a flirty brown velvet jacket

My very wrinkly and ill-fitting but super pretty brown velvet pants. Doesn't the crazy bedspread just add a special touch?

I keep reading articles about re-purposing, recycling and otherwise re-using old garments by transforming them into something new.  I’ve also been searching for just the right color brown velvet or corduroy for a jacket to go with a dress I made during Christmas break. After having no luck at the local fabric shop (Oh, how I miss the days of perusing yards and yards of pretty things at Fabric Place!) or reviewing my excessive personal fabric stash… I stumbled upon a pair of J. Jill pants in the laundry room that were EXACTLY the right color. And I hated the way they fit. Woo hoo! Perfect candidate for transforming into a jacket. But could it actually be done?

I first decided on a great jacket from Ottobre Magazine… but after tracing off the entire pattern, I quickly realized there was no possible way that one would work with the amount of fabric I had. So back to the pattern catalogs… and found Butterick  5331.  View D turned out to be the winner.

Earlier this evening, I ignored the little black dress calling to me from the corner, and embarked on the puzzle that was getting all the pattern pieces of a short sleeves, hip length, notch collared jacket to fit on four pieces of fabric that had once been pants legs. (Taking out every last seam stitch except serging, plus a good pressing helped increase my chances of success!)

And the results:

Top leg: right sleeve, back, left sleeve AND Bottom leg: two pocket flaps, left side back, right side back(in 3 pieces)

Doubled pant leg: lapel, front, side front, collar (2 piece instead of on fold)

*Almost* every piece is accounted for. Due to the obvious fabric limitations, I’ll be fully lining the entire jacket with leftover brown Ambiance from the coordinated dress, so no need for facings. In addition, I’ll have to cut the under collar, under lapel, and under pocket flaps from the Ambiance as well. Not ideal – but at least by being consistent I can pass it off as deliberate design choice! And yes, everything is more or less on-grain and the nap is all going in the same direction. Plus I even managed to add an extra 1/2″ torso length.  Now to get the puzzle pieces to the sewing machine.


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