The Refashioners 2016 – Me (no pressure!)

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ME (7)I think sometimes, because I run this challenge, there is a misconception that I am some kind of  refashioning queen. I certainly don’t regard myself in this way. I prefer to think of myself as a refashioning cheerleader.  Much less pressure! The Refashioners challenge has always been about inspiring other people. To showcase  what  they can do with refashioning, rather than showcasing my own skills. It may come as a surprise to some when I say, that I have never refashioned jeans in this way before. The extent of my jeans refashioning is mainly centered around re-fitting and reshaping existing jeans. I’ve never completely deconstructed jeans and turned them into something else. Never. So in selecting this year’s theme I was pushing myself as far out of my own comfort zone as anyone else! Of course, I was characteristically laid back about that. It’ll be fine, I thought! Won’t take long, I thought! Ha!  This project was characterised  by challenges, delays, changes of direction, obstacles and frustrations. But I got there!

I’d originally shelved this idea as “too ambitious” and decided on another idea, that would have been relatively quick and easy. (That’s MY comfort zone people!). As the projects from the other bloggers popped into my inbox it became apparent that great minds think alike. And my intended project was going to be similar to a few others. I wanted the series to offer as much variety of ideas as was humanly possible so I did an about turn about a fortnight ago and came right back to this idea…..The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Quilted denim! Because of course, when it’s hotter than it’s been all year, sizzling temperatures are the perfect time to work on a big thick quilted coat. Naturally!  I knew I wanted a thigh length coat. I figured I could get enough fabric from 2 pairs of jeans (wrong!) for the shell and I had lining etc in my stash. I also knew I would have to piece the shell together from smaller component parts. The green jacket above gave me a massive eureka moment there. I fell in love with that diagonal yoke and the directional use of quilting lines and my idea was born….

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I don’t think I was the only one to snap up the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline as soon as it was released! This was the perfect opportunity to crack it out.  I lengthened the front and back sections by 6″ and shortened the sleeves by 2″. Cut it out and sew it up, I thought. Hmmm….maybe I’ll toile to test the size & fit first before I cut into my scarce denim. Then ensues 3 days (I kid you not) of faffing and fitting around the sleeve/shoulder area. The drop shoulder of the pattern was not working for me at all. Twisting and drag lines that I was worried would translate weirdly to the thick quilted denim I had planned. (I have narrow forward shoulders) I tried in vain to fix it. I could probably have just gone with it. With hindsight. But my inner obsessive came out at this point (and stayed with me for the rest of this make) and I couldn’t let it lie. So I lopped the top off the pattern and spliced in a set in sleeve configuration. Which I then proceeded to fit within an inch of it’s life and after about 4 days of faff,  I had my base pattern…..

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

Turns out that switching to a set in sleeve was a good move. Not just for fit, but because the pattern piece is MUCH narrower that that of a drop sleeve. Handy when they need to be cut from narrow jeans legs….just saying 😉

I sat for a while staring at my pattern on the morning that I started this part. Swiping through my pinterest images. Basically procrastinating and being indecisive. I was still thinking about lines, directions, how to break up the pattern pieces. So I threw down a quick and very crude sketch to try and get things moving thinking I would end up doing a few sketches. But this one was enough….The Refashioners 2106 - Me

 

It cleared the “log jam” in my brain and from then on I knew what I was working towards. So I began to transfer the style lines from my pencil sketch, onto the pattern itself…

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

From then I traced each piece of individually…

The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Added seam allowances, marked the grainline, and named my pattern pieces (that one made me snigger!)…

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

 

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I ended up using 2 pairs of jeans (I actually needed 3 which I’ll come to in a minute) This pair was languishing on the £1 rail of the charity shop. Lot’s of panels, pockets, worn and wrinkled areas. They were very wide (44″ waist) but very short. And because of the construction or complex darts and pannelling “flat” fabric was sparse on this one. But I really liked the denim and thought the pocket shadows on this pair would be awesome…so they went home with me…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

The second pair (above) was a pair of size 10 fitted jeans donated to me by a friend when they no longer fit. Normally size 10 fitted jeans would not be “up there” when it comes to amount of useable fabric. However….

…these were huge bell bottom jeans! Ha! They provided the perfect amount of fabric from which to cut all four pieces for the bottom of my coat..The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Cut on the cross grain…the longer back pieces were cut from the widest part of the leg at the bottom (so the outer leg seam now runs horizontally across my pattern piece) and the shorter front piece cut from the middle part of the leg….also on the cross grain.

