Jacket Making for Zero and Zen

During the week I started sewing a jacket as my project for Zero and Zen, an online course that artist Kate Ward and I are offering.

We offered this course last year and it was very popular; it combines sewing a modular jacket (with me) with learning to stitch various sashiko stitch patterns (with Kate), and consists of on-demand sewing modules to watch at your convenience, and 3 Zoom Q&A sessions where we’ll meet to discuss our progress. The Zoom sessions are 3rd/4th Nov, 17th/18th Nov and 1st/2nd Dec. The cost is US$97. You can read more and register here.

Anyway, as the course is a sew-a-long, naturally I need a project to sew along with everyone else. Last time, Kate cut up old jeans to make a denim jacket, and I liked it so much I wanted to do the same thing.

Inspo: Kate wearing the denim jacket she made last year.

There’s a bit of extra pressure with this project, because the jacket is for my teen.

I have a big bag of denim jean rejects from the op shop – all jeans they couldn’t sell for various reasons, but mainly because they were donated with holes in them. I dug out 3 pairs:

A pair of Dannii Minogues with ankle zips; a barely-worn pair with pre-made holes (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: jeans bought with pre-made holes in them are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Holes must be earned! Calm down, Liz!); Target 3/4 length jeans with a worn-out seat.

Ironically, the nicest fabric of the three were the ones with the pre-made holes, but our opshop won’t sell any clothes with holes in them, even if they’re part of the design. The Target jeans are so thin the denim is practically shirt-weight – no problems sewing that denim!

I cut the legs off the Dannii Minogues to use for the sleeves, feeling ridiculously clever and pleased with myself (we now have a pair of shorts that might fit someone.)

Then I cut up the other two pairs for the body. The back has panel seams which I might add some shaping to later.

I overlocked all the pieces before putting them together, in red because I felt like it. Turns out the jacket looks just as interesting worn inside out. My teen approves. Whew!

So here we are. There are a few things to resolve (neckline/collar, lining? and front closure) but enough is done to begin the sashiko stitching. I’m thinking of putting stitching over the front and back shoulders – two Pinterest boards with a feast of ideas are here and here.

To be continued…

Cheers! Liz


  1. Linda Hobden on October 24, 2023 at 8:52 am

    cool sleeves! look forward to seeing the finished jacket 🙂

    • lizhaywood on October 24, 2023 at 10:07 am

      Cheers Linda, the sleeves are the best bit! (So far!)

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