thinking about: denim jackets

(Here’s the start of a new series where I publicly ruminate over a certain garment that I really want to make for my wardrobe.)

I’ve whined a lot about not having a solid, trans-seasonal jacket for my wardrobe, which is so useful for a place like Belgium where the weather can fluctuate wildly throughout the day, and where “between Winter-Spring” lasts longer than Spring itself.

So, I want a denim jacket. I already have the Maisa pattern from Named Clothing printed and prepped for way too long, patiently waiting with a stack of my husband’s old jeans. He’s threatening to take them back to use as work clothes, so I’m on a deadline now!

Here’s some inspiration I’m thinking about for my version.


I dipped my toe into embroidery for my Rumana coat a couple months ago, and really enjoyed it. If I’m going to customize my jacket, I think this is the most likely thing I’d do. Now, do I go for subtle little details, like the irregular rainbow stitches around the cuff, or something bold and unapologetic like Anneke’s amazing “Fuck Alles” jacket (‘fuck everything’ in Dutch, although I’m sure you could’ve figured that out)?

A collage of embroidered denim jackets, by Small Bobbins.

(clockwise from top left: 1//2//3//4)


Isn’t that why we make/buy denim jackets? To have somewhere to put all these cool pins and patches we keep buying? Because otherwise, I honestly don’t know what to do with them. A huuuuge statement patch like Novita’s tiger one (she also made a Maisa!) would be super cool.

A collage of denim jackets with pins and patches



There’s some natural aging and wear already included in the stack of old jeans I’ll be using (hopefully using, I haven’t measured if all the pieces will fit yet, so this is a bit aspirational!). They’re a dark wash, but I really started craving a light-wash version, or maybe go crazy with some splatter bleach, dip-dye, or shibori?! So many possibilities for destroying a handmade garment.

A collage of bleached denim jackets, by Small Bobbins



Okay, this kind of defeats the purpose of making a standard, matches-with-everything jacket, but how freaking cool would it be to add some fringe?

A collage of denim jackets with fringe details, by Small Bobbins


–Color-blocking/different fabrics–

Whether it’s just replacing one pocket, the entire back panel, or mix ‘n matching every piece, this is a super cool way to get creative with scrap pieces of all sizes and a great way to highlight those extra special ones!

A collage of colorblocked denim jackets, by Small Bobbins


Have you made a denim jacket before? Did you do any cool customizations on it? If you haven’t yet, what’s your favorite? (Or something else I haven’t listed here?)