After my recent collaboration with Mollie Makes involving an embroidered denim jacket, I just couldn’t get out of the ’embroidery vibes’ and decided to embrace it when this beautiful vegan leather jacket arrived in my mailbox!
Now don’t get me wrong, this jacket (and most jackets) don’t need to be ‘upcycled’ because they look great as they are, but I wouldn’t be much of a DIY person if I didn’t feel the need to restyle everything I own in a tiny way.
To keep the look of the jacket intact, I came up with the idea to add a quote to the back, like I did with the denim jacket project, but this time use a different embroidery technique: a 3d embroidery design!
With the use of rope, you can trace outlined designes and cover the rope with thread for a finished look, yes it really is that easy!
For the 3d embroidery quote a went a little bit political, a tiny bit girly and very nostalgic: Girl Power!! My generation will recognise this from the fabulous Spice Girls, who used this phrase a lot, but it has more history and meaning than just the Spice Girls (you can read about it on Wikipedia)
To me, this was the perfect cool and straight forward message that fit the style of the black jacket. And speaking of the jacket, I have never owned a black leather jacket and I cannot even describe the feeling that I get when wearing it (especially after adding the quote on the back) Let’s just say that when I walked by a parked motorcycle the other day, it felt like I could have done a spontaneous photoshoot on that bike, looking fierce and oh so cool, yet girly ‘me’ at the same time;)
But the thing that I love the most about it, is that it goes with all of my other clothes. A good leather jacket is just one of those pieces that is ‘allowed’ to go with anything. From a minimal pair of skinny jeans for a ‘model look’ to boho clothing for a ‘vintage 70’s look’.
This project is perfect to put on the back of a jacket, but you can use this technique on any piece of clothing that you like, just as long as the fabric is sturdy enough to be embroidered.
Are your ready to restyle and embroider your entire wardrobe?
– Take a piece of A4 sized paper and hold it over the back of the jacket.
– Decide the correct placement and size for your embroidery quote.
– Download and print the “Girl Power” template that I created here in the correct size from step 1.
– Or design your own outlined quote*.
** Because we will be transferring the quote onto the jacket in steps 3 to 5, the template should be made mirrored.
Making any design template transferrable onto fabric.
– Place a piece of baking paper/tracing paper over the template design. (make sure that the design is mirrored!!)
– Trace the quote/design with your chalk pencil onto the baking paper.
– Decide the final placement for your design and temporarily attach* the paper (chalk side down) onto the back of the jacket.
** Since washi- or painters- tape didn’t stick to the faux leather, I attached the paper to the jacket with pins, but only using the existing seam-lines to avoid damaging the jacket.
– With the back of a pencil or your fingernail, ‘rub’ the traced chalk design onto the jacket.
– Once you have transferred the entire design onto the jacket, remove the paper.
– Use your chalk pencil to complete the design in case some parts didn’t transfer well.
Creating the 3d effect.
– Apply a small amount of textile glue to one side of the rope and attach the rope to the beginning of the design on the jacket.
– Using small pieces of rope, cover all of the chalk outlines on the jacket.
– Once you have covered the entire design with your rope, let the glue dry overnight.
Finalising the design with embroidery thread
– Thread your needle with the embroidery thread.
– Insert your needle from the inside of the jacket* and pull it out at the outside of the jacket tightly against the rope. Insert your needle again tightly on the other side of the rope, ‘covering’ the rope with the embroidery thread.
– Repeat embroidering across the entire length of the rope until you have covered the entire design.
** When embroidering the design, be careful not to move the lining of the jacket too much.
And that’s it! You have now created your own restyled embroidered jacket with a special 3d effect!! Scroll down for a few extra design tips!
What I personally love the most about embroidery projects is how adjustable they are to everyones taste. This project is also very suitable to restyle in your own way:
Instead of 1 color embroidery thread, create a rainbow effect and change the color of the thread as you embroider along the words.
Not a fan of a big statement on your back? Make a small minimal 3d embroidery version on the (inside) of the collar.
GRL PWR, Boss, Fancy, Love – these are only a few of the many things that you can use as a quote or text to embroider on your jacket! I am all for Girl Power and feel free to use my template design, but it is also pretty easy to use your own favourite quote for this project!!