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

One problem you may encounter with more fitted/flared/shaped jeans is the fabric not laying flat once you’ve cut up the inseam. This is due to the shaping built into the curved side seam.

On the reverse, look what happens to the fabric either side of the seam line when you pinch it together….The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Essentially you can add some shaping of your own at that side seam to counteract the original shaping to get the fabric to lay flat 😉

Middle sections of the coat were cut from the upper legs of the £1 jeans.  I took my time to line up the details on the fabric (pocket shadows etc) so that they would be symmetrical on the finished coat…The Refashioners 2106 - Me

When deconstructed…because of all the panels on these nutty jeans…Apart from the torso area, the pieces I was left with after this were actually quite narrow! Which was a pain in the arse because I had planned on cutting my yokes and sleeves from that pair of jeans too. There was no way THAT was happening…

I still had the bum part of the bell bottoms left so I played around for a while seeing if I could squeeze them out of that. I could….but it wasn’t ideal. It would be wonky off grain (like, not even cross grain!) and I would have original seams intersect at the armhole where I was already worried about bulk. Plus I had these sections earmarked to cut pockets and binding from…The Refashioners 2106 - Me

My project had stalled. It became apparent that I would need a 3rd pair of jeans to have enough fabric for the yoke and sleeves to match. (Another design element that I had become obsessed with). Problem was I didn’t have another pair of jeans and a scour of the local charity shops, twice,  proved fruitless. I couldn’t find a pair of jeans in the right weight of denim. (Because of the quilting I had planned I needed lightweight denim; which the other two pairs were). In the end I had to use a denim remnant from my stash if I had any hope of getting this finished in time. I couldn’t afford to wait for the right pair of jeans….so on this occasion I conceded defeat and the yokes and sleeves are cut from stash fabric. I was gutted by this BUT it is TOTALLY possible to get those pieces (and the sleeves) out of a pair of jeans if you have them as evidenced by the measurements shown below…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I do feel a little like I “let the side down” here. I overestimated the fabric I would have from my £1 pair of jeans and got caught out because of all the panelling etc. But I had to move on and finish this thing….if I could have waited and found that third pair of jeans I would have done. But at this stage, and this close to deadline….I had to compromise.

Moving on…I used what I had left to cut bias strips for the edge binding…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I cut strips in the 3 different colours of denim I used so each section of the coat opening and hem would be bound in it’s corresponding denim…

This is all I was left with from the bell bottoms. The front torso area….which I used to cut the pockets for the coat…The Refashioners 2106 - Me

 

Before I could begin construction there were some holes and rips in some of the pieces I had cut…some from a slipped seam ripper…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

….and some from where I had removed the rivets during deconstruction…

A pretty simple fix from the underside …The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I just applied patches of interfacing to protect against future tearing etc…

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

With all my pieces now cut I began assembling my shell. My first attempt at joining the yoke to the middle was a fudge…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I’d just gone onto auto pilot and aligned raw edges and stitched. When I turned it out it was, of course, off!!

So as a reminder for anyone else who may want to attempt this, the pieces need to be joined so the seamlines match. NOT the raw edges…so the whole thing is sewn slightly offset. By an amount equal to your seam allowance…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

And then everything lines up perfectly!

Front sections were joined top middle and bottom. Back section is the same and then joined together with a CB seam…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I get really obsessed with getting intersecting seams to line up. I pinned at these points first and foremost. With the pin going directly through the seamlines on both layers to ensure the are lined up…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

This gives me accurate alignment where several seams intersect like at the point of this back yoke (and makes me feel “like a boss!”)

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

The lining I used had also come from a charity shop several months ago. It had the softest flannel underside and the shiniest satin RS. It had obviously been exposed to light whilst folded because there was fading along all the fold lines. It had turned a peachy colour in those areas which I actually really liked. So I decided to make a subtle feature out of it  and found a variegated peach/thread with shades of pale khaki and cream in it to use for the quilting lines on this side of the fabric…(That streak of faded peach is placed centrally on the back piece of the finished coat lining. Only I can see it. That’s how obsessed I got with detail and symmetry on this make!!)The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I did a few practice swatches and loved that effect in particular…

The quilting part itself presented a couple of challenges. Not least because the sturdy nature of denim kind of fights the batting..and instead of the batting pushing the denim up…the denim is inclined to flatten the batting…which diminishes the look of the quilting…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

 

In the end I found I had to use a pretty thick (cotton) batting in order to get the “loft” I needed to make the quilting visible. This had a knock on effect with the overall sturdiness of the finished garment. This was going to be one seriously thick and sturdy coat!!

