Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dino Motorcycle jacket

I am exited that today, I can show you my monster project or shall I say Dino project (dinosaurs were huge too right). I am exited because it is finished and because I think it looks awesome.

I had been planning to sew my son a coat ever since I sewed my daughter a spring coat, half a year ago. In the last weeks, I have seen plenty of winter coats popping up on sewing blogs and morning temperatures are dropping. This meant that if I was going to sew my son a winter coat, I had to do it now. The hoodie my sons loves to death (his own death, because he will run the risk of pneumonia, claiming that he is not cold in the thing) needed a warmer replacement.

Over the coarse of Project Run and Play,  I saw two great motorcycle jackets, one by Sew a straight line and one by Spiegelstiksels. I thought they were amazing, and when my son announced he wanted a motor jacket like is uncle, I jumped on the occasion! Sew a straight line used an Ottobre pattern which started in sizes much larger than my small five year old. Spiegelstikels kind a hand drew the pattern, so I did not have much to go on. Then while flipping in one of my Ottobres (2012,4) (did I already brag that I own all excepts one) I coincidentally just came across a motorcycle jacket in my sons size! I of course had been stupid by not checking all the magazines for smaller motorcycle jackets. But no harm done, I simply have to reinstall the first rule: always check Ottobre when in need of a pattern. Now I just had to tweak the pattern a bit by adding lining (this was going to be a true winter coat) and adding a hood. I couldn't have written down the necessity of a hood better than Mieke did.

Okay, so I had jumped the first hurdle of making a winter coat, finding the right pattern but then I quickly stumbled upon the obvious second hurdle, the fabric. I had bought a canvas coupon in a web shop but when it arrived the print was too big for my liking. I was considering upcycling  a pair of denim like trousers, but the fabric was a bit too thin. Eventually I decided to upcycle one of my old coats. As I student I was an active member of a students' association and owned a coat with its logo (and the logo of a sponsoring bar and that of a company, which both do no longer exist). The coat was big, very big, too big for me, but it was warm and all the active members had one. Although I was no longer a member for years, I still wore the coat every other winter. This was the only coat which fitted me when I was pregnant. With our family complete, I really had to reason to keep the coat around, besides because of the memories it represents (my husband and me met through the association. He was also a member for a small period of time and we have a photo with matching coats). The best thing to do in such a situation is upcycling. I kind a kept the coat, but not in its horribly un-stylish way.

I used all the parts of the coat, the outer shell plus the warm layer on the inside (which I had to cut separately of course). The coat canvas is ecru and my playful son would not have been happy with a plain coat. I also felt that the inside of the coat was not as warm as it used to be. I therefore planned on adding an extra jersey lining to make the inside warmer, softer and more playful. I chose a piece of green Lillestoff with dinosaur skeletons on it. The bones are kind of the same color as the canvas of the coat and the type of green matches very well with the ecru. The lining is showing on the outside, because of the pockets and the lined hood. To increase the fun factor, I made applications of the five different dinosaurs to put on the shell.

The sleeve boards and the waist board are also upcycled. I used the boards from an old sweater (the same as this one, just a different color). The sleeve boards were cut extra long after coincidentally remeasuring my son and realizing he had grown 4 centimeters since my last measuring! The sleeves are a bit long now, but he can roll them up a bit. When rolling the hem the white stripes from the sweater appear. They kind a match the idea of the bones (light on brown), so it does not bother me (the same goes for the stripes on the inside of the jacket). I am considering putting a piece of wide elastic in the sleeves, because the boards seams a bit wide now. Fingers crossed he can wear the coat two winters due to the long sleeves.

Like I mentioned this was a big project, my biggest project until now. I needed to cut more than 25 pieces of fabric. The drawing and cutting of the fabric already took me two full evenings. I liked working on such a big project, especially because my son will likely wear it every day for the coming months, but I had to take a few sewing breaks. I noticed that while I was sewing this, I sometimes missed the exited feeling of a finished project (even though I set myself attainable sub goals every evening I sewed on this coat). Therefore, I sewed the Louisa dress and leggings assemble and crocheted the hood in between working on the coat. I simply needed the wins.

The original motor jacket pattern did not have a hood, but I added one based on the existing hood of the original coat. The coat had a folded un-lined hood in the collar. I simply lined the hood and attached it with snaps. I seem to have forgotten to take pictures from the front with the hood down, so you just have to believe me that this look also works fine.

The coat has some strong folds due to its previous life. These will fade over time, due to the water resistent inside of the canvas fabric I did not want to iron the fabric too much. Besides having finished a huge project, I added a big amount of photos and appear to have written a lot of text as well. I hoped you enjoyed reading my post and as a special I treat I have three pictures left. In a dinosaur coat you have to pretend to be a dinosaur. Here you can see my son being a very scary one.

If you are wondering how a very sweet baby Dino would look like, well this is my sons version.

What do you think? Please leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian)


  1. Knap gedaan! En zo tof dat het een recyclage-project is! Zo heb ik ook nog een aantam stukken klaar liggen.

    1. Dank je Marie-Paule. De originele jas nam ook nog eens behoorlijk wat plaats in op mijn recycleer stapel, dus ben heel blij dat hij verwerkt is. Al heb ik nog veel liggen dat nog om inspiratie vraagt. Maar de Recykleer week komt eraan dus ik hoop de stapel dan echt aan te pakken.

  2. Replies
    1. Dank je wel Sa Si Beau, je hebt zelf ook een leuke blog zag ik, ik ben je direct gaan volgen.

  3. Hele toffe jas! Mijn zoontje zou zo ook wel eentje willen.

    1. Ik kan me geen mooier compliment bedenken Sandra, ik vind het altijd het belangrijkste dat mijn kids hun kleren leuk vinden. Al moet ik wel bekennen dat verkleedkleren niet naar school aan mogen, het niet veel te koud mag zijn en ik een jurk voor mijn zoon te ver vind gaan ;)

  4. De jas is heel mooi geworden, hij is er vast super blij mee

  5. Replies
    1. Dank je La Vie en Roos, er mist alleen nog een sjaal, en die jij naaide zou hij super vinden dus die gaat op mijn to do lijstje.

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