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DIY: Jeans into Denim Jacket

sewing icon sewing
Skill Level: 
denim jacket photo

As a designer and seamstress, I love making original looks that you can’t buy online. I prefer to redesign garments into interesting street style look like this pair of jeans into a jacket. I got a lot of interest when I shared this on Instagram so I decided to create a tutorial.

denim jacket photo

For this DIY sewing project, I added a Coats & Clark zipper for the front closure which brought the whole look together nicely. Get the details below on how to turn a pair of jeans into a jacket.

A folded denim with thread and zipper photo

You will need:


1. Use a pattern (either garment or sloper) to get an idea of the measurements. I wanted the bodice to be somewhat cropped and the sleeves to fit passed my wrists. If you’re not sure just cut at the center knee point.

image denim jeans cropped from left side photo

2. Cut open the inner seam of the jeans.

3. Cut the center front, zip fly. Make sure to keep the fly front so you can use it for the front of the jacket.

denim with scissor on the top photo

4. Measure your shoulder to a couple inches below the underarm to get an idea of how long the sleeve opening should be. Then cut a slight curve as long as your measurement. Mine was 9″ and went about 1.5″ in.

denim upside down with mark on it that needs to be cut down and scissor on side photo

5. For the back, fold over the center back seam to lessen the opening and create a back bodice piece. Fold over the raw edge and pin into place.

unstitched denim photo

6. Top stitch with the Coats & Clark Jeans Topsitching thread in red-orange. You can use a twin needle for this or just sew 2 sets of stitches side by side to mimic the topstitch on the jeans.

how to stitch denim photo

Here is how the back should look.

stitched denim as guided in step 6 photo

7. Place front and back right sides together and sew at the shoulder seams (I used a 5/8″ seam allowance).

denim inside out photo
how to stitch bottom of denim photo

8. For the sleeves, take the bottom of the jeans which will be your sleeves. Place the cut edge next to the arm opening on the bodice. The outer top stitch should be along the shoulder seam and the inner seam which is typically not top stitched should be along the underarm. Cut a curve similar (along the raw end) to the arm opening you did on the bodice. Repeat for both sides.

denim bottom convert into sleeves photo 1

If the sleeves are too large for your arms, sew them in right sides facing.

denim bottom convert into sleeves photo 2

9. Place sleeve in the arm opening so right sides are facing and sew.

how to stitch sleeves denim photo

10. It will now look like this. You can use the front zip fly as the closure or add a zipper like I did below.

denim jacket on mannequin back view
denim jacket on mannequin front view

11. To add a zipper, open the separating zipper. Fold over the center front edges, press if need be and pin the zipper on.

denim jacket front view

12. Top stitch the zipper into place using the zipper foot and the jeans thread.

how to stitch zip photo

Now you have a one-of-a-kind jacket from a pair of jeans. I can’t help but laugh when someone asks me where I got my jacket, “oh, my husband’s old jeans!”

photo of a girl wearing a denim jacket photo

If you enjoy repurposing old garments into new, here are some other projects to try.

Make sure you’re using the best threads for your denim projects. The cotton covered polyester core makes Dual Duty Plus Denim Thread for Jeans extra strong and perfect for construction repair. We recommend Dual Duty Plus Extra Strong Thread for Jeans for bold topstitching in the traditional denim topstitch color. When you need a wide shade range, Dual Duty XP All Purpose Sewing Thread is our go-to general purpose thread because it’s ideal for both hand-sewing and machine-sewing. It gives a smooth finish and adds soft texture to your garments, linens and home decor accessories