Thrift Flip: DIY Patchwork Denim Jacket

  • 7-min read
  • 12 Tools
  • Intermediate

Have you ever gazed at a patchwork denim jacket in a store, admiring its unique design, and wondered if you could create something similar on your own?

Denim has always been a staple in our wardrobes,. But, I can’t help but get a bit creative when I have old worn out jeans that just need a chance at a new life.

We’re diving into this DIY project to empower you with the skills and knowledge to breathe new life into old denim pieces, turning them into a trendy patchwork denim jacket. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only have a clear roadmap to create your own patchwork denim jacket but also the confidence to wear it with pride.

So, let’s dive in!

Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a DIY Patchwork Denim Jacket

Tools & Materials

Just a reminder that my original video is in the middle of the page. You can watch the entire process and read the entire transcript there if you’re interested .

Step 1: Prepare Your Denim Scraps

When your pants are too worn to mend the hole, this is when you’ll start to use them as your denim scraps. Whether it’s an old pair of jeans, some corduroy pants, or any other denim pieces, they can all be part of your masterpiece.

Step 2: Cutting the Denim

  • Cut four-inch squares from your denim scraps.
  • Further, divide these squares into triangles.
  • From any remaining smaller pieces, fashion as many three-inch squares as you can.

Step 3: Designing the Patchwork

  • Kick off with the triangular pieces, deciding on a pattern that appeals to you.
  • Sew them together, ensuring each block measures six by six inches.
  • For a chic checkerboard pattern, alternate the pieces in different colors or shades. This design will be perfect for one of the front bodice panels.

Step 4: Crafting the Jacket’s Front and Back

Use your patchwork blocks to form the front panels of the jacket. For the back, combine the leftover blocks. If you find the piece isn’t large enough, use the three-inch squares to create an additional segment for the back yoke.

Step 5: Sewing the Jacket Together

  • Align the front pieces with their right sides facing each other and sew them together along the shoulder seams.
  • Attach the back piece to the front pieces at the shoulders.
  • Sew along the sides to form the body of the jacket.

Step 6: Lining the Jacket

Considering the patchwork, you’ll have many exposed edges. Choose a fabric that complements your denim and use it to line the jacket, giving it a neat finish.

Step 7: Interior Pockets

For added functionality, consider adding pockets to the lining. Cut out rectangles, hem the top, and sew them onto the lining.

This step is completely optional. I didn’t have any pockets on the outside of the jacket and I couldn’t be completely pocketless!


Hello, my name is Tiffany, and welcome or welcome back to my channel. I am back with another upcycle by Little Toe where I take all forgotten items and give them a new life. If you like sewing and DIY videos, make sure to give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.

As you all know, I always try to create sustainably, and one of my goals for this year is to try to make more things using my fabric scraps. So in today’s video, I’m going to show you how I made this Patchwork inspired denim jacket using some of my denim scraps. And to kick off the New Year, I’m going to be giving this jacket away, so keep watching to see how you can enter the giveaway. Let’s get started!

I have a pile of denim scraps from old projects and found these midwash jeans. I’ll also be using these corduroy pants that I used to make Daisy’s Valentine’s Day dress a couple of years ago. And finally, these are Mark’s jeans that have a hole in the crotch, so they can’t be donated.

Since I’m making a patchwork jacket, I started out by cutting four-inch squares, which I then cut into triangles. And then, using the smaller pieces, I cut out as many three-inch squares as I could. Starting with the triangular pieces, I decided on this pattern, and here it is sewn together. Then I went ahead and made as many as I could, and each block measures six by six inches.

I’m just trying to map everything out right now, and I’m realizing that I’m not going to be able to make a piece that’s big enough for this jacket. So I’m going to use another pair of jeans that I have in my stash and just cut up some six by six squares. With the new pieces, I laid out a checkerboard pattern to use as one of my front bodice panels, and here it is sewn together.

Using a pattern that I self-drafted, I cut out my front piece. And then, following all of the same steps, I made a mirrored piece for the other side. For the back, I used the leftover blocks and sewed together this piece. The piece that I have for the back right now is not big enough, so I’m going to use the three-inch squares that I cut earlier to make another piece to use as the back yoke. I’ll place these pieces right side facing and sew along here. And this is what it looks like sewn together.

I did have to add a few additional blocks along the top to make the piece slightly bigger. Here is the pattern I drafted, and this time I’ll cut this unfold. And here is the back piece. Now I’m placing the front pieces right sides facing, and I’ll sew together along the shoulder seams. And this is what the jacket should look like at this point.

Because of the patchwork, there are a ton of exposed edges, so I’m going to line this with some fabric that I found at a thrift store in Kentucky last summer. Following the same steps as before, I sewed my lining together.