I made a quilt sandwich for each piece and was ready to get started quilting. This is the extent of my quilting experience to date. I am NO expert, lol!The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I began by hand basting length wise and width wise. I did NOT want this shifting or distorting. Construction of this thick wadge of quilt sandwich was going to be tricky enough without that. So baste people. Definitely baste. This wadding was self adhesive but denim didn’t stick as effectively to it as quilting cotton. So it was definitely worth the added “security” not to skip this step!

I first quilted the diagonal yoke seam and the horizontal hip seam….then laid down my vertical quilting lines between those two points….using my variegated thread on my bobbin…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

And dark thread on the top…

I used 1″ masking tape as a quilting guide to keep my lines straight and evenly spaced. Starting in the middle and working outwards. I started and finished my lines of stitching just a fraction inside those diagonal yoke and horizontal hip stitching lines and left loooong tails of thread….The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Which I then secured by hand and buried within the quilting channels. I was determined to achieve a clean finish on the inside and have all the quilting lines meet and line up perfectly on the lining where any mistakes would be really obvious. I counted, 172 thread tails secured and buried by hand to achieve that finish…The Refashioners 2106 - Me

But it was well worth it. That back piece in particular, the quilting lines on that lining, remain one of my favourite elements of this coat, to the point where I almost want to wear it inside out, lol!The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I repeated this process on all 5 pattern pieces, edge stitch all around the edges of my pattern pieces and cut away the excess batting/lining and I was ready to finally construct this thing!

The Refashioners 2106 - Me

I won’t go step by step into the actual construction because that is all in the pattern instructions for the Tamarack jacket. But I will share with you the parts that go “off pattern”. Including a solution I found for the bulk element of this make…the pattern is designed for lighter weight fabrics so the seams wouldn’t be as thick as this!

As you can see on this shoulder seam…pressing these seams flat was gonna be a challenge. Super thick!The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

I peeled back the lining and trimmed the batting right up to the seam line…

Ta dah! Bulk reduced…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

…and seam presses flat!

I repeated that process on shoulder seams and side seams and I was ready to insert my sleeves which had me all kinds of scared. Because…The Refashioners 2106 - Me

Well….these suckers are so thick they stand up on their own, ha ha!! This picture kills me every time I look at it. This was becoming more like an engineering project than dressmaking. At this stage I was working right at the limits of what my little Janome could cope with…every line of stitching, every bit of binding…everything added just a liiiiitle bit more bulk. I swear my little Janome whimpered when I approached her with these…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Basting the sleeve in place was a must. Luckily I had removed a great deal of ease from the sleeve cap so easing the sleeve head in was relatively trouble free.

And ta dah!  They were in! I basically had my coat!The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

 

Of course a coat needs pockets. What I really wanted was a nice clean welt or inseam pocket that wouldn’t visually disrupt the quiltiing lines of the bottom section. But I had to compromise here. The fabric was just too thick for the turning required for that kind of pocket. So patch it would have to be.

I played with a couple of ideas. The one below was what I wanted. The angled pocket opening echoes the same angle as the yoke, and the curved corner echoes the curve of the hem…(see….told you I was getting obsessed with symmetry)The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

Buuuut I didn’t have enough fabric left for that (of course not. That would be too helpful, lol!) so I squeezed what I could out of the leftovers of the bell bottom jeans. My plan was to quilt them so that the quilt lines matched the ones on the coat itself. Blending the pockets visually with the coat. But I was worried about adding more bulk and used only a thin layer of batting on the pockets so it didn’t work out. The pockets are actually the only part of this coat that niggle me a little. But you gotta have pockets on a winter coat, right?

