#haulternative

Super Simple Upcycle: Cropped Army Jacket

upcycled DIY cropped army jacket secondhand #haulternative stylewise-blog.com
Product shots from Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack: One | Two | Three
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I've been eyeing all the wonderful denim jackets out this season, most of them inspired by classic Levi's and the vintage denim trend.

But I simply haven't worn my jean jackets when I've owned them in the past because I'm not into the Canadian Tuxedo thing and the only other items they pair with are dresses and skirts. But that doesn't work either, because they're normally not cropped enough to lay well over high waist silhouettes.

After my Nordstrom shopping post, I fell down the rabbit hole looking for a casual cropped denim jacket when I came across this Madewell Army Jacket.

And that gave me an idea: Why not find a secondhand, lightweight army green shirt and crop it, leaving the hem raw?

It's a hybrid of all the other jackets I was looking at, and it would ensure that I would have a piece that I could pair with jeans, skirts, and dresses, because both the color and silhouette would be just right. I found an amazing secondhand, slightly oversized army green blouse on ebay for $5.00 (including shipping & handling!), then simply cut it to fit.

Upcycled Cropped Army Jacket

upcycled DIY cropped army jacket secondhand #haulternative stylewise-blog.com
What You'll Need:
  • Secondhand Army Green Jacket or Blouse in Lightweight Cotton (slightly oversized is preferable). Try Ebay, Swap.com, Poshmark, and Etsy for secondhand and vintage options.
  • Straight pins, chalk, or pencil for marking
  • Scissors
upcycled DIY cropped army jacket secondhand #haulternative stylewise-blog.com
Outfit Details: Earrings - 31 Bits; Jacket - Secondhand via Ebay; Jeans - thrifted; Tee - Everlane

To Make:
  1. Put the jacket or blouse on and button it up to ensure the hemline is even all the way around your body.
  2. Find your desired crop point and mark it in several places with straight pins (or with a pencil or chalk).
  3. Take the item off, re-button it, and lay on a flat surface. Finish marking your line about a half inch lower than your original markings to ensure you don't accidentally over-crop your jacket (fabric may roll or fray after cutting). 
  4. With the item still laying flat, cut straight across. 
  5. Put your jacket or blouse back on and see how it fits. Adjust if needed.
  6. Throw in the dryer to fray the hem.

Hooray for an absurdly simple, very inexpensive DIY.
upcycled DIY cropped army jacket secondhand #haulternative stylewise-blog.com

#FashRev Week | #Haulternative DIY: Beet Dyed Blouse

#haulternative fashion revolution beet dyed blouse
Thanks to Justina at Smockwalker Vintage for providing goods to DIY.

The last post in my #Haulternative series! See the embroidered blouse and the fringed denim.

I had originally intended to cover up a few small stains on this blouse with Indigo, but there is no indigo to be found in this town! I ended up ordering some online, but it wasn't going to be here in time to prep posts, so I had to come up with an alternative on the fly. A customer recommended beets, which was actually a better idea for this blouse anyway because the light tone means the cute little embroidered diamonds are still visible.

Beet Dyed Blouse

#haulternative fashion revolution beet dyed blouse#haulternative fashion revolution beet dyed blouse
Beets are deceptive little suckers. Their juice will stain your hands a deep magenta, but the effect on cotton is much more subtle. It's hard to tell in the photos, but the final effect is a lovely, pale rose, which perfectly covered up what looked to be makeup stains near the collar of the blouse.

What You'll Need:

  • A vintage, thrifted, or pre-owned cotton blouse (even better if it's got a few small stains you want to cover up)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 beets
  • Medium pot filled 3/4 of the way with water
  • Knife for slicing beets

To Make:

  1. Thinly slice two beets, then place in pot with water and vinegar. Heat to boiling on the stove, then cover with lid and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Remove beet slices from water. Keep pot on burner.
  3. Fully saturate blouse with water, ring out, and fully submerge in beet water.
  4. Bring beet water back to boiling, reduce heat, then cover and simmer the shirt in the beet water for at least 20 minutes. 
  5. Take pot off heat and continue to let shirt steep for an hour or more.
  6. Ring out shirt and rinse thoroughly in cool water. Air dry.
#haulternative fashion revolution beet dyed blouse
Ethical Details: Top - upcycled via Smockwalker Vintage; Pants - thrifted; Shoes - #30wears

What I Learned From A Week of Upcycling Projects

Even though I work with used clothing daily as a thrift shop manager, it's easy to not see the potential in a pair of worn out jeans or a stained white shirt. Doing very simple DIY projects like embroidery, fringe, and vegetable dying showed me that old can be made even better than new at a low price with only a small time commitment. 

It's also a great feeling to be able to do something with my hands instead of with my thoughts, to see the visible, tangible proof of my labor. I hope to make the #haulternative life something I pursue all year round, not just during Fashion Revolution Week.

If you end up doing a #haulternative this week, Justina and I would love to see it! Tag @stylewiseblog and @smockwalkervintage on Instagram!

Learn more about Fashion Revolution Week here.

simple ethical and natural DIY projects for fashion revolution week #haulternative

#FashRev Week | #Haulternative DIY: Fringed Denim

fashion revolution haulternative DIY fringed denim with smockwalker vintage Denim provided by Smockwalker Vintage.

See yesterday's #Haulternative post here.

This season's fringed denim trend is screaming for a DIY. I mean, there's literally no reason to go buy someone else's (likely a sweatshop worker's) upcycling project when there's such an abundance of denim on the secondhand market. Justina at Smockwalker Vintage provided these groovy green jeans with a super high waist for a fringed denim DIY.

Fringed Vintage Denim

fashion revolution