My other half was planning on throwing away this old military style jacket that he no longer wore, but I salvaged it because I saw the potential there for improvement and I knew I couldn't miss out on the opportunity for a refashion! As you can see from the pictures before the upcycle below, the jacket looks rather shapeless on me, and so I set out to turn this manly jacket into something tailored and feminine.
This particular jacket wasn't lined which made it a lot easier to alter so if you're going to try this I'd recommend using a lightweight, non-lined jacket also. This tutorial covers a couple of basic tailoring techniques, so all you'll really need for this refashion is the jacket you intend to alter, along with your sewing paraphernalia. I chose to embellish my jacket with some buttons and patches, but this is optional!
Firstly, lay the jacket you wish to upcycle out flat, and cut off the sleeves as close to the seam as possible. Lay your sleeves to one side for now. If you wish to crop your jacket, then trim away the bottom of it so that the overall length is 1.5 inches longer than the desired length. I would suggest trying it on before cutting away the bottom so you know how much to chop off.
Make sure that you start your seam from the bottom of the arm hole, bringing it in and making it smaller. Bear in mind that however tight you make the arm holes, this will be close to the final outcome. Remember not to make it too tight as you'll want to make sure you can comfortably wear it over your clothes.
Decide how long they need to be, the dart should start where the jacket starts to get baggy so you will need to try it on again inside out and get someone to help you mark where the darts should begin. The lines I've drawn on in white show where you should sew (fold the jacket in the centre of the lines, and sew along the white lines).
Now get the sleeves from earlier and lay them out flat, with the shoulder seam at the top. Lay the jacket arm hole across the top of the sleeve and mark the shape out with tailors chalk.
As you can see, I am losing quite alot of material at the top of my sleeve- this is because I want the sleeves to be shorter. Chop of along the dotted line.
If your sleeves need to be nipped in then fold them inside out, try them on and mark with pins where they need to be taken in. Mine only needed a slight nip tuck.
I finished off the bottom seam of the jacket with a rolled hem & straight stitch...
...and voila! The finished refashion! I felt the jacket was a little plain so I embellished it with a couple of iron on patches. Also, I replaced the buttons with gold coloured ones for a proper military look.
Now I have a cute, lightweight jacket I can wear for the not-so warm summer days. If you have any tips or ideas on projects for old jackets then I'd love to hear them.