Hampton Jean Jacket + Discount Code

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Today I am honored to be the final blogger in a blog tour hosted by Alina of Alina Design Co. When Alina reached out to see if I would create a version of her Hampton Jean Jacket, several thoughts ran through my head:
'WOW! I'm so honored Alina would think of me!'
'Dang...a jean jacket. I don't think I'm advanced enough to do that.'
'If I say 'yes', could I make it in a way that is in line with my passion for second hand textiles?'
'Shoot...I'm just going for it!'

A trip to the thrift store and many hours of work later...here we have it! A jacket made entirely of old Levis found second hand! If you would have told me I would be making a jean jacket this early on in my sewing journey, I would have just laughed. I consider myself an 'advanced beginner' but tackling this jacket was SO doable. A challenge, YES. But one that taught me a lot and bumped me to what I would call an 'intermediate' sewist. :)

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The Pattern: Hampton Jean Jacket by Alina Design Co
The Fabric: zero stretch denim taken from 4 pairs of second hand Levi's
The Process: When I went to the thrift store I headed straight to the men's section and started searching for several pairs of zero stretch jeans in a similar wash. I really wasn't sure how many pairs I would need, but ended up with the 4 pictured above. I could have almost squeezed the entire jacket out of 3 pairs, but ultimately I'm glad I had 4 to work with. Each pair was under $4 which means I spent less than $16 total for the denim (and I have extra leftover that I'm planning to make some Christmas gifts out of!). 2 of the pairs were nearly identical and had lots of tiger stripes at the hips and knees.
From here I came home, washed and dried the jeans, then laid them out. I cut each pair apart making sure to keep each mirrored leg piece with its mate. After cutting out and taping my pdf pattern the fun/challenging part came along. I had to decide which pieces to cut out of what part of each panel of denim. The pattern calls for lots of 'mirrored' cutting which worked out nicely because I had two legs of each pant to work with, front and back. So basically I cut each mirrored piece from the left then right leg. If you look at my jacket you can see varying colors but each panel/sleeve/band is the same on each side. This kept things symmetrical and less busy.
The only section I had to piece together was the waistband. It requires the longest amount of fabric and you can see the seam on the center back where the pieces merged. I don't think it's terribly distracting or noticeable. 
I'm not going to lie, part way through the project I did message Alina and told her I thought it was looking a little 'Justin Timberlake Brittany Spears at the VMAs'. Eek. Not what I was wanting or anything I would wear. BUT I kept persevering even just to learn something along the way. I'm glad I did!

I considered over-dyeing the entire jacket to give it more congruent coloring but after it was completed, I didn't want to loose the affect of the varying shades of washes. I kind of love how it turned out really!

Let's talk topstitching for a minute. I had never used topstitching thread before, and I made the bold decision to go with the traditional mustard/gold color you see on classic denim wear. Haha. Haha. HAHA. Oh Star. How this project humbled you. Using this color is wonderful but it DOES show every flaw. In hind site, being that I'm an 'advanced beginner', I would have chosen a blue to hide my wobbly seams that are here and there on the jacket. To any passing stranger, I'm sure it's not noticeable, so it's not a big deal. I just had to decide to let it go. ;) My machine did struggle with the weight of the topstitching thread and, at times, the 6 layers of denim. But we fought through it and somehow came out ok! Alina suggests using regular thread if your machine is struggling, and I did do that with the button holes.

The welt pockets were another challenge, but my mother-in-law helped me through those and it was fun to see them come out. I like how the darker denim shows them off a bit on this jacket.

If you decide to make this jacket, Alina has an incredibly helpful sew-a-long that I highly suggest utilizing. It really helped me make it through.
Modifications: I made no modifications to this pattern and sewed up a straight size 2. After making a muslin, I decided to size up one size to allow room for layering this fall and winter. The fit is wonderful.
Styling & Versatility: A classic denim jacket is a no-brainer. It will last for years and years and can easily be thrown on top of anything to add warmth and style. I will definitely be wearing this a LOT this coming season!

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Alina is offering a discount code for my readers (thank you, Alina!). Simply use the code HAMPTONSFORALL at checkout to receive 15% off.

