Instructables

Carhartt Jacket Mod

Picture of Carhartt Jacket Mod
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I like making things, but I also feel that modifying is a great way to get creative, and an entryway into self expression that anyone can take advantage of. Got something? Got something else? Put them together. Two great tastes that taste better together, even.

For this, my first Instructable, I wanted to share a jacket modification project I worked on over the last year. Most of the work took place over a night/weekend, but the last step involved someone else, and that took a while.

I work as a sculpture fabricator, and I wanted a coat that could double as a portable "mini toolbox", capable of holding some of the tools I reach for on a regular basis. Things like tape measure, scribe, auto-punch, but also gloves, safety glasses, and small water/tea bottle. I had a spare Carhartt Detroit jacket and a part of Carhartt double-front pants. I cut the pants to get the pockets, but I also cut out the front thigh shield (don't know what else to call it) which gave me the chevron shape I attached some of the pockets to. I cut out pieces often trying to keep native seams intact so I wouldn't have to create edges, or flat-felled passages on the pockets. Otherwise I just folded the edge over and sewed away.

What I like about this as an Instructable is rooted in the fact that I don't know how to sew. I totally want to know how, in the way that people who know how to sew know how, but at the moment any time I break out the sewing machine I bought at the local thrift for $15, I have to break out the manual to remember how to thread the thing. If I can do this you can too, is basically my point. I managed to get as far as I could with my machine before the layers were so thick I began to break needles (I sewed together everything you see, up to the point where the unit gets attached to the jacket itself, the point where you see the white pins). From there I found a neighbor who sews and has an industrial machine, and asked them to finish the job. If you live in a city, you could probably find a seamstress/alteration service, usually connected to a dry cleaner, and you could have someone do the final assembly. I think people often assume they have to A) know what they are doing before they start and B) do everything themselves to get the biscuit. The biscuit is having something you enjoy that adds to your personal experience, and sometimes farming out a step makes the difference between an idea and a successful project.

Tools you will need:
A Seam Ripper (this is the best tool, you can take almost anything apart with it)
A Sewing Machine or access to one
A Manual for same, plus other books on basic sewing (unless you already know how)
A Pattern (just kidding, this was totally seat of the pants, as it were)
An Iron
Good lighting
Good scissors
Good music
Optimism

If I can figure out how I'll add notes to individual photos, in the off chance there's anything else that needs mentioning.

Happy Modding!
xfrench (author) 1 year ago
Me too! Oh, wait.
Seriously, though, Goodwill is your friend (at least around these parts). Total cost was probably - $15/jacket, $10/pants, $10/outdoor grade thread, 2 bottles of wine (one as a thank you gift) - cheaper than a parking ticket.
Lorddrake1 year ago
what an awesome idea. I want a jacket like that :)
xfrench (author) 1 year ago
Thanks for your responses!
It's a real photo.
The trick, that I am still figuring out, is to have pockets and things such that one doesn't get caught doing whatever characteristic movement one characteristically does...
Attmos1 year ago
Nice! I like it. I work as an electrician and a painter and this would come in handy for both. Thanks.
A sewing machine is just another power tool. That's one my mantras.

I had a pair of bib overalls that finally wore out and I had owned it for so long that it felt like a favorite pillow. I disassembled it and turned it into a workshop apron. All the pockets are still useable.

And, HAHAHAHA, I got a kick out of your avatar.