Last, but definitely not least is the 28″ chunky gold zip that finishes this make off. Basted then rebasted in place to ensure that when it’s zipped up, all those points at the yoke and hip line up perfectly…The Refashioners 2106 - MeThe Refashioners 2106 - Me

All the binding is single fold, in an effort to reduce bulk, and edge stitched in place. So there’s a very slight raw edge finish to all the binding. Which actually I really like. I like all the contrasts of this make. The utility/worn feel of the denim, with the luxury feel of the lining and gold zip, and the precision of the quilting against the rawness of the denim edges. It’s a coat of contrasts. Of juxtaposition if you like. It’s a coat of many elements. It’s a coat of blood, sweat (literally) and stress.  It’s definitely one of a kind. And I absolutely love it and couldn’t be prouder. Even though it was a bitch to me at times I wholeheartedly forgive it. All I can say is…it better be a bloody cold winter this year after all this! 😉The Refashioners 2106 - Me

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ME (7)

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ME (7)THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ME (7)THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - ME (7)

Turns out, this project, was the hardest, most stressful, and longest I have ever undertaken (largely because I am my own worst enemy and became somewhat obsessed and uncompromising). But it was also the most satisfying because, despite (or maybe because) of the challenges and the blood, sweat and near tears that went into this, (I didn’t quite cry, but “head in hands with bewildered look” became a firm favourite during this make.)  I persevered.  And eventually, I won.  And I’ve ended up with a garment  that I am SO proud of.  That I look at and think, I can’t believe I actually made that! You see, I think when we challenge and push ourselves, we find we are capable of much much more than we ever thought.

So, are you ready to challenge yourself too? This is me, signing off, pouring myself a stiff gin, and handing the baton to you guys for a month. Show us what you got people!!!

You can see all this month’s awesome inspiration posts here. And if you’re inspired to get your refashion on and enter the Community Challenge and be in with a chance of winning some epic prizes…DO IT! Deadline for entries is 30th Sept. Midnight GMT.

The Refashioners 2016 - Huge Prize Package

….I think you’ve got the idea now right? Essentially we want you to refashion some jeans! (You can find the full details/small print of the brief here). BUT, if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages you need to SHARE that refashion with us in one of the following ways:

  • On Instagram: Share a pic using the hashtags #therefashioners2016  and #jeanius
  • On Pinterest: There is a community board here where you can pin your makes. (You will need to request an invite to join)
  • On Facebook: There is a community board here where you can post your makes (You will need to request an invite to join)

Only entries shared via the above 3 methods will be entered into the competition. Closing date for entries is 30th September 2016 Midnight GMT. Good luck!!

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104 Comments

  1. TamsinW-P August 30, 2016

    Wow, Portia, this is amazing! All that hard work…. I love the colours and the binding and the quilting and….. I have a stack of jeans that I want to do something with, but I am overwhelmed by everyones makes. It there such a thing as too much inspiration!?

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you so much Tamsin 🙂 I know what you mean about too much inspo….if we weren’t careful we could all end up wearing head to toe denim….and nobody wants that, lol!!!

      Reply
  2. ELIZABETH August 30, 2016

    Incredible effort. I love it.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you Elizabeth!

      Reply
  3. Megan (meggipeg) August 30, 2016

    This is an absolute stunner! You have done a beautiful job of the sewing and I loved reading the ups and downs of the process. I will definitely be keeping this idea in mind for the next Aussie winter

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hey Megan! Thank you so much! Definitely a project of ups and downs, so I wasn’t going to sugar coat it, lol! But actually, the individual steps are all really straightforward….there are just alot of them. I think if you weren’t on a deadline and could just chip away at this in the background, at a relaxed pace, it wouldn’t be nearly so stressful. Dare I say…..quite enjoyable??? 😉

      Reply
  4. Su August 30, 2016

    Portia, what a fantastic month this has been! The imagination, time, and care that has gone into these refashions – and the results have been so varied, and so beautifully made. Thanks for all the interesting info about construction everyone, and hats off to your great make too, Portia. Looking forward to seeing the competition entries now.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      So glad you’ve enjoyed it Su. They’ve all been so generous with their time and creativity. I can’t WAIT to see the competition entries over the coming month. There are some real gems already!!

      Reply
  5. Lisa August 30, 2016

    I really like this, Portia. It’s beautiful and super cool and high quality! All your hard work really paid off. It’s really inspiring and a great note to end the blogger portion on. Congratulations!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank’s Lisa! And thank you so much for your wonderful contribution too. Hope it was a good and positive experience 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jane August 30, 2016

    Congratulations! This is amazing, I love the denim but that lining is truly a thing of beauty! It has been so exciting opening each post to see what people have created and, like Tamsin, I’m pretty much overwhelmed with all that inspiration! Thank you for making it all happen – there are already some awesome refashions appearing on IG for the community challenge. You’ll have your work cut out choosing winners!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you Jane, and YES! Awesome stuff coming out of the sewing community right now! Can’t wait to see what the next month will bring. It’s going to be a very difficult job picking winners at the end…totally!

