Upcycle jacket tutorial. Transform a men’s jacket into a blazer dress

upcycle jacket

Men’s jacket upcycling idea. Women’s blazer dress.

In this easy sewing tutorial, I’ll explain how I upcycled an old men’s jacket I bought thrifting into an on-trend tuxedo dress (also often called a jacket dress or blazer dress). I picked up this impeccably made men’s jacket from my local thrift store for $5.00. It would be perfect to upcycle into a tuxedo dress / jacket dress / blazer dress.

I love the blazer dresses that I’m seeing online and in shops. Even Taylor Swift wore one as part of the Eras Tour. I never buy new clothes and love an upcycling challenge so wanted to try upcycling an old men’s jacket into a blazer dress and, surprisingly, it was quite easy.

Watch the men’s jacket upcycling tutorial below


From the tags inside, it appears it had been commissioned by London tailors John Morgan and Co.

I did some research and they were founded in 1825 and tailored clothing for British Prime Ministers, aristocracy – even John F Kennedy. It’s heart breaking to find magnificent pieces like this in thrift stores, often destined for landfill or to be cut into rags.

I hope I have done its heritage justice and it will now enjoy a second life in my wardrobe.

upcycle jacket
BEFORE – Men’s jacket bought thrifting for $5 before upcycling it into a blazer dress.

STEP 1

Remove the lining and padding from the jacket.

The first step was to remove the lining (I kept the labels for prosterity and will use them on another upcycling project as a homage to the original tailors).

Jackets of this quality are heavily padded to give them structure.

For the purpose of this project, I removed all the padding, including the large shoulder pads.

On my small frame, the padding would give the impression that the jacket was wearing me, instead of the other way around.

STEP 2

Remove the sleeves.

Next, I removed the sleeves.

To finish the new seams, I hemmed these with bias binding. I chose a burgundy colour for this so, if the seam peeked through it would add a pop of colour.

I thought bias binding would be perfect for this heavy fabric, giving structure and stability to the new sleeve hem.

STEP 3

Reduce the sleeve hole size.

I then had to reduce the size of the sleeve hole. It was man-size and gaped way too much.

STEP 4

Move the buttons so the jacket dress is more tailored.

And finally, I removed the buttons and moved them vertically across so the dress was more fitting on me.

I used safety pins to hold it in place and adjusted them whilst trying the dress on. I was able to use the existing button holes which saved me a tonne of time.

To mark where the new buttons needed to be sewn, I marked through the button hole with chalk.

I didn’t need to adjust the length and it fits really well.

This really is an easy upcycling project and would be suitable for sewers without much experience. It could even be hand sewn.

Thanks for visiting. If you would like to see more upcycling tutorials like this, please let me know in the comments below.  I upload upcycling, sewing and thrifting videos weekly so subscribe so you don’t miss an update.

See you next time,
BEX.

upcycle jacket
AFTER – And here it is finished… Old men’s jacket upcycled into an on-trend blazer dress.

 


clothes upcycling

Why clothes upcycling is important.

Clothes upcycling promotes a more sustainable, creative, and responsible approach to fashion, all of which contributes to a healthier planet and a more sustainable future.

Environmental Impact

Clothes upcycling helps reduce waste by repurposing old or unwanted garments, often diverting them from landfill.

With the fashion industry being one of the planets largest polluters, upcycling and repurposing clothing reduces the need for new materials and decreases carbon emissions associated with the product and disposal of clothing.

Conservation

Traditional clothing manufacturing consumes significant amounts of water, energy, and raw materials.

Upcycling clothing not only extends the life of existing textiles, conserving these valuable resources, but promotes more sustainable consumption patterns.

 

Creative Expression

Upcycling clothes and other materials encourages creative freedom by transforming old clothes into unique, personalised garments.

Upcycling and sewing fosters innovation and encourages people to experiment with designs, creating one-of-a-kind items that reflect personal style and creativity.

Cost Effective

Upcycling clothing can be very cost-effective by reducing money spent purchasing new clothes but can also assist charities when clothes are purchased second hand from charities.

Quality and Longevity

Repairing and mending clothing enhances the longevity of existing garments, giving them longevity in your wardrobe and limiting the need to purchase new clothes.  This contrasts with fast fashion items, which are frequently designed for short-term use.