Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Turning a Sweatshirt into a One-of-a-Kind Jacket

As I mentioned previously, I have recycled jeans into several different things over the years.  My sister in Arizona knows this, and when we saw each other two weeks ago, she brought me something she wanted recycled.

She was working on a denim throw.  She found some pre-cut 6 inch squares at her local thrift shop, but needed more to finish the blanket, so she went to her closet and pulled out a denim dress that no longer fit.  After cutting what she needed, she had this left over:

The front of the dress, with embroidered detailing.
The embroidery on the front of the dress was definitely worth saving!  She thought she'd like it turned into a jacket, so I went shopping and picked up an extra large grey sweatshirt.

I used the iron to crease the center front of the shirt, so I would know where to pin the placket.  Before I could start pinning, I needed to trim off the back yoke a bit to fold and press up a hem.

 Then I started pinning.  I aligned the shoulder seams of the dress with the shoulder seams of the sweatshirt.   I carefully pinned the front placket down the front of the sweatshirt, unbuttoning the front to pin right along the edge.  I pinned along the sides of each front piece and along the back yoke.

Once everything was pinned in place, I used my sewing machine to stitch it down, following the original stitching lines of the dress.  For most of the sewing, I used an 'even-feed' foot, a presser foot that moves both layers of fabric under the needle evenly.  When it came time to stitch next to the buttons on the front placket, I switched to the zipper foot so I could get in close.  Applique scissors were the tool I needed next.  They are sometimes called 'duckbill' scissors, because the have a wide flange on one side.  This allows you to cut the fabric on top very close without snipping into the fabric underneath.  

I turned the shirt inside-out, and started trimming away the sweatshirt, first by cutting up the center front, and then by trimming next to the stitching lines.  With sweatshirt fleece, you don't need to worry about fraying.

When using applique scissors, you lay the flanged side flat against the fabric, cutting carefully so you don't snip it!

In less than an hour, the jacket was complete!

Hope this is what my sister had in mind!

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