Fabric Weaving: How to Weave Your Jacket!

 Upcycled Levi Strauss jean jacket! 

Upcycled Levi Strauss jean jacket! 

A hand-me-down jean jacket, some strips of fabric, and a WEFTY Needle are all you need!

My friend Trish shared an Etsy tutorial with me where a weaver named Maryanne Moodie had woven rope into an old jean jacket. Trish suggested that I try it with fabric strips, with the ends tucked in. I knew I could do it, so I started in right away. I had an old Levi Strauss jean jacket given to me by my little sister, scraps of Boho Fusions by Art Gallery Fabrics, and my WEFTY Needles, so nothing was going to stop me!

What started out as a side project that I didn't know would work ended up being an all-consuming joy to play with. This was challenging but also exhilarating. I was doing something I love doing and do well, but in an entirely different way. Here are some notes and pictures from my process.

 Cutting the first layer.

Cutting the first layer.

Weaving

I first buttoned up the jacket and inserted a self healing cutting mat into it, as is suggested by the Etsy tutorial. I decided to weave with 1/2 inch strips, so I used a rotary cutter and clear quilting ruler to cut lines into the back panel of the jean jacket at 1/2 inch intervals. The direction of the denim ended up being on the bias, so I wish I had fused lightweight woven interfacing to the inside of the back before making these cuts. Even so, it looks really good so I'm not mad - it just took extra time and care as the denim frayed and stretched as I worked.

 1/2 strips of Boho Fusions and the 1/2 inch WEFTY Needle.

1/2 strips of Boho Fusions and the 1/2 inch WEFTY Needle.

 First layer upcycled woven jacket.

First layer upcycled woven jacket.

The fabric strips are 1 inch strips to start, cut width of fabric. I then fold raw edges lengthwise to the middle and press to 1/2 inch. I leave the edges raw, woven so they face down and are out of sight.

I had a narrow foam core board (I think it's about 15 inches wide maybe?) and inserted that into the jacket and pinned the jacket to the board so the back panel laid nice and flat. I eventually unbuttoned the jacket so I could fold back the sides to secure the fabric strip ends underneath.

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Getting it Off the Board

Typically I pin a piece of fusible lightweight woven interfacing (fusible side up) to the foam core board before weaving on top of it. When I'm done weaving, I just steam iron over it and the strips are fairly secure so I can slide it off the board and baste around the sides. This didn't seem like a good idea for this, because I didn't think I wanted a permanent layer of material underneath the weave. So I came up with another idea.

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I used some awesome Sulky products I heard about while at Quilt Con in Savannah, GA earlier this year. Heat-Away Clear Film stabilizer is this awesome film that you can stick to anything using Sulky's KK 2000 spray adhesive. What's so great about this combo of products is that it's easy to peel off, but what doesn't peel off you just iron away with a dry hot iron. And that includes the adhesive. It just irons right off! It rocks. Plus the spray adhesive is Earth-friendly and you don't have to be scared to spray it indoors even. 

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After I sprayed the top of the weave and laid the stabilizer over it, I took all the pins out. Then I flattened another foam core board over top, flipped it, and sprayed and stabilized the back in the exact same fashion. This weave was going NOWHERE. It was secure. I then stitched with my sewing machine all around the four sides. At this point it was safe to peel off the stabilizer, and iron over the front and back of the weave to remove the adhesive.

I attached a piece of knit to the back of the weave with some more temporary adhesive, then stitched in the ditch over the entire weave. I used Wonderfil InvisiFil thread. This thread melts into projects - it's perfect for weaving because it blends and lets the woven texture shine. The knit was a last minute add, as I ended up wanting something that felt a bit more substantial in the back (my mom says it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind). I am toying with the idea of lining the whole jacket with knit.

 Quilting on the weave with Wonderfil InvisiFil Thread

Quilting on the weave with Wonderfil InvisiFil Thread

 Weave Your Jacket!

Weave Your Jacket!

This jacket feels awesome on, and lays nicely. Upcyling a jacket with weaving in this way works great and looks so cute!

If you weave your jacket with fabric strips, won't you tag me? I'd love to see! And use the hashtag #weaveyourjacket - I bet this would work with corduroy, and a friend on Instagram told me he'd like to try this on his sports coats. SERIOUSLY. The possibilities! 

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Tara Curtis9 Comments