Saturday, 17 September 2016

My #refashioners2016 kids choo choo jacket

After my first refashioners project I had lots of denim left over and a thirst for more! It was my little ones 2nd birthday coming up so I decided to make him something special. He had started to get very particular about clothes and very stubborn too (no idea where he gets that from ;) ) only wanting to wear certain colours and clothes with his favourite vehicles or animals on. Coats are always a battle as his are all dull. So mummy decided it was time for his first denim jacket, with a twist. 

His absolute favourite thing in the world right now are trains. We have been known to go on a day trip into London and never even leave  Waterloo, he gets that excited. And when I was working with denim I started seeing engines (or do I now see Thomas in everything that I m so indoctrinated!!).   I decided on a bomber jacket style and bought the Ollie pattern from Sew A Little Seam.  I cut out the pieces basically working around which big, intact and solid pieces I had left. I decided on a few modifications. First jeans buttons, not a zipper.  I would also use stretch denim for the collar, cuffs and waist not the usual ribbed Jersey so I needed to cut those pieces bigger as I had way less stretch than the patten intended. The big job was crafting my masterpiece on the back!!!

I firstly drew the train I wanted on paper and cut them out for templates.  I then sorted through the fabric bits to choose what to use where.  I already had plans for some pieces.    I had a darker jean with a nice double stitched inside leg seam with 2 colours which were perfect train tracks!!

I had  a pocket with ridges down it which was perfect for the body of the train.  I also had plans for some belt loops for the chimneys on the train.  And finally, I had some pocket insides which have a cool gradient on them, which I thought would be perfect carriages!!  When I started putting it together I realised it needed a pop of colour & decided on buttons for wheels. 

I played around with placement and changed my mind on the colour of the carriage a few times.  When I was happy, I  went about attaching pieces.  I did this in different ways.   Some pieces I stuck the pieces in place with wonder web to hold them in the desired spot before top stitching.  Some bits I just oversewed the edge with a zig zag stitch, others I turned the edges under & top stitched.

For my smoke puffs I wanted a frayed edge so I frayed around them, then sewed inside of this a little.

Once the back choo choo was done, it was a simple construction job.  The instructions are great, I just simply followed them.  The cuffs are a bit fidly as they are so small  ( and I was using stretch denim rather than ribbing).

On the front of the jacket, I put a leg seam down the front for a bit of a feature then used Prym pliers & jean poppers down the front.  It required a bit of scary hammer work to get the holes in, but putting the poppers in was a breeze with the pliers - I highly recommend them and I love how they look.

I wanted a detail on the front and I found a little pocket on one of the jeans I really adored, so I cut around it and simply sewed it on with a tight zig zag round the edge.  It will fray, but I kind of like that look.  I found some great cheek fabric in the pockets of one pair of jeans- turquoise in one pocket & red in the other!  I used the turquoise to create a '2' on the front pocket (given it was for his second birthday, it felt apt!).

I then decided I could incorporate the checked fabric on the back too- as little triangles in the carriages.

The only parts of the jacket that isn't from the original jeans is the buttons, popper & lining.  I wanted it to be cosy for him and wanted a bit more colour so I picked a cute jersey fabric to line it with:

And there we have it, this is the finished jacket!  

And of course a cute picture or two of him wearing it...

So thats it- my second refashioners project- another one I m really happy with.  I could get really hooked on this denim thing....

Thanks for reading....
Messy Essy Makes


  1. This is so cool! I love the clever way you've used different parts of the jeans. My son would love this jacket too! I've never heard of this pattern before either.

  2. WOW. What a fabulous refashion. The back of the bomber is a great feature.