      Reply
  7. AriB August 30, 2016

    Oh plenty pressure indeed! But you made a fantastic coat. It came out beautifully and is a nice end to these great remakes.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Yep, there was pressure wasn’t there, lol! But thank you!

      Reply
  8. Hilary August 30, 2016

    Hi Portia, this is so beautiful, both inside and out! I love that it doesn’t look like you cobbled it together out of pairs of jeans, if you know what I mean! It’s looks so stylish and beautifully made! I want one! Sorry, excitement always brings out the exclamation marks in me!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      I know exactly what you mean Hilary 😉 and thank you so much! I am a bit of an exclamation mark queen myself, ha ha!!!!

      Reply
  9. Abigail August 30, 2016

    Portia, this is AWESOME! WOWWWWWWW! I just keep scrolling up and down looking at all the pics. All the hard work totally paid off. Just stunning.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Gosh, thank you Abigail! Yep, alot of work, lol! But totally worth it thankfully!

      Reply
  10. Kirstin August 30, 2016

    ALL THE HEART EYES!!!! And your post is so detailed, thank you! I’m almost tempted to tackle a similar project myself! 😉

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Yesssss Kirstin! Do it!!!

      Reply
  11. Kerry (Kestrel Makes) August 30, 2016

    Epic! What a great coat you made

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Ah, thanks so much Kerry! It was an epic process that’s for sure! But I do love my new coat, so it was worth it 🙂

      Reply
  12. Claudia August 30, 2016

    This is awesome! What a great coat, and I love the attention to detail! Quite inspiring.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Wow, thank you Claudia! I did become a tad obsessed with the detail on this one, lol!

      Reply
  13. Alison August 30, 2016

    Wow! That is one seriously amazing winter coat. Fabulous refashion. Great workmanship, you’ve every reason to be proud.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you so much Alison!

      Reply
  14. Shannon August 30, 2016

    I’m in awe. This is absolutely amazing!!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hey Shannon! Thank you! When you break it down the elements are all simple…..there’s just ALOT of them, lol!

      Reply
  15. Lisa G August 30, 2016

    I am thoroughly impressed by this coat! It is beautiful inside and out. I really, really love the lining. Nice job on altering the pattern to suit your vision, it looks so good!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thanks Lisa 🙂 So glad I took the time at the start to get the pattern right. Really do think it made a difference. I think the set in sleeve adds a more tailored feel to it. With a drop sleeve it may have looked all a bit lumpy and shapeless in that thick denim and batting!

      Reply
  16. Natasha August 30, 2016

    Amazing. I LOVE IT.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you Natasha! I love it too 🙂

      Reply
  17. Carlee August 30, 2016

    :O Speechless!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      As am i by all the lovely comments coming through. Thank you so much Carlee!

      Reply
  18. Wendy W August 30, 2016

    Portia it’s AMAZING!! I bloody love this and now so want one. Hats off to you for changing your plans at the last minute, persevering with that sleeve an for battling with that quantity of fabric during a heat wave. You are indeed a boss. x

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thanks Wendy!! It was bloody hot, lol!! #likeaboss 😉

      Reply
  19. Renee Gibson August 30, 2016

    Awesome results and an inspirational project! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thanks Renee! I’ll try! (Maybe an easier project next, lol!)

      Reply
  20. Jess August 30, 2016

    The jacket is GORGEOUS! It is so chic! I agree that this challenge is much more difficult that expected. I also have to constantly stop and rethink what I am doing–a lot of problem solving! That said, there is a lot to be proud of. I love the blogger posts. It is inspiring to see what everyone has come up with.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Totally Jess! It’s problem solving 101, lol! Which is actually great because alot of creativity comes from that 🙂

      Reply
  21. Lois August 30, 2016

    Oh my! This is so amazing and I love it!! Great job, Portia!! And thank you for making the month of August so inspiring!!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Ah! Thank YOU Lois for following along! I’m so excited by how the community is engaging with this years theme!

      Reply
  22. Deb|EastofEdenCooking August 30, 2016

    I’m not sure how I found your blog (I am a food blogger, who also crafts and sews) but I wanted to say that I have been following this challenge with keen interest. All the posts have been fabulous and your jacket is nothing short of amazing!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hi Deb! Well I’m glad you did find it! And super glad you’ve enjoyed the series too….and thank you for the compliment on my coat!!

