Jan 2021 :: Upstyled Canadian Tuxedo

This is the first blog post in my 2021 Sewing Plans blog series. Click here to see the video where I share my inspiration for each month.

I love a head-to-toe denim look. If styled well it can be chic enough for an evening out and with the right fit it can be comfortable enough for a day of lounging.

The goal for my January Project is to put a spin on the more traditional Canadian Tuxedo look by adding some upcycled elements.


Below is some upcycled denim inspiration from my Denim in Blue Jeans Pinterest Board

I sew on Sundays and I share details of my progress in my Instagram stories. Check out the JAN highlight for details.

My original hope was to make a chic nighttime outfit that would look good with my recent secondhand purchase of Loq ankle boots but the direction of my outfit changed when I found a vintage men’s Wrangler shirt with fleece lining. It’s so soft and oversized that it makes the outfit more of a daytime, running errands, kind-of outfit. Which is fine because that is more “me” anyways.

Images from my Chore Coat Pinterest board

My final jacket doesn’t look that much different but it actually took me a ton of time. I opened up the bottom so I could sew Levis pockets to just the top layer. I cut out the hidden side pockets because they were bulky and then I hand sewed the openings closed. I hemmed and sewed the bottom – twice! And I hemmed and tapered the sleeves and finished the edges with extra denim.

My original hope with the jeans was to sew two differently toned jeans together but that turned out to be waaaaaaay harder than I thought. Most of what I learned from that process is what NOT to do. In the end I just slightly altered a pair of vintage Lee jeans. I added elastic to the waistband so they would fit me better and I patched up a hole on the knee with darker denim.

I’m happy with how the chore coat came out but I wish I had more success with the upcycled jeans. Still — I’m grateful for the process. It got me to a point where I remembered how little boy’s pants have those adjustable elastic straps in them (my version on left). And now that I’ve actually gone through the process of adding this to my jeans I can see that it is an easy fix for the future. It does make me wonder why adult jeans don’t have adjustable waist band options though. Amiright?!

Below is my version of an Upstyled Canadian Tux

What I’ve learned so far . . .

  • Sewing is hard and takes a lot of time 😜
  • Good tools make the job go easier. I finally purchased a bunch of basic tools, like a clear ruler and a thimble.
  • It’s okay to start over. I did more unpicking on this project than ever before and I’m grateful for it.
  • Sewing takes courage. It’s scary to cut into fabric or existing clothing. But I can already tell from just this project that I am gaining confidence in my sewing. Learning what NOT to do is very useful. 😎

Wish me luck on my next project!
xoxo recovergirl

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