Wednesday, January 2, 2013

diy: Sweater Sleeved Denim Jacket

 A while back, I came across a jacket on Urban Outfitters' website - it's currently sold out, but it was $65 and was made of a denim vest with sweater sleeves. I wrote it down on my DIY to do list, and kept a mental note to keep an eye for the perfect supplies. Last month, I found both an Aeropostale denim jacket for $10 and an ideal sweater for $5, both at Goodwill. So, I finally made my own!

Photo Credit:

It's the dead of winter here in New York, so it might be a little while until I can wear this out, but at least I can add it to my spring/fall jacket stash. Here, I wore it with a comfy band tee (by the French hardcore band Birds in Row, if you're wondering) and a bullet shell bracelet I made not too long ago.

The jacket only took about an hour to make. See how I made it, below! -- 


- Denim jacket, or vest
- The sleeves of a thick sweater, preferably around the same size or larger as your jacket/vest
- Fabric scissors

When cutting the sleeves off the denim jacket, cut a good 1 inch (2.54 cm) OUTSIDE of the shoulder seam. Same with the sweater - cut a decent amount away from the shoulder seam. This will give you material to sew the two together.

You'll also need:

- Thread
- Sewing machine
- Sewing pins

As I mentioned above, it will make your life a lot easier if the sweater's sleeves are around the same size as your denim jacket. This way, they don't need to be sewn smaller. You can see above that the sleeve's shoulder more or less fits snugly into the arm hole of the denim vest. However, if they aren't around the same size, try to use sweater sleeves that have shoulder openings larger than your vest's arm holes. Obviously, it will be easier to make it smaller than make it bigger! (You can do this by simply sewing straight down the long side of the sleeve. How far in you sew will depend how much tighter you need to make them.)

1) There are a few ways to go about doing this, but I find that this is the simplest. Turn the vest inside out, and pin the sleeve along the arm hole. I usually line up the seams of the shoulders together and then pin right outside of it.

Closeup of the two pinned together.

2) Before sewing anything, turn the denim right side out and double check that the sleeves fit/look right around the shoulder.

3) Sew! I like to start right in the underarm area, so that where the two ends of the stitch meet are hidden. I sewed right outisde of the seam, as you can see in the second picture above. The seam of the denim kind of served as a guide.

4) After sewing, it should look a little something like this.

5) Repeat with the other sleeve, turning the denim inside out and then pinning the sleeve to the shoulder.

I might have to do this again with a printed floral denim vest I have, but with a black sweater.

As for the leftover sweater material? You could always make a sweater beanie

Hope you enjoyed the first project of 2013!

Xo, Kirsten



  1. This is adorable. Now if I can only find the denim jacket with the sleeves I cut off!!! I know it's here somewhere!!!!! Probably at the bottom of the garage sale box.

  2. great job i like it very much !!!

  3. I did something very similar with an old vest and some scrap fabric a while ago :)
    It looks really cool, I like it ^^

  4. lovely idea!! very inspiring

  5. Great idea!


  6. Wow, so nice!
    Great idea!

    *Love, Raluca*

    *New post*

    *Facebook page*

  7. This is simply awesome! Now I only need a denim jacket and and a spare sweater.. Time for thrifting!

  8. V.Cool , i'm going to do this with a denim shirt and old hoodie i hope it works !!

  9. Personally, I think yours look SO much cuter than the one from UO. Well done!!

  10. Wow, I like this DIY a lot, it looks great!
    I need to try this too!

  11. Great outfit. Love a denim jacket.

    Style insights and luxury fashion business learnings:

  12. i love you, cuz i adore birds in row :)
    nice diy btw :)

  13. You are awesome love this!!!!

  14. Love it! Do you think its possible to do this with a fake leather jacket?

    1. Of course! Because I did it here, haha:

      A project from December 2011!

  15. I like your's better then the urban outfitters one!!! nice! your's looks worn and loved :)

  16. This looks great. Nice job!

  17. I like yours even better than the original!
    I love your blog! I have a DIY blog as well, if you'd like to check it out:

  18. so cute omg cant wait to try this!

  19. Wow! I just found this post through Pinterest and I love your version way better. I am definitely going to try this.

  20. Amazing!!!! Can't wait to try it :)

  21. I love your version even more than the original. It's great, I'm gonna try this :)

  22. Yours is so much cooler than the Urban Outfitters one.

  23. Here's my first attempt. Gonna do another lighter one for summer, maybe with a khaki jacket and lacy sleeves.


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