      Reply
  23. Saskia August 30, 2016

    Wow… This is amazing. All of your hard work and preciseness paid off. I don’t think I would have the stamina to make something so perfectly finished.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Ah thanks Saskia!! I think you just summed it up there…..this one did take some stamina to pull off. In fact in many ways it was more stamina than skill!

      Reply
  24. Nancy Sopp August 30, 2016

    Thanks for all the details about quilting: I’ve been wanting to make a quilted jacket. Very informative and interesting! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog every day.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      You’re welcome Nancy! So glad you’ve been enjoying the series too. I can thoroughly recommend a quilted jacket. Dare I say it, but if it weren’t for the thickness of my denim and batting combo, the Tamarack is a REALLY easy make and I thoroughly recommend it 🙂

      Reply
  25. kalimak August 30, 2016

    Absolutely fantastic! I love the coat and really love your description of the whole process. Great photos, too — they make me want to dive in and challenge myself! The only thing that’s stopping me is that I really doubt my current machine can manage denim…

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hi Kalimak! Glad it makes you want to give it a go! Best thing is to test with some swatches to see if your machine can cope. Looser tension, longer stitch length and denim needles. If not, you could still recreate a similar look with chambray and a less thick batting! Do it!

      Reply
  26. Marilla August 30, 2016

    This looks awesome. Ŵell done for persevering and can you make me one now? (Just kidding…not really) 😉

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Ha ha! Thanks lovely!!

      Reply
  27. Susan August 30, 2016

    Amazing coat, Portia! Absolutely awesome result. Your workmanship is fantastic. Thanks so much for organising such an inspiring challenge.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hey Susan, thank you, and you’re welcome! The response to this year’s series has been fantastic. So happy 🙂

      Reply
  28. Aklat August 30, 2016

    Love it! That’s my favorite refashion in this challange. And love all you story 😊

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hi Aklat! Wow, thank you! It was quite a “journey” this one, lol!

      Reply
  29. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 30, 2016

    FAB! FAB! FAB! I love your coat and I loved the series Portia!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hey Sue! Yay! So glad you’ve enjoyed the series! More to come from the rest of the sewing community now! Can’t wait!

      Reply
  30. Jannie August 30, 2016

    Hi Portia,
    I am kinda new in this sewing-blog world. But have been following your blog since I found it, but this is my first comment. I just wanted to say that your coat is beautiful. And your dedication to your sewing (and attention to detail!) and to inspiring others, touch my heart. You certainly inspire me.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Hi Jannie! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. You’ve made my day with that one 🙂 And best of luck with your new blog, it looks good and I love what you’ve written!

      Reply
  31. chuleenan August 30, 2016

    OMG – this is an amazing jacket! Wow – fantastic job on this. I’m so impressed.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you Chuleenan!

      Reply
  32. Meg White August 30, 2016

    Wow. Brilliant.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Aw, thank you Meg!

      Reply
  33. MadebyMeg August 30, 2016

    Wow! I think the quilting/stitching lines really pull it all together into a cohesive garment and make everything look intentional. Very well done!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      I agree Meg. The quilting kinda unifies all the separate elements which was the aim. Just glad it worked, lol!

      Reply
  34. crab&bee August 30, 2016

    Truly incredible – I love it and I want one!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Gosh thank you so much 🙂

      Reply
  35. Karen C August 30, 2016

    Your coat is beautiful. Shows the work you put into it. It was worth it as it is gorgeous. Very Inspiring.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you so much Karen. Yep, a hell of a lot of work but it does feel worth it 🙂

      Reply
  36. Tracy August 30, 2016

    Wow, this was a fascinating read and an amazing coat at the end. I must have about 30 old worn pairs of denim in the loft which I always thought I would make something with, this years refashioners topic has definitely given me tonnes of inspiration. Thank you

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you Tracy, and you’re welcome! Glad the series has been inspiring!

      Reply
  37. Sarah August 30, 2016

    Terrific. Amazing if sourced from standard fabric sources, but extraordinary to be sourced from jeans. The quilted lining is beautiful.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      I think the quilted lining is my favourite part too Sarah 🙂 I am tempted to do a version of this from standard fabric….but how many coats does one girl need, lol?! We’ll see…maybe….;)

      Reply
  38. Wanett August 31, 2016

    This is the most excellent Tamarack Jacket. EVAH!!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Wow, thanks Wanett!

