Upcycling for Beginners: Men's Jacket to Mini Skirt Suit | Olesia Les | Skillshare

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Upcycling for Beginners: Men's Jacket to Mini Skirt Suit

teacher avatar Olesia Les, Fashion Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Intro + Project Overview

    • 2. What You'll Need

    • 3. Measurements

    • 4. Marking the Cut Line

    • 5. Cutting the Jacket

    • 6. Pinning Down the Cut Edges

    • 7. Cutting Off the Old Buttons

    • 8. Finishing the Cut Edges With Bias Tape

    • 9. Forming the Back Pleat of the Skirt

    • 10. Sewing the Back Pleat of the Skirt

    • 11. Sewing on the Snap

    • 12. Sewing on the Buttons

    • 13. Styling Ideas + Outro

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About This Class

This is the second class of the “Upcycling for Beginners” series hosted by Fashion Designer with Master's degree in Fashion Engineering, Olesia Les.

In this class you’ll learn how to easily upcycle an old men's jacket to a sexy mini skirt suit. Together we’ll go through the processes of selecting the right jacket, ripping it apart, preparing all of the parts for the mini skirt suit, sewing and finishing the garment. Along the way you’ll get lots of useful tips and tricks of how to speed up the whole process and improve the quality at the same time!

To complete this project, you should have an understanding of some basic sewing principles and a basic knowledge of how to make a straight seam with a sewing machine. That's it!

I bet you never knew it’s so easy to create your own fashion at home!

⬇︎⬇︎ Check out these amazing books for fashion designers created by Olesia!

Designer's Sketchbooks, Tailor's Journal, Creator's Notebook

You can find out more about Olesia's work @Olesia.Les.Design and check out short upcycling videos on her TikTok

Meet Your Teacher

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Olesia Les

Fashion Designer


Hello, my name's Olesia and I'm here to share my passion for fashion design with you. 

