- Two jackets with cool elements
- Sewing kit
- Sharp scissors
- Lots of Pins
Let’s start with something easy for the first project. I found two jackets that standing alone, lack something or have too much of that something. I really do like the zebra stripes but there was way too many of them on that jacket. I also loved the very formal evening jacket. The buttons and velvet frill are elegant, but this jacket seemed a little sad to me. Soooo, I thought the zebra sleeves would look good on the elegant jacket. I like to combine pieces that have opposites, like casual /dressy, somber/loud, you get the idea.
The very first thing I looked at was how the jackets were constructed. Both of them had a lining that I wanted to keep. Before I did any cutting, I pinned around the armholes of both jackets making sure I included the lining as I went. This way I was sure to catch both the material and lining as I cut. Then, took my sharp scissors, my bravery and cut the sleeves off the zebra coat keeping the armhole seam with the sleeve. I cut the sleeves off the formal jacket leaving the armhole seam with the jacket.
The next step was to attach the sleeves and armholes. I was lucky. They are both the same size which makes it easy to combine them. After lining up the top shoulder seam of the jacket and top of the zebra sleeve, I started to pin the two pieces together.
I just overlaped the two edges and pinned together. If you are trying this, don’t worry about turning under the raw edges to hide them. I always like to leave them in plain view. In this case the jacket’s armhole was a little bigger than the sleeve, so I gathered the excess under the arm where it would not be noticed too much. After the sleeves were pinned to the jacket body, all I had to do was machine sew or hand sew them together. If you are trying this, you can use a simple running stitch, a back stitch or blanket stitch. There are a ton of videos on the internet if you are in doubt.
PS : Keep the scraps you never know when you will use the zebra collar or velvet cuff. HMMM! Might make a nice bracelet?
Tips to get you started:
- Look for pieces that have an element you like. It could be a style of collar or the cuffs or maybe a lacey trim. It could be the combined colors look great together. Anything that catches your eye will work.
- Don’t worry too much about a stain, rip or moth hole. You can always cut that piece out or cover it.
- Try to get the same size pieces. It makes it easier to combine pieces, but don’t pass up a piece that is cool just because it is too big or too small. There are ways to make it work.
- Try combining opposites. For instance, to a very feminine piece add something masculine. the unexpected combination will make for an interesting piece.
- Be brave and fearless in your choices.
- Keep your scissors sharp and remember the first cut is the hardest.
- Get over hemming, binding and turning under raw edges. Do not fear raw edges. They are out of the closet so wear them with pride. Think of them as the badge of a DYIer. If the material frays way too much, I do sew, blanket stitch, crochet, or use fabric glue just off the raw edge s. For instance, a non-wool sweater will fray til it comes all apart. If you must you can always hide them by turning.
- Think way out of the box, I have even used a staple gun to attach a piece when I could.
About the Author: Sue MacCombie, Goodwill Keystone Area ReDesign Contest Winner
I look for elements in a piece that are attractive or that catch my eye. I then look for pieces that will blend with it. Sometimes I go with an idea in mind, sometimes I just get inspiration from the pieces I come across. Be fearless with your scissors! Sew outside the lines and combine the unlikely. Trust what you like.