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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Elvis Grey Heathered Nike Jacket Up-Cycle Project

This jacket is executed entirely on a grey heather poly/Spandex Nike jacket I picked up at a Nike outlet store for I think $7.99! The precious few leftovers of orange knit fabric from 2 orange cotton screen-printed Elvis T-shirts (see Blog Post of one of those HERE) provide the collar and sleeve trim, while a screen-printed Elvis T-shirt supplies the Elvis images - TWO of them on this jacket front.

T-Shirt Hemline Becomes Collar

I had to join the lower hemlines of the 2 orange Elvis T-shirts I had to give me enough length to span the surplice front of this jacket. To attach this strip to the jacket, I laid the right side of the 'collar' to the wrong side of the jacket. That way, the seam allowance 'hides' under the collar on the outside and it is all 'finished' on the inside. It seemed to me that this single layer 'collar' needed to be attached to the jacket, so I did that by couching yarn as described below.

Look closely in the image below to see how I couched the orange boucle yarn down in the middle of the double-stitching. To do the couching, I put clear monofilament thread in the needle of my sewing machine, and orange in the bobbin. I always also lower the upper tension a tad so that the bobbin thread doesn't show at all. The zigzag width depends on the width of the yarn, but it seems I always use a stitch length of 3. HERE is a link to the thread I used, and HERE is a link to a YouTube Video of mine with more How-To's for Couching - which I like to say is like putting the 'icing on the cake' in creative sewing.

This photo shows the label inside the original jacket, and also the orange bobbin side of the zig zag stitching that did the 'couching' of the yarn on the outside.

Add RHYTHM to 'Connect'

I do believe that in all the design classes I took way back in my college years, the design principle of 'rhythm' is the most important one I internalized. On this garment, if I had placed that bright orange ONLY for the collar, the jacket just wouldn't have the 'cohesive' look that it does. Rhythm creates a color, line, or texture element 'connection' all around the garment, giving the eye something to 'follow'. Picture with me that if a red-headed gal purchases this garment, how it will look SPECTACULAR on her - again, because of the color connection. I added the orange color with couched yarn along the exterior edges of the Elvis T and then also in crosswise pulled narrow rolled strips of the orange T-shirt at each of the cuffs.

I honestly had totally missed that 'thumb hole' slit in the underarm sleeve in the cuff area until I checked the sleeve on my own arm. Some of my sewing students have worn tops made with this feature, but I've never had one. My hubby's hands are always cold - perhaps this is a feature I should include on something I make for him - gee, haven't made him anything in scores of years.....

Closure Challenge - Once Again

One of these days, I'll complete a project where the closure is NOT a challenge, but this garment was NOT one of those occasions

Once again - it seemed that only a bound buttonhole would work for the great LARGE grey button that I found in my button collection that was PERFECT for this garment. I actually got the T-shirt scraps out of the garbage with which to execute this bound buttonhole. The bulk of the knit was quite a challenge on this buttonhole, but with hand-stitching, it worked out. For some reason, these photos make it look 'wonky', but in reality, it looks quite good. Note the orange thread I used to stitch on the button.

That large button needed stabilization behind it, so I folded a scrap of the base knit jacket (from the collar I had cut off of it) behind as you can see in the photo below.

This jacket can also be worn 'un-fastened', or hanging 'free' as shown here. The left front collar stops short of the lowermost angled left edge simply because there was not any more orange T-shirt available. This really doesn't bother me, as it just emphasizes the asymmetric balance on this jacket.

This garment is now available for sale HERE.

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