Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Easy DIY Vintage Upcycle Tutorial - Repurposed 1950s Cheer Jacket into Backpack

 If a garment with a fabulous print or to-die-for detail has too many flaws for normal wear up-cycle the piece into something new. In this case, I found a really fun 1950s satin cheerleading jacket. The color and appliqu├ęs were fantastic but the satin and elastic were in really rough shape. Too worn for wear, but appropriate for  a well worn backpack!

See how it was done after the jump!


Select a piece to use. This tutorial can be adapted for sweaters, button down shirts, and really any vintage pieces with a yard or so of material like scrap of fabric from a dress, or tablecloth, etc.

Materials and supplies needed: Sewing machine and a needle and thread. The entire bag can be hand stitched but a machine will make this project  go a lot faster. 

Yes. My machine travels in the cutest case ever. It is also protected by octopus.

Cut off the sleeves and collar. Cut down/off the side seams tapering out toward the bottom. I also took off a few inches of the bottom to shorten the bag.

Turn the pieces inside out and stitch the bottom and sides together again. If you are using two pieces of material or a garment without a half zipper, leave the top open. You do not need to enclose the bag where I kept the shoulders intact. 

I tacked the collar together and pressed it over so it would cover the top of the zipper. In a garment without a zipper you can weave a ribbon or other accent fabric around the opening to create a drawstring closure.

Use the sleeves or other remnant to create straps. Cut two approximately 4" x 22" pieces and fold over, pressing the wrong side of the fabric to make sewing easier.  Sew the long side and bottom. Turn them right side out - a wooden spoon handle helps! I pressed the straps one more time so the seam would lay on the underside. Attach the tops near the middle of the bag and the bottoms near the corners.

Ta da! There are an infinite number of variations for this project and I hope this inspires you to find new possibilities for your vintage pieces.

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