Be sure to check out the amazing bloggers who have shared their jackets this week!
Helen's Closet
A Closet Handmade
Tabi Made
Straightstitch Designs
Match Makes Clothes
Nicole Merritts

Cocoon Dress

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The Pattern: Cocoon Dress by Simple Sew
The Fabric: Linen in green for the dress (sourced second hand). Linen-blend in lime green for the pockets and facing (cut from a second hand dress).
Modifications: I didn't make any modifications to the shape or length of this dress, I did however use a few finishes they didn't call for.
After learning how to understitch with my Ogden Cami, I chose to understitch the facing and pockets. This was important because I used a different fabric for these areas and didn't want them to show. I'm hooked on understitching. It really adds a great finish that makes a garment feel higher quality and prevents small annoyances that lead to it being pushed to the back of the closet.
I chose to sew up the side seams and pocket bags all at once (they suggest doing it separately), and it turned out great.
I also overlocked the pockets, shoulder, side, and front seams before assembling. 
Styling & Versatility: The cocoon style is one I've been drawn to for a while but I hadn't found just the right pattern...until this one! I love the clean lines that make this piece one that can be styled up or down. The center front seam gives it just enough interest and the pockets are a mama-must-have. I can see myself wearing this in weekly rotation this fall with booties as the temps drop. Wouldn't a long linen jacket look great over this too? 
(My necklace is by my friend at Soil Stone Co.)
Overal Review: I LOVE this pattern and already have another dress in the works! The pattern has a sleeve option that I can't wait to try with some linen I purchased at Fancy Tiger Crafts. I highly recommend this pattern (although be warned it doesn't come in a pdf and it has to ship from overseas). It's a great one for a beginner because of its simplicity. There are no buttons or zippers.
Lately I've been hooked on very simple aesthetics, clean lines, and ease of wear. This fits the bill in every way.

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Shirt No. 1 in Patchwork Linen

Since a young age, I have been an avid thrifter. Second hand was the normal way of life for my family. As I dive deeper into my love for sewing I have shifted gears from thrifting my clothing to thrifting fabric to make my clothing.

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First, I try to source fabric second hand by searching for larger dresses or even pants to cut up and create something new. It's often tough to find garments large enough to make what you want out of them, so occasionally I purchase a linen piece simply because I love the color or pattern of the material even though it doesn't have a section large enough for the pattern I have in mind. 
When I find an article of clothing, I bring the garment home, wash it, then cut it at all seams to see what I have to work with. Often I end up with long narrow strips from sleeves or dress panels. Typically I piece those together to make a garment from all one fabric...but this time I had a little fun trying something new!

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The Pattern: Shirt No. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing
The Fabric: Linen from 3 different second-hand garments. Recognize the light blue from my Ogden Cami facing?
Modifications: Slightly shortened from the original pattern to work with the patch-working I was doing.
Styling & Versatility: This top is very unique and at first glance might not strike you as a capsule or staple piece. But I'm finding that it's fun to add a few patterned pieces into my wardrobe to keep things interesting. I also pulled all blues from my stash to create this top so it's not as bold as some combinations!
Overal Review: Shirt No. 1 is an incredibly easy-to-make easy-to-wear pattern. This is my second Shirt No. 1 and I wear both in heavy rotation. I love the simplicity of the shape and pattern itself. The pattern literally has one piece!
This was my first time joining fabric in this way and I would take a different approach next time. You can see how the top doesn't hang perfectly straight. I believe this is due to the linen being different weights and how I cut it out. Next time I will piece together my fabric slightly larger than what my pattern calls for, wash it, then cut out the pattern pieces to stitch together.

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This top was a bit of an experiment and challenge to use up my precious linen pieces I can't seem to part with! 

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Ogden Cami for Fall

When you think of a camisole, Fall weather doesn't usually come to mind. But if you live in the midwest in the months of September and even October, afternoon temperatures can creep into the upper 80's. A cami/tank can be layered under a sweater for cool mornings then stand alone later in the day (when you are chasing your children around at the park!).

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The Pattern: Ogden Cami by True Bias
The Fabric: 100% cotton for the main fabric, taken from a second-hand size 14/16 ladies jacket (see pic below). 100% linen used for facing, taken from scraps in my stash. I selected fabric that had sun fading since it would be used for a hidden facing...a great well-fibre practice and way to use up damaged fabric and scraps!
Modifications: I sized down one size for this top. Due to fabric restrictions, I brought in the side seams by 1/2 inch and created a more boxy affect by straightening out the hem and shortening. The back piece was sewn with a middle seam (it calls to be cut on the fold) since I used the front panels of the thrifted jacket to create the cami. I also chose to do a 1 inch bottom hem to give the top more weight and a slight cropped look.
Styling & Versatility: I wore this top layered over a pair of linen pants for a transitional Fall look. I could also see myself throwing a white t-shirt underneath for added warmth (and a slight 90's vibe). I kept the length long enough to be paired with a high-waisted skirt. Looking for versatility in each garment I make is highly important to me as I curate a self-sewn closet and continue to work toward a capsule wardrobe.
Overal Review: This pattern is a quick sew and a great one for an advanced beginner. The straps and facing add a little bit of a fun challenge. This was my first time under stitching and I love the affect it has in keeping the facing hidden. I can see myself making more of these camis in the future. A great staple pattern and one that can be easily made with second hand fabric since it doesn't require much!

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Here is the jacket in its original form. I was drawn the the colors and pattern of the fabric as well as the fact that it had large pieces to work with. The zipper was set aside for future use! It's a great heavy zipper.

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