Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Upcycled Denim Jacket Turned Trendy Vest

Have you noticed the denim vest is showing up everywhere?  Of course, since I have a love affair with all things denim, I've noticed and I've been looking for just the right vest.  I went shopping Friday, just hitting our local stores that I thought would be good places to look.  I started at Kohl's and this is what they had:  

Chaps Jean Vest - Women's
Chap's Denim Vest-- Around $50

Now, I'm a cheapskate when it comes to certain things, and I'm just not willing to spend $50 on a denim vest...so I kept shopping.  Across the parking lot is JC Penney...I wonder what they have.

Arizona Denim Vest-- Around $30

Well, this is getting closer to what I had in mind.  I'm liking the more tattered look--the frayed edges of the armholes and the bleached and worn denim.  The price is okay.

But then, those frayed edges got me to thinking and an idea struck...

What if I check at the Goodwill Thrift Store and see if I can find a denim jacket and just cut the sleeves off?  So, I went up the road and checked in to see what I could find...They had one just my size...for $4!

I brought it home and started cutting away the sleeves.  (I was so excited about the project that I totally forgot to take a "before" pic!)  I really studied the details on the one at JC Penney with the frayed edges, so I'm going to do this one the same way.  I will run a machine stitch about 1/2" away from the cut edges and then pull threads away until I get the same frayed look.

I simply used a heavy weight thread that matched what was already used on the jacket, and I went around the armholes with a straight stitch three times, all on top of one another.  It gave it that nice heavy thread look like you usually see on denim garments.

...and here it is!

I should have shown it with a different shirt underneath...this one isn't so pretty without a body in it! It looks cute when I'm wearing it....And, now you're probably wondering why I didn't get someone to take a pic of me wearing it...Well, I'm just not much for modeling garments and posing for pictures.  

Of course, I'm showing it on a Juju Queen's Junk hanger!  Gotta get in a little advertising anytime I can.

I've worn it a couple of times already, and it's great paired with my junky recycled denim bracelets.  It's exactly the style I was looking for and I'm so happy I was able to alter the $4 jacket to make it!  That's what I call a "win, win!"...

Thanks for visiting today!  It makes my day a lot brighter when friends drop in.


  1. Cute Judy! I have several old jean jackets that I never wear, but they would make great vests...I can't wait to do this, because I love to wear vests, such a great idea!

    1. Jenna, I'm so happy that you were inspired to make a denim vest from one of your old jackets! Can't wait to see yours!