clothing crafts fashion tutorials

DIY: Sweater Sleeve Denim Jacket

Some time ago I came across a $65 jacket on Urban Outfitters’ website. The jacket, made of a denim vest with sweater sleeves, is currently sold out. I added it to my “to do” list and kept a mental note to keep an eye for the perfect supplies. Last month, I found an Aeropostale denim jacket for $10 and a sweater for $5, both at Goodwill. So, I made my own.

Photo Credit:
It’s the dead of winter here in New York, so it might be a while until I can wear this out. I can add it to my spring/fall jacket stash, though. It only took about an hour to make. See how I made it, below:


  • Denim jacket or vest
  • Sleeves from a sweater (preferably the same size or larger as your jacket/vest)
  • Fabric scissors
When cutting the sleeves off the denim jacket, cut a good 1 inch (2.54 cm) OUTSIDE of the shoulder seam. Same with the sweater; cut a decent amount away from the shoulder seam. This will give you material to sew the two together.
You’ll also need:
  •  Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
As I mentioned above, it will make your life a lot easier if the sweater’s sleeves are around the same size as your denim jacket. This way, they don’t need to be taken in. You can see above that the sleeve’s shoulder more or less fits snugly into the arm hole of the denim vest. However, if they aren’t around the same size, try to use sweater sleeves that have shoulder openings larger than your vest’s arm holes. Obviously, it will be easier to make it smaller than make it bigger! (You can do this by simply sewing straight down the long side of the sleeve. How far in you sew will depend how much tighter you need to make them.)
1) There are a few ways to go about doing this, but I find that this is the simplest: Turn the vest inside out, and pin the sleeve along the arm hole. I usually line up the seams of the shoulders together and then pin right outside of it.
Closeup of the two pinned together.
2) Before sewing anything, turn the denim right side out and double check that the sleeves fit/look right around the shoulder.
3) Sew! I like to start right in the underarm area, so that where the two ends of the stitch meet are hidden. I sewed right outside of the seam, as you can see in the second picture above. The seam of the denim kind of served as a guide.
4) After sewing, it should look a little something like this.
5) Repeat with the other sleeve, turning the denim inside out and then pinning the sleeve to the shoulder.


I might have to do this again with a printed floral denim vest I have, but with a black sweater.
As for the leftover sweater material? You can always make a sweater beanie.
Hope you enjoyed the first project of 2013!
xx, K