from all sides. 

The thing that is amazing, even magical about this jacket is that it looks good on such a wide variety of people.  I wish I'd taken pictures of all of the men and women who have tried it on and it seemed to look just right on large, medium and small people of both sexes. I will get some pictures of it on folks in the future.

I really love the subtle color blocking from the 
different shades of the jeans.

The circle on the upper back is to hide an ugly a grease stain. 
I always try to turn a stain into a feature, LOL.
Here is the inside front of the jacket.  The original waffle robe lining only extends part way down the sleeve.  This is so the bottom of the sleeve does not become too stiff and retains fluid movement. A pocket was added using an original jean back pocket.  The red stripe is bias tape used to finish off the join between the lining and jacket facing.
Here is the inside back.  You can see all of the sewing
attaching the pieces and quilting the sections.

Look at customer examples here.

Upcycling instructions available for this jacket!!

My goal is to make upcycling designs flattering, simple to make, and accessible to home sewists! 

Happy Upcycling!



  1. Thank you! Upcycling is my passion and I love to share.

  2. Love this jacket, you are so amazingly creative and talented, I wish I had have your skills. Cheers, Michele

  3. Thank you! I'd have to say a good percentage of my skill comes from being willing to make years worth of mistakes and learning from them. Much of the rest is from my formal fashion design training at Canada College in Redwood City, CA, USA.

  4. I have inherited a red waffle wardrobe. Could send you it...

    1. Ilona,

      Thank you for the kind offer. Thought I had replied already so I apologize for this late response. I will decline as my pipeline is full and my closets are bursting. Happy Upcycling! Michelle

  5. This has inspired me, I don't have a waffle robe but have something that will work perfectly ~ and lots of old jeans I've been saving for something like this! Thank you!

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