Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Balmain Denim Jacket // TUTORIAL

It's finally here! My first ever full tutorial!!!! :)

I hope you all are excited because I worked very hard on this jacket and how-to so all of you can have awesome statement jackets like me! 

Remember: This is just how I interpreted Balmain's style. Please just use this as inspiration and make your own awesome, one-of-a-kind jacket! :)

- scissors/fabric shears
- pliers (needle nose preferably)
- lots and lots of various studs and spikes
- various safety pins
- xacto knife/blade of some kind
- seam ripper
- pins
- sewing machine (not shown)
- thread/bobbins/etc (not shown)
- adhesive (E6000 preferably)
- bleach/bleach pens
- pens such as sharpie (not shown)
- paint (metallic looks sweet on dark denim)
- fabric to add on to jacket (optional)
- a denim jacket to makeover
lots of free time

1. Here's my denim jacket that I will be giving a makeover. I got it from goodwill for like $5.
I laid it out on a table to see what I had to work with. It's good to plan in advance kind of what you'd like to do to your jacket because sometimes after a certain point it becomes very difficult to go back. 

2. I decided to cut out the yolk of the jacket. Cut it out nicely and very close to the inside of the seam so you have a good template for the next step if you choose to replace it with another fabric.

3. Take the yolk you cut out and lay it over your replacement fabric. I used lace. I just pinned mine to it and trimmed around it, leaving about half an inch on each side so I would have more than enough to later attach it back onto the jacket.

4. Un-pin the old yolk from the new yolk. I then pinned my new yolk (the lace) to the underside of the denim jacket so it would look flush with the jacket. This part was rather tricky.

5. After you have pinned the new yolk to your jacket, now is time for the somewhat challenging part -- sewing the dang thing. Because this was lace that had a little stretch in it and again, the fact that it was lace, I set my stitch to a very tight zig-zag. After all this work, I didn't' want that lace to go anywhere. I used black thread that was unnoticeable on the other side of my denim jacket. You may want to do a test stitch to check how visible the stitch is on the other side if you have a lighter wash denim. 

Finished yolk :)

6. I then studded around the yolk. The seams here are usually very thick so I used an xacto knife to push through so the stud would stay secure to the jacket.

7. I knew the back of my jacket would be my focal point. I grabbed some extra news paper and laid it over the back of my jacket. I traced/eye balled what the 2 side panels would look like. I then cut out that template.

8. I then laid out that template and traced it twice onto my leopard print fabric with a metallic sharpie. I again added about half an inch to each side for later hemming. I only did this because my fabric frays. If yours does not fray, feel free to skip this step.

9. I hemmed these panels with my sewing machine using a zig-zag stitch. Again, I only did this because my fabric frays. Skip this step if your fabric is awesome and you do not need to do this.
After I hemmed my panels, I pinned them the best I could to the back panels of the jacket. They aren't perfect because I eye-balled it. 

10. I then used a straight stitch to attach these panels to the jacket. You could use a zig-zag stitch if you wanted. 

11. At the same time on the front of the jacket, I used a seam ripper to take off one of the pockets. I then used that pocket as a template and traced it onto the leopard print fabric. I left a seam allowance to hem it. I then pinned it to where the old pocket used to be and sewed it using a straight stitch.

12. I decided to somehow put my logo on my jacket. It could have been the exact thing, but I decided to abstract it -- with safety pins :)
I printed off a cut out of my logo the size that I wanted it. I then cut it out and traced it onto the back of the jacket where I wanted it with a fabric marker. You could use chalk as well. 

13. I then played around with different sized safety pins and how I would like to conquer this crown so it looked like a crown. I succeeded!!! :)

Caution: please close all of these safety pins with a needle nose pliers. You could get stabbed in the back if you do not take the time to complete this step. I recommend closing sections at a time as you complete them rather than at the very end. 

14. Remember what I did for the back panels of the jacket? I did the same thing for one of the front panels. I eye-balled it, traced it, cut out the template, traced that template onto my fabric leaving a half inch on each side, hemmed it, pinned it to my fabric, then sewed it on using a straight stitch.

15. Between a lot of these steps I took breaks of studding and spiking various places of the jacket:
- the back panels
- the front pocket
- the collar
- the arms
- the cuffs

Here is MY final jacket! :)

top pocket and collar detail

left front pocket detail 

finished crown detail

spiked elbow detail

front panel detail

full back shot

full front shot

I will always keep adding on to this jacket as I gather more materials and such. I want it to be super over the top like Balmain :)

But for now... it is finished!


Dear readers,
If you make a jacket, please send me your pictures! I'd love to feature you on my blog! :)


  1. Fantastic! Love it!!

  2. Love this DIY. So many good ideas in one tutorial: especially the safety pin crown detail, lace yolk and use of animal prints. Really nice tutorial!

  3. I would totally do this if I wasn't so lazy. LOL! but this is one of the most awesome DIYs I've seen!!! I LOVE BALMAIN!!! and I can't afford it so that makes this DIY even better! Maybe one day I'll get on it...thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Great tutorial...will definitely try a mini project


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