      Reply
  39. Sam August 31, 2016

    Oh my goodness, this coat is completely amazing! The attention to detail is quite incredible and the finished result is stunning. And I LOVE the photo of the sleeves standing up by themselves!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Thank you so much Sam! That photo cracks me up every time, lol!

      Reply
  40. Kate Carvalho August 31, 2016

    Wow this is absolutely amazing!!!! I love everything about it. It looks like a super expensive designer jacket 🙂

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 31, 2016

      Kate, thank you so much!!

      Reply
  41. Jenna August 31, 2016

    Absolutely amazing!!! You should be proud of yourself and you more than deserve that gin!! I look forward to seeing this is person!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Thanks Jenna! Might be too hot to wear it for a few months yet, lol!

      Reply
  42. Jane August 31, 2016

    So, so good. What a process! And a great documentation of it all. I hope you wear it happily for years to come!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Thanks Jane!! I think this coat will outlive me it’s that sturdy, lol!!

      Reply
  43. Lindsay August 31, 2016

    Your jacket is just GORGEOUS! I love how it looks like you have the shadow of wings on the back from where you removed the pockets from the jeans.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Aw, thanks Lindsay! I really like that detail too!

      Reply
  44. Maria August 31, 2016

    Wow! This is incredible! It looks fantastic and I want it! I especially love the curved corners at the bottom side seams. I don’t think I have the talent to make one myself but perhaps I will put on my bucket list for a future project…when I retire and have the time and patience! Ha! Congratulations, you should be extremely proud of you creation.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Maria, thank you so much!! Don’t wait until you retire, do it now, lol!

      Reply
  45. Nicole August 31, 2016

    Wow, this is absolutely stunning, and so inspiring. I love how you took the time to make things symmetrical- it really shows beautifully. I saw in a fashion magazine the other day, a denim patchwork coat from Miu Miu for the price of $2,935! I would say that yours here, using free and charity shop denim, is definitely a win!!!
    The Artyologist

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Ah theank you so much Nicole! Definitely prefer my price tag to that Miu Miu one, lol!!

      Reply
  46. giddygert August 31, 2016

    Such a beautiful coat!! Loved the photo showing the weights you use, I also have 6 of these weights which belonged to my great-grandmother and they are the best for holding pattern and fabric together for cutting.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Thank you so much Giddygert!! I LOVE those weights. People always say they look like giant oreos, lol!

      Reply
  47. Fiona August 31, 2016

    That is quite a masterpiece Portia! So much hard work but all well worth it. You’ve got a jacket as unique as it is stunning

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Thanks so much Fiona 🙂 It seemed to take forever, but then, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever made 🙂

      Reply
  48. Sewing with Kate September 1, 2016

    Wow Portia, that really is an amazing piece. Worth every stitch I would say.
    Just wondered if you have a HTML code for your refashioners logo, just wanted to add it to my blog post?? Love your work!
    Kate

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Thanks lovely Kate! I’ve emailed you the code you asked for 🙂

      Reply
  49. Valerie September 1, 2016

    I am a quilter, and have never sewn a garment in my life. BUT I am in love with the Lone Star quilt jacket. Where can I find out more about that? Please??

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 1, 2016

      Not familiar with the Lone Star quilt jacket Valerie. Can you elaborate??

      Reply
  50. Helen s September 2, 2016

    All the time and effort you put In shows in the high quality finish. Hope you get lots of wear from this coat and thanks for organising such an inspirational and entertaining series.

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 3, 2016

      Ah thank you Helen, and you’re welcome! So glad you’re enjoying it all! 🙂

      Reply
  51. jan September 2, 2016

    It is really a work of art….congratulations…
    and the progress photos are beautiful as well!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 3, 2016

      Thank you so much Jan!

      Reply
  52. Caroline JG September 15, 2016

    Your coat is absolutely stunning, just fabulous. I love everything about it, the up cycling, the quilting. You’re so smart and such an inspiration. I live I. Florida so I probably use a coat once a year, still I’m really tempted to try to make something similar. Great great job!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie September 16, 2016

      Wow! Thank you so much Caroline! Yes slightly more call for a winter coat over here, lol 😉 You could always make a lightweight version with chambray instead. Or denim shirts instead of jeans maybe!

      Reply

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