Thursday, June 30, 2011

Me Love You Long Time- Upcycled Chinese Jacket!

So I have this amazing mother-in-law who gets me the coolest shit. A while ago she found these two Chinese jackets, one blue lined with silver and the other silver lined with red. While the detailing is gorgeous, they seemed to be made for someone shorter and slightly larger than me. And plus I tend to like things hoochie mama tight. I really like wearing cute jackets as tops and I thought hey, how hard could this be? I swear dumbass lightning should strike me at my sewing machine every time I have that thought. But anyhow, here's how it went.

Here is the starting point. Nice jacket, but it doesn't show off much ass. 

This is a jacket that I love and as you all know, wear ALL THE TIME. Seriously, I should dust off the change pouch every once in a while and buy something new for a change. But this is the cut I'm going for. 

I put my jacket over the project jacket and cut off the sleeves and bottom to start.

I then turned it inside out and started with altering the lining. I took in the front to make darts coming up from the bottom. 

I then did the same for the outer fabric. I'll skip the 20 times I flipped it in and out and sewed and checked and sewed and checked again. When it finally got the the "I don't fricking care it's good enough" phase, I moved on to the sleeves. 

Since the lining is still open at the bottom, I thought I could just sew the sleeves from the inside and then flip them out.

I ended up with one continuous sleeve tube. While this makes a very attractive straight jacket, it's not exactly what I had in mind. I remembered that there was an article in my sewing magazine about sewing linings into coats so I got it out and it was like reading Hebrew. They even had pictures and I swear it took me like five tries to finally figure it out. Here, I'll let you relive the pain with me!

Here's my tutorial. It looked AND sounded so easy. Pull the outer sleever through a hole in the side of the lining, then pin the lining sleeve next to the outer sleeve and then somehow put the lining INTO the sleeve and sew it together. I kept getting to the that last part and seriously had no idea how they made that happen. It's like sausage; I don't really want to know how it's made, I just like the finished product. But there I was, making the sausage. And by god, I finally figured the damn thing out!

Made hole in lining, pulled sleeve through, pinned to sleeve lining. I don't have a picture of the two pinned together (I know, you must be so sad) but ta da! Completed sleeve. I am so not ever doing that again. Just because I know how to do something doesn't mean I should ever do it again. Like that time I made Applesauce the satin dog jacket. Whatever, bitch! Fine, DON'T be the cutest dog at the dog park! See if I care! It still hurts so much inside.
And while I obviously over-documented the first steps, I completely dropped the ball with finishing the bottom part of the jacket. So I'll try to wrap it up now. I decided that I liked it shorter in the front so instead of adding the ruffle all the way around, I took the bottom detailing that I had cut off and just used the decorative two inch hem from the bottom and sewed it back on. Then in the back, I made two rows of ruffles, one silver and one slightly longer red row and sewed them onto the back. I finally took another decorative piece of hem, finished the edges, and sewed it red side up over the top of the ruffles. Enough with the suspense, here it is!

The seams down the front came out better than I thought. The sleeves fold up to show the red lining.

And here is it from the back. I had to put two seams down the back to take in all the material. I think I might iron out the pleats so that the back looks more full.

The view from the side. You can see the ruffles are longer than the rest of the jacket because I wanted it to have a mini-train look. That way people will be like, "Hey, that's a cool jacket. Check out that ruffle in the- woah, have you seen that chick's ass? Damn!" And since this jacket isn't for me, it's even more likely to happen!
Since I had two identical jackets, I decided to make this for somebody else who always goes above and beyond for everyone else. I know, it's kind of a crappy runner-up prize but it's all I gots. Who's it for? I'll give you a hint.                                                            
She's tinier than me (which is why there's no pictures of me in the coat- I look like Chris Farley in this thing), she reads my blog AND comments all the time (and not with the mean stuff my family usually leaves), she's a virtual portable party whenever we have a girl's night, bringing home-made pies AND the best sangria I've ever had, and she's super nice to boot. We'd hate her if we didn't love her, come on down Jen! Sorry, it just felt like a Price is Right moment. Jen, this jacket will be heading your way probably in about a month (it turns out I sewed the ruffles on lopsided and I'm a slow fixer) and you can either wear it or just give it to some poor homeless person. Either way, this puppy is all yours! We're just glad you're forced to be part of our family! 

So there you have it. Upcycling a chinese coat into something kinda cute in 50 easy steps! I swear it'll get easier. Crap, here comes that dumbass lightning again!


Anonymous said...

the jacket is SuperCute!! you did a great job, you really could be a seamstress if you wanted. I can't wait for the weather to get cold enough to wear the coat you made me last year. Love you Honey.


Anna said...

Thanks mom- and I totally forgot to get pics of your jacket for posting in the fall.

Erin said...

Who do I have to blow to get a jacket around here?

Anna said...

By your count, almost everyone in Pasco County. But I know I've told you I'll make you whatever you want, bitch! I'll even make us MATCHING jackets- wooohooo!

Anonymous said...

This is darling, Anna! And you could wear it - you totally have a cute ass!

Anonymous said...

you are a sewing godess! love it-wishing I was as nice as Jen so I would be worthy of one too!--Shrimp

Anonymous said...

WHOLLY CRAP it is just like I won the price is right :) Damn I'm SO excited and I LOVE the jacket :) :) :) thanx Anna!! xoxo ~ Jenn

btw can't wait to see u and Erin's matching jackets hee hee

Anonymous said...

LOVE THIS SO MUCH, I MAY JUST DIET (throw up everything I eat for months) TO FIT INTO IT MYSELF! (in which case, Jen, I have NO IDEA what happened to your jacket!)

Anonymous said...

You make me want to be a better person!

Anonymous said...

Jen, I'm glad you like it! And for the matching jackets, I'm thinking either wolves howling at the moon or camo. I'll let Erin decide. ~ Anna

Erin said...

Can't we have camo AND wolves howling at the moon? Double rainbow!