Monday, July 27, 2015

The Jean Jacket continues....

I managed to get an afternoon of painting in on my jacket and it is near done, so easy. This isn't the Mona Lisa, but soft big splotches of color. I experimented a bit and the Lumiere dyes gave me my best effect. All they will require is a heat setting 24 hours after paining. I may still use some of the Shiva paint sticks. We'll see. The vegetable peeler is what I use to remove the skin from the paint sticks. I have had sticks that are fifteen years old and fresh as daisies once they are peeled. They are supposed to be peelable, not just a drying out factor, and they last forever.  But I am not done.

I also ordered a set of Inktense Pencils which I am soooo excited about.  I want to thank Coco, of Coco's Loft, for introducing me to these via her blog. I can't wait to try them. You use them, sort of crayon like, or any colored pencil. Then you apply a bit of water with a small brush and voila - they turn to permanent inks which need NO heat setting or any other kind of setting to be permanent on fabric. You bet I am tracking this package! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Denim Inspiration

I come from the generation of embroidered, slung low on the hips, bell bottomed jeans. I hated them as  they looked awful on me so I never owned a pair, que l├ístima! While I don't remember what I did wear for pants in my teens, it wasn't those. But I do remember being intrigued by the embellishment and maybe that's why I am enjoying making this jean jacket today. I have a definite plan: Phase One-piecing, Phase Two - painting and Phase Three - thread embellishment. Phase One is close to complete and I hope I can get some painting in this weekend. I will start with some experimentation before I  commit to the garment. I am really seeing just subtle blotches of color but evolution may kick in and turn it into something else. In the meantime, even though I have a pretty solid idea of what I want to do, I thought some research might be fun and started digging through Pinterest and Google. I saw some really interesting inspiration that fell into just a few categories and thought I would share.


People seemed to have discovered the Tide Bleach Pen or using stencils and bleach in a spray bottle or even employing tie dye techniques. I really like some of these  effects. I will put a clickable link below each pic. This one uses tie dyeing technique and I like its simplicity.
Simple technique, good tutorial

I would love to see the effect with the arms down. Would it be so "birdlike"?

And for the real artist out there, what could be more awesome than this, painted on jean pockets?
closed Etsy shop, boohoo.....all gone.

This is a fairly easy project, good tutorial. 

Denim, once the possession of the hardest working among us, is worn by everyone today. Denim fabric and  garments are so amenable to making your own artistic statement whether you are capable of pockets with classic Greek portraits or simply want to tie dye with rubber bands in a bucket. So many opportunities and much very doable. 


I think painting denim is what really appeals to me. It just offers so many possibilities and I've always loved painting.  While I am planning a subtle use of paint, like my inspiration jacket, anything goes as you will see in these jackets. Such fun!

You can commemorate  a favorite pet.

Express your faith.

Remember a place.

Or honor a rock star like Pharrell. 

Painting a jean jacket just knows no bounds and they are just so much fun. 


Embellishing the surface of your denim with embroidery has been around  for a long time. And, like painting, embroidery has limitless potential.  Many may feel more comfortable with a needle, be it machine or hand, when embellishing denim garments. An odd thing in my search though, embroidered jackets didn't have quite the artistic cache of the painted ones. Many were retail garments with a much smaller percentage being embroidered by the loving hands at home. Here are some  examples:

This little puppy is Dolce Y Gabbana and I know many of you could do this sort of work quite easily. I love how it works with the distressing of the denim. 

I couldn't understand a word on this page so hope this is nothing objectionable. It looks like a combination of paint and embroidery.

This one, above, is just darling and indicative of the the classic embroidered look I found over and over. I like how they used the peak of the yoke. Many self embroidered jackets utilize the back and yokes as the canvas. Embroidery elsewhere is not seen quite so much.

Applique and more:

Fabric appliqued to the jean jacket base is also popular and really a quite easy way to get a bang of a look and I like the effect. They seem to be a bit more contemporary. 

courtesy crux and crow on Etsy, no longer available

This one claims to be vintage seventies. While I think the fabric and trims are, those studded areas on the sleeves don't ring true to me. They are a much more recent trim development, IMO. Either way, pretty creative. 

This one sports machine appliqued flowers and I think its pretty cute and very doable.

Sometimes just a tiny bit of detail is the perfect amount.

Messy sequins and tears , anyone? Awww, come on, it's only 1650.00. Oops, its also sold out.

Hopefully you've enjoyed this tour of the denim jacket universe and the exciting opportunities for creative expression it offers. Each is so individual and such a personal creative expression. I'll be back with more of mine between carpenters and gardening, dump and delivery trucks, hammers, nails and trips to the nursery......Bunny

Sunday, July 19, 2015

No grain, bit of pain, upcycled Jean Jacket

The jean jacket continues. With all the construction and work happening around our home I am only getting to sew on the weekends and that's if it rains! That's OK. The Decks are  near done, then there are new doors, a bit of hardscaping and some tree work and hopefully we will be done soon. The goal is August 1st and it looks like we will make it. In the meantime, today being rainy and uncomfortably warm upstairs, I retreated to the cave for Phase one of the jean jacket. My focus today was to get every pattern piece cut out and I almost made it. Here's where I am now. Keep in mind that I basically have three phases going on with this. First there is the cutting of the original jacket and piecing it to work for my particular pattern sections  and that's what you are seeing today.
This front bodice is waiting for the arrival of the zipper for center front. I have left the collar and hem edges on one side undone. This is the side where I am using the waistband for the CF band. I know, its wacky. It will have a silver zip up the CF. I hung the pieces on my dress form and they look better there as you can see where all the oddities end up and if they work or not.

On the back bodice I did that crazy curvy thing like I did on the rust dyed top back bodice. It is part of the original CF band. When this is done there will be closeups as I have done some  cross hatching here and there on the pieces that you can't pick up at this point. But this is no where near the finished product. You can also see here, this was not cut symmetrically and that was intentional. In 3D it works.

The sleeves were fun. I hope that pocket on my upper arm doesn't look to crazy. If it does I can always take off the flap or entire pocket. On the right sleeve you can see a bit of the old CF band. The sleeves look different colors. They are not, a camera thing.

This is phase one, the piecing and fitting phase. Obviously I added details from the old jacket for interest.

Phase two will be painting and there should be a lot.

Phase three will be more stitching in various bright colors. So this is nowhere near done or looking like the final product. Let's just hope it's not an epic fail.

This is all that is left of the XXL men's acid washed jean jacket. Out of this I have to make a LARGE collar. Fingers crossed!

A few years back I worked for a company that went under. The night before the liquidqators were scheduled to come in management gave permission to the sales staff to help themselves to any non sku'ed merchandize and there was plenty. One of the things I took home was this old rusted sewing machine that was used for display in the store. I  use it now to hang my more costume-y jewelry on, much of which I've made. I think it's a fun use of the old Singer................Bunny