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Learn to Sew Updated Jeans Jackets

Classic details take you beyond denim.
Threads #123 – Feb./March 2006
Jeans jackets for all occasions—(from left) organza: Neue Mode 22873; cotton velvet: Jalie 2320; corduroy: Vogue 7610. Photo: Jack Deutsch; hair and makeup, Sylvia Pichler.

Tailored blazers, tweedy designer jackets, ladylike twinsets, and slouchy hooded sweaters may cover myriad fashion requirements, but there’s one jacket that can replace them all: the jeans jacket. With the right pattern, proper fit adjustments, and a gorgeous—or funky, sophisticated, or casual—fabric, you can make a jeans jacket that suits any occasion and nearly any body type.

Sewing a jeans jacket isn’t technically much different from sewing a blouse with a convertible collar; an advanced beginner with a bit of patience can easily make one. To get you started, I’ll survey a number of patterns for traditional and updated jeans jacket styles that I’ve tested. I’ll also walk you through the basic techniques for constructing a jacket. Once you’ve made your first jeans jacket, I suspect you’ll be tempted to sew a closetful to take you through the seasons.

Choose your pattern by silhouette and features.

Jeans-jacket patterns aren’t difficult to find, both in commercial pattern catalogs and in the collections of independent designers. You’ll discover styles ranging from the multiseamed Levi’s-type jacket to simplified versions that are quicker to sew. Don’t be daunted by the number of pieces included in a traditional-style jacket pattern; simply keep the pieces labeled as you cut them out. And remember that the multiple torso seams provide numerous fitting opportunities.

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Sew Your Own Jeans

Sew Your Own Jeans

Creating the perfect pair of jeans is easier than you might think!

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Why and How to Make Jeans
Repair and Alterations
Denim Creativity
Jeans Patterns to Try