Thursday, September 19, 2019

Upcycled Jean Jacket

After attending a workshop with Christine Mayer (Into the Light) on Upcycling and Japanese draping I chose a new approach to upcycling a jean jacket.

Christine's silhouette is often a fitted bodice with roomier hips, one of my favorites.

I began with a traditional jean jacket, opened up the sides, and added bust darts.

I test pinned darts in place until they looked good.

Next step - contouring the back.

I cut vertically along the outsides of the center back panel and pulled in the looser bits, burying the extra under the center back panel.

Again, test fitting was the key to a good fit. I also ended up with one horizontal cut midway that allowed further contouring.

The bottom half of the jacket was draped using a few sets of LevisTM.  I chose an asymmetrical flared application banded with waistbands for the hem.

The variation in denim color is purposeful, as is the placement of the 3 labels in the back.

Because the bottom half is a combination of pieces the inside looked a bit messy.  I chose to line the bottom with quilting weight cotton.

I draped the selvedge edge long the waistband top, pinning it in place.  From there I smoothed out the fabric from the top to the sides and bottoms.  It is entirely hand stitched in place.

A couple folks have suggested they would like this added to the Paganoonoo collection of upcycle sewing instructions.  What do you think?

 View the current collection and find out more about upcycle sewing at 

Happy Upcycling!  Michelle

 Purchase Boro-Style Jacket upcycle sewing instructions here

Friday, September 6, 2019

2X Flannel Patti Blouse, Vintage Quilt Pockets and Accent

Paganoonoo Upcycle Sewing - Combo Flannel and Cutter Quilt Pocket
Paganoonoo Upcycle Sewing - Combo Flannel and Cutter Quilt Pocket 
Have you heard of "Cutter Quilts" - quilts that are in too bad a shape to use as a blanket, but still have some parts that are useable?  

I'm thankful that folks are offering them up for sale rather than tossing them. They are perfect for upcycled garment accents. I love that the hard work and craft put into them will be used up to the last scrap.

I've been making upcycled flannels for the rest of this year's shows. Looking to add a special accent I thought it would be a natural pairing to use old quilts for pockets and accents. They create the perfect garment for a fall or winter day. I imagine a crackling fire, good book, chili, cornbread, and a bit of rain or snow.
Paganoonoo Patti upcycled flannel with quilt pockets

The quilt I purchased on eBay had one fabric that disintegrated long before the other fabrics. Unfortunately for the owner the color (purple) was in huge bands all over the quilt. 

One or two fabrics disintegrating before the others seems to be a common problem in old quilts.

In this upcycled 
Paganoonoo Patti top the pockets were very prominent so I added a decorative band above the upper pocket for balance. The right section was almost shredded.  I used a fancy "random" stitch to anchor the layers down.

What looks like a hand blanket stitch from a distance is actually a machine stitch.  Although I would love to have stitched it all by hand, that labor would have priced the shirt out of market range.  I was very careful to keep the straight stitching off of the quilted bit yet keep it right near the edge.
P.S. Best bet to repair a quilt and have it look original?  Use an old apron that has been washed many times.  It will have that same softness and fading as the quilt.
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Upcycle sewing is good for the planet and good for your budget!

Next time - When sweaters get moth holes they often get donated... after a good machine washing and drying they can be made into upcycled shirt panels.