Since I didn’t add any exterior pockets to this jacket, I decided to add some interior ones to the lining. To make the pocket, I cut out a rectangle, and you can make this as big or as small as you like. And I went ahead and hemmed the top by folding over twice and sewing. Then I’m placing it right sides facing and I’ll sew together here.

Once sewn together, I can fold the pocket back over, and I’ll press and topstitch this side in place. Here is a close-up of the topstitching. This next step is optional, but I’m also going to baste around the rest of the pocket bag, attaching it to the front panel.

I already know that the editing is going to make it seem like I did all of this in no time at all, but all of that cutting and quilting and patchworking and putting everything together took so much more time than I’d like to admit. So here is a little reminder to all of my fellow sewists out there to just be patient and take many breaks, and I will come back to this jacket tomorrow.

It is time to tackle the sleeves today, and I did spend a little bit of time moving pieces around and trying to figure out what I could do with the fabric I had left. But I finally made two pieces that are big enough for the sleeves, so let’s get sewing.

Here is the piece that I made for the sleeve, and you can see that I’ve sewn this seam together here but left about five inches open for the sleeve vent. I’m placing my lining right side facing, and again I’ve left a five-inch opening here as well. Now I’m just matching up the shell fabric to the lining fabric, and I’ll sew together here.

And I’ll do the same for this side as well. This is what it looks like sewn together, and once I turn it over, you can see how all of the raw edges are neatly hidden, and everything looks nice and clean.

Next step is to sew the sleeve to the bodice. I’m pinning the sleeve right sides facing to my bodice, making sure that the side seams line up, and I’ll go ahead and sew together here. This is what the sleeve should look like sewn on, and I’ll repeat these steps to attach the other sleeve.

Next is to sew along the sleeve here and then down the side seam, and I’ll do this for both sides. This is what it looks like now, and the jacket is really starting to take shape. Now I’m going to repeat these steps and sew my lining pieces together as well.

Sewing the lining was pretty straightforward, but the one thing I wanted to mention is to just make sure that the lining of the sleeve is not twisted inside of the sleeve before sewing it to the bodice lining. Here is what the jacket should look like now, and I also went ahead and stitched all the way along the edge here, sewing the shell to the lining.

Before I move on, I mentioned earlier in this video that I’m going to be giving away this jacket, so I wanted to quickly talk about how you can enter this giveaway for a chance to win.

Over the last two years, I’ve become really interested in living and creating more sustainably, and I’ve been making small changes to help reduce my carbon footprint. This year, in an effort to continue my sustainability journey, I am committed to using as much of my fabric scraps as I can to make new wearable items, which will help keep them out of landfills and reduce my personal waste. And I would love to hear what changes you can make as well.

So here is how to enter: the first thing is to make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel and that you’re following me on Instagram at Little Toe. Second, comment down below with one small or big change that you can make this year to help positively impact the environment. I’m also going to be posting photos of this jacket on my Instagram, so make sure to leave the same comment there as well. I’m gonna make sure to leave detailed instructions on exactly how to join this giveaway in the description box down below, so make sure to check that out. And let’s get back to the tutorial.

Next is to sew on the button placket. I cut out this strip of fabric that is three inches wide, and you can see here that I’ve ironed on interfacing for added stability. I’ll sew this to the front of the jacket here, and it should look something like this. I’ve pressed this flat, and I’ve also pressed the seam allowance of this edge under. Here is a closer look. This is the seam that joins the placket to the jacket, and here is the seam allowance that has been pressed under, which just helps make things a little easier later. I’ll do the same thing for the other side, and here it is sewn together.

Next is the collar, and I’m going to be using this free pattern from Mood Fabrics that I’ve used before in a previous tutorial as a guide for my collar. This is my top collar piece, and I wanted to quickly point out that I sewed a basting stitch along the edge here. Here is a close-up, and this will act as a guide to press the seam allowance under later.

For the bottom collar, I didn’t have a large enough piece, so I patchworked this together. Now I’m placing them right sides facing, and I’ll sew this together, but I’m not going to start the stitch at this edge. Using this basting stitch as a guide, I’ll sew up along the side, along the top, and then down the side again, stopping at the basting stitch.

This is what it looks like sewn together, and you can see here that I’ve ironed the seam allowance on this side under using that basting stitch as a guide. Now I’m just pinning the collar to the neckline of the jacket, and I’ll sew to secure. This is what it looks like sewn together, and you can see here that the other side of the collar is not yet attached to the jacket.

Before I do that, I’m going to sew this top section of the buttonhole placket. I’m folding it right side facing and also a straight stitch along the top here. Here is a close-up of that stitch, and I’ve also gone ahead and trimmed the seam allowance to reduce some bulk.

The next step is a little nerve-wracking, but I’m going to make a little snip in the seam allowance here, as close as I can to the seam. I’ll turn the placket over to the right side, and now I can tuck the seam allowance of the neckline into the collar, hiding all of the raw edges. I’ll topstitch this in place, and I’ll do this around the entire collar.

