Saturday, 22 March 2014

skateboarder jeans to practical waistcoat

Lately through the winter I have been using a fleece gilet over all my other layers to keep warm. (I feel the cold badly and especially in my back).

Now that spring has come to England, I can begin to believe that it might get warm. So, sometimes the fleece gilet will be too warm. However, there will be times when my back still wants some protection.

So, I decided to make a denim waistcoat which might serve the same purpose. (Even when it is hot in August at the Festival of Quilts, sometimes the air conditioning can be a problem.)

I rummaged through my box of 'reserved for refashioning' jeans and denim items. I decided on these skateboarder jeans from back in the day when a Certain Young Man was into skateboarding with his friends.
The denim is quite a heavy weight, so I thought it would help to keep the shape and not just flop about.

You may remember when I made a skirt from a few pairs of trousers and I ended up with problems where the knees had been. It gave a strange shape to the skirt.
(still trying to work out the ideal solution for that.)

Well, this time I tried to avoid that area, but because of random pockets around the knee area of the back of the leg, it wasn't going to work. So, I thought I would use the stretched out area to advantage by cutting the fronts of the waistcoat so that those areas would be in the bust area. I planned to use a side dart anyway, but then the stretched out character would cause the fabric to mould around the bust more like softer fabrics would do.
Also because I didn't intend to fasten this waistcoat anyway, and because of the amount of useful fabric due to the pockets on the jeans, I narrowed the fronts. This will still allow my blouse fabric to be the feature and the waistcoat to serve more like a frame works for paintings than being the feature of what I am wearing.

One of the feature pockets
After I stitched the waistcoat's main seams and top stitched them like a false flat fell seam, I cut out some of the features of the jeans like the pockets and put them on the front. I sewed them on in such a way that there is actually an extra pocket between the cut out pocket and the fabric of the waistcoat.

I did cut the front so there was a bit of a lapel, so I cut facings from the scraps and stitched them on. I turned under all the edges and trimmed so they wouldn't fray.

And here we are!
No photos of the back because it is plain.

Now that I have done this one, I may look at the idea of doing a few more, but with an armscye princess style instead of side dart. This would give the option of using different shades of jeans or even to showcase another interesting fabric. If I do another plain one, I could then find ways to do some stitching or surface design work onto it.

(In what lifetime?)

Oh, by the way, what about the fading on the knees which are now in the bust area? Well, I thought of that. It wasn't too bad, but I worked into it with the colour pencils I use for some of my textile art. I blended it with water and then heat set it. It makes it just enough darker that it doesn't stand out as being exceptionally faded.

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