A major trend in the wedding world right now is customized jean jacket (or denim jacket) for the bride-to-be. These are perfect to wear to pre-wedding festivities like a bachelorette party or wedding shower and can even be worn on the big day to add some flair to wedding photos. The personalization is what makes these a fabulous bridal statement piece. Adorned with a future last name or a saying like “Future Mrs.,” these jackets are fashionable and a fun memento of such a special time.
Another exciting thing about these jackets is that they can be an easy DIY project. Whether you want to paint one yourself or embroider it, it’s totally doable. If you have an embroidery machine on hand, Brother Sews Ambassador Laura Pifer has a simple tutorial to guide you through creating your own bridal jean jacket. Laura is a Brother Sewing Ambassador, blogger, and designer of DIY fashion blog Trash to Couture. Trash to Couture was created in 2010 to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream through DIY tutorials and repurposed fashions.
Step 1 – Gather Your Materials
To get started, gather your materials. You’ll need an embroidery machine (Laura recommends the Brother PE800), a 5X7″ embroidery hoop, a pacesetter heavy weight cut-away stabilizer, a pacesetter adhesive tear-away stabilizer, embroidery font design, embroidery designs for the border or selected motif, and a denim jacket. Try to find a jean jacket that isn’t very stretchy, as stiffer denim tends to work better for this project.
Step 2 – Make a Sample Design
Decide what you want your jacket to say and look like in this step. To start, Laura recommends making a sample of the lettering and design using similar fabric and stabilizer. This way, you can see how it will look stitched out. Using the PE800 for designing makes it easy to add and edit the design directly on the screen.
Step 3 – Lay Down the Jacket and Measure
Lay the jacket out flat on a sturdy surface and press it. Most people choose to embroider the back panel. You’ll want to measure the center and mark from top to bottom to ensure your design ends up perfectly centered. Mark a horizontal line for the location of the first word as well as where you want the bottom of the lettering to fall. It’s helpful to use your design sample created in step one to help with this.
Step 4 – Hooping
For this step, Laura suggests using a Heavy Cut-Away Stabilizer. Cut enough to cover the whole embroidery surface plus an extra one to two inches. Spray the stabilizer with a temporary spray adhesive and place on the back of the jacket. Hoop so the center marks align with your center markings and the embroidery design will fit in the embroidery area. Place the hoop and jacket in the embroidery unit, ensuring that the sleeves and other parts of the jacket are out of the way of the hoop area.
Step 5 – Embroider
Now, let the machine work its magic! Press embroider and watch it stitch away. Depending on what your design is, you may need to re-hoop before embroidering the second line of the design. If that’s the case, Laura cites that you should mark a horizontal line where the top (of the largest letter) of the lettering should hit. Repeat the embroidery process for this additional word as well as any motifs or border you choose to add to the jacket.
Finally, a fun touch is to add your wedding date under the collar of the jacket so that if the collar is popped up, it’s visible. When embroidering this section, pay close attention to the machine to ensure the jacket doesn’t inadvertently move.
An Alternate DIY Method: Paint!
As mentioned above, if you don’t have an embroidery machine or are looking to go a different route for your jacket, you can opt to paint it instead. To do this, use acrylic paint on clean denim. You can use a Sharpie to outline your design directly on the denim and then paint the interior of the outline. You can also feel free to use stencils for this project. Let the paint dry completely, and then throw the jacket in the dryer to help heat set the paint onto the jacket so that it doesn’t flake off.
However you choose to create your bridal-style denim jacket, it’s sure to encompass your personality and be a style piece that brings you an abundance of joy and memories well past your wedding day.