So the whole time I was sewing, I was thinking to myself that this collar looked so weird, and I just figured out that I actually sewed on the collar wrong. So this is technically not the right way to sew on a collar. I originally wanted the plain side of the collar to be on top and the patchwork side to be on the bottom. So I should have pinned the patchwork side to the outside of the jacket instead of the lining. But it still works, and I’m not mad at how it looks, so I’m gonna keep it this way.

Anyway, here is a close-up of what the collar looks like sewn on, and you can see that all of the raw edges are hidden, and I also went ahead and topstitched all the way around the collar.

I got a little bit ahead of myself, and I went ahead and finished sewing the rest of the buttonhole placket to the jacket, and I didn’t film it, but the process was pretty simple. So I’m just going to show you a close-up of what I did. This is what it looks like sewn on, and I just folded the placket in half, sandwiching the shell and lining in between it, and topstitched all the way down. And because I had already folded and pressed the seam allowance earlier, this was pretty easy.

Next is to hem the bottom of the jacket as well as the sleeves, and I’m actually going to be reusing the original waistbands of the jeans that were used for this project. With the existing waistbands, I sewed together a piece that matched the length of the bottom of the jacket. Now I’m just sandwiching the shell and the lining in between the waistband, and I’ll sew all the way around. And you should have something that looks like this. You can see here that both layers are encased within the waistband, and there are no raw edges exposed. Then I repeat the same steps for the hem of the sleeves, and this is what the completed sleeve should look like. Here is a close-up of what the inside looks like, and you already know that this makes me so happy since everything is looking so nice and clean.

This jacket is almost done, and all I have left to do is the buttons and the buttonhole closures. And this is actually my first time making buttonhole closures on my sewing machine, which is a Singer heavy-duty machine. So I just looked up a tutorial on the Singer YouTube page, and I’ll make sure to link that down below.

I started by measuring the buttonhole placket to figure out the spacing of my buttons, and then I just followed the video tutorial. I did make a trial one first on some scrap fabric, and there definitely was a little bit of a learning curve, but it wasn’t too difficult. This is what the buttonholes look like sewn on, and I also did this on the sleeves.

The last step is to sew on the buttons, and I’m going to be using these gold buttons that I got at Joann’s. I decided to use heavy-duty thread for this so that the buttons would be extra secure. Here is the jacket with all of the buttons sewn on, and this is what the jacket looks like on.

This jacket is definitely one of a kind, and I think that the patchwork pattern turned out so unique. I will say that in terms of style and fit, it’s not really like a typical denim jacket. The collar and neckline are a little bit wider than I would have liked, but overall I’m really happy with how this jacket turned out. I think it’s oversized and comfy but still somehow feels put together. I think this jacket can work with so many different styles, and I am so excited to see how whoever wins this jacket ends up styling it. For reference, I’m typically a size small or medium in tops, and I would say this fits like an extra-large.

I hope you all enjoyed this video. If you liked this video, make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. And let me know in the comments below what you thought about this upcycle. And make sure to enter this giveaway for a chance to win this jacket. A very, very happy New Year to all of you, and as always, thank you so much for watching.

Step 8: Attaching the Sleeves

Craft patchwork pieces for the sleeves, sew them together leaving a 5″ opening for the seam bent, and then attach them to the jacket’s bodice.

Step 9: Adding the Button Placket

Cut out a three-inch-wide strip of fabric and iron on interfacing for stability. This strip will be the foundation for your buttons and buttonholes.

Step 10: Crafting and Attaching the Collar

I modeled my collar off of The Annie Jacket from Mood Fabrics. Whether you’re using a pattern or drafting your own, create a patchwork collar and sew it onto the jacket’s neckline.

Step 11: Hemming the Jacket and Sleeves

For a unique touch, use the original waistbands of the jeans to hem both the bottom of the jacket and the sleeves.

Step 12: Buttonholes and Buttons

Determine the spacing of your buttons on the buttonhole placket. Create the buttonholes and sew on the buttons in alignment.

Step 13: Final Touches

Inspect your jacket for any loose threads or seams that need finishing. Address them, and voilà, your DIY patchwork denim jacket is ready to wear!


Crafting a DIY patchwork denim jacket is not just about creating a piece of clothing; it’s about breathing new life into old memories. Each patch, each stitch, tells a story.

So, the next time you think about discarding old denim, remember this guide and consider the beautiful possibilities. Embrace the world of DIY fashion and wear your stories with pride.

If you liked this article or projects like this, please follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more images and videos of my work. It means the world to me and is free!

Also, if you’ve not already, please sign up for my email newsletter to get free patterns, updates on my latest posts, and more from me straight to your inbox!

As always, thank you so much for reading, and happy upcycling!

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