clothing tutorials

DIY: Leather Sleeved Denim Jacket

   I love mixing and matching fabrics in a piece of clothing. I’ve always wanted a denim jacket with leather sleeves, and I recently realized I have all of the things I needed to make one. This wasn’t originally going to be  DIY for s&p, but I figured I’d share the process if you’d like to make one, too.


  • Leather jacket. Faux leather might be easier to work with; it’s what I used!
  • Denim jacket or vest
  • Sewing machine
  •  Coordinating thread. I just used black.
  •  Sewing pins
  • Good pair of scissors

I actually bought this faux leather jacket from New York and Company ( on a whim. I had ordered the same jacket in beige for another project, but decided to pick this one up since they were on not only sale, but I knew I’d eventually find a use for it. Luckily, it worked out perfectly for this project. The material isn’t too thick, making it easy to sew, but thick enough to at least keep my arms warm.

The denim vest was once a thrifted denim jacket. I kept it as a vest for a couple of years, but knew I’d use it so much more if I made it back into a jacket. I had added the studs a while back as well.

If you haven’t already, cut off the sleeves of the denim jacket. It’d be a good idea to leave about an inch or so of fabric past the shoulder seam; it will make sewing the leather sleeves on so much easier.

I would have left more of an excess of fabric on the shoulders if I hadn’t already cut the sleeves off years ago! I had to improvise with this, so it really depends on the type of vest or jackets you have. It’ll be different for everyone.

I’d recommend trying to use a leather jacket that’s the same size (or close to it) as your denim jacket. The leather jacket I bought was all sold out of the size I’d normally buy, so the sleeves were a little wide for me. I decided to take those in a bit, and figured out how much I should take in by placing the denim vest on top of the leather jacket.

I lined up the shoulder of the leather jacket with the shoulder of the denim vest, and pinned off what would be the excess of the sleeve’s width. I turned it inside out before doing so. I also carefully turned the sleeve right side out, pins still attached, and tried on the sleeve to make sure it wasn’t too tight. If it was, I adjusted the pins accordingly.
Then off came  the sleeves. It’s a good idea to leave about an inch, if not more, past the shoulder seam. You’ll be using this excess fabric to attach to the denim.

I sewed along the pins, making them better fitting for me.


 Then I repeated it on the other sleeve, with the same exact process.
I turned the vest inside out, and took one sleeve and slipped it through the arm hole. In the picture above, the wrist of the sleeve essentially went through the arm hole. The shoulders were then matched up and pinned together.


I sewed along the shoulder, attaching the leather to the denim. For my jacket, it worked best to sew “before” the denim’s shoulder seam and “past” the leather sleeves’ shoulder seam.


I repeated the same thing on the other side.


…My new favorite jacket!!I haven’t used the vest in a while, so it’s kind of nice to give some new life to it.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. It’s hard to believe 2012 is right around the corner, but of course I say that every year.

xx K