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1. Intro + Project Overview: The fashion industry doesn't want you to know this, but you can make your own fashion at home. And you won't even need to buy any fabrics. There is no need to keep on buying these fast fashion products, when you have a closet full of materials and tools to create something of your own. In this class, I'll show you how to create this mini skirt suit from a men's jacket. You have probably already seen something similar on social media because people are loving it. But I bet you never knew it's so easy to make one yourself. As always, you will learn how to make this garment from A to Z And along the way, I'll do my best to give you useful tips on all things Fashion Design. My name is Olesia Les, and I will show you how to look amazing and save the planet At the same time. Today we're going to make this super fashionable suit that is being worn even by superstars like Coco Rocha. The best part is, you won't believe how easy it is to make one. It's made out of an old man's jacket. The suit consists of a crop jacket and a mini skirt that overlaps in front and has an inverted box pleat at the back. Inside there is a metal snap that fixates the inner edge. The suit is decorated with metal buttons, with some of them are functional. 2. What You'll Need: For this project, you'll need one man's jacket. It needs to be large enough so that we could make a skirt out of the bottom part, but not too large so that the shoulder line would not be too wide. You can find the whole process of selecting the right jacket explained on my Upcycling for beginners, Men's jacket to jumper dress course. To be brief, the composition and the level of where are the two most important aspects. Next, you will need scissors, a tape measure, a needle to stitch on the buttons. One spool of thread that matches the color of the jacket, some bias tape. The safest option is to get the color that matches the jacket. But as usual, I like unexpected but barely visible accents. So I'll choose a patterned one. You'll also need some metal buttons. The amount depends on how dense you want them to be. I picked 15. 1 metal snap will be used to fixate the inner edge. A truly indispensable tool for every designer - pins, small scissors to tear off the old buttons. And last but not least, tailor's chalk, make sure you have the one that disappears. 3. Measurements: The only measurement you'll need is your waistline and even that will be only used to double-check. Honestly, you can just put on the garment during the process and check it that way. 4. Marking the Cut Line: If you already have the jacket selected and you've checked, if it's the right size, it's made from good fabric, has no visible wear and most importantly, you like how it looks. It's time to get this upcycling party started. First of all, you'll have to mark the cut line which will divide the jacket into two parts of the suit. Make sure that the front parts lay straight and check if the bottom edges align. As you've probably noticed, we did not start with tearing off the buttons, and that's because we need them to help us align the front parts of a jacket. Starting from the bottom edge, mark the preferred length of the skirt. In my case, it's 40 centimeters. Pro tip. If you chose the length and the cut edge would be really close to the button hole, Just cut a tiny bit higher because you'll need some space to finish the edge with bias tape. My advice would be to cut around two centimeters above the buttonhole. 5. Cutting the Jacket: Before cutting the jacket in half, don't forget to pin all the layers down on both sides of the line. That way we stabilize the layers and avoid some layer shift and inaccuracies during the cutting. After you've done that, just go ahead and cut the jacket. 6. Pinning Down the Cut Edges: Now we have two separate parts of our suit, the future crop jacket and the futures skirt. Remove all the pins and pin down all the cut edges individually. We need to do that so that the main fabric and the lining will stay together and would not slip or slide while finishing the edge with a bias tape. 7. Cutting Off the Old Buttons: When you're done with the cutting, and all of the parts are stabilized with the pins We can now cut off the old buttons. We don't need them anymore and they can actually get in the way during our next steps. Make sure to remove the buttons both from the front and the sleeves of the jacket. We will replace them with the new metal ones later on. 8. Finishing the Cut Edges With Bias Tape: To make the edges of the skirt and a jacket nice and tidy bias tape will be used. We will use it in a way, that the bias tape will be invisible from the outside. Take the skirt and put it down, good side facing up. Unfold one side of the bias tape and put it on the skirt's cut edge so that the bias tape would surpass the skirt's edge by around one centimeter. Now pin it down. If you are not very experienced, you can pin down the bias tape throughout the whole length. I'm only gonna pin the beginning. Now put the skirt down, lower the needle and make a seam straight across the tape fold line - that's around half centimeter from the edge. Next, you will need to make one more seam. Fold in the end of the bias tape, and then the whole bias tape itself. This time, I'm going to also pin it down throughout. When you're done with the pinning part, you can start sewing. The seam should be as close to the edge as possible. But most importantly, you should maintain the same width of the seam everywhere. Usually I make the same around one millimeter from the edge. Now iron everything out thoroughly, and repeat the same process for the cut edge of the cropped jacket. 9. Forming the Back Pleat of the Skirt: The jacket is basically finished. You only have to stitch on the buttons. On the other hand, the skirt needs some more work done, We'll have to determine the overlap of a front elements and the depth of a back pleats. To do that, lay the skirt flat. Overlap the front parts in a way, that there is no slit left. Pin them down. Next, put the skirt on the side in a way that the fold line would follow the back center line. Measure the width of the top edge and subtract half of your waist measurement from it. For example, if your waste is 70 centimeters, subtract 35. Mark the calculated length from the back center line - that is the excess which we will fold into pleats. Fixate this place with one pin. Since during the fitting, you might have to adjust it. You can now go to the mirror, try it on, and adjust it to your actual body. You've probably noticed that one side of a skirt was shifted during the project overview. It has to be done to form the trapeze silhouette of the skirt and that we would not have to make the waist darts. When you've adjusted the skirt to your body shape, take the tailor's chalk and mark the place of a front edge and the depth of the back pleats. After taking off the skirt, align the pleat markings with the back center seam and pin everything down. 10. Sewing the Back Pleat of the Skirt: Secure the pleats with two seams: one will run two millimeters from the skirt's top edge, ant the other will go straight through the existing seam of the bias tape. That way, the pleats will firmly stay in place and won't deform. After making the seams, iron everything out. Pro tip: don't iron the pleat throughout the whole length, because it will form around your butt, so just iron the part where the seams are. 11. Sewing on the Snap: All that's left now is to stitch on the metal snap ant the buttons. For the snap, mark any place along the side of the inner part, close to the edge, and stitch on one side of the snap, sticking the needle through all of the layers. After that, just align the front parts according to the markings you've made previously, mark the place of the snap and stitch it on without catching the good side of the fabric. 12. Sewing on the Buttons: Final step is to sew on the buttons. Take the skirt and check if The front elements are aligned according to the margins. Then mark the button places through existing button holes. One decorative button will go straight in between the two button holes. So you should mark that place also. Now take the jacket mark 3, 6, and 9 centimeters from the end of the sleeves, 2 centimeters from the seam. As for the front buttons, we'll go along the lapel side, setting the buttons 4 centimeters from one another. The bottom most button should be 3 centimeters from the bottom edge of a jacket. Now just sew on the buttons, everywhere where the white markings of the chalk is. 13. Styling Ideas + Outro: Finally, you can try on your new extremely fashionable suit and play with outfit sets. This suit is very versatile. You can wear it all year long, no matter the season, you can also easily layer it and combine with other clothes. Don't forget to post images of your finished suits in the Projects section. I hope that this course was clear, helpful, and easy to follow. If you have any questions or remarks, make sure to post them in the Discussion section below. If you found any value in this class, please leave a review. It helps other people discover it too. You can follow me on TikTok, I post short upcycling videos there, And if you see something you would like to make for yourself, just let me know and I will make a full course on that. And that's it for today. Stay creative and see you soon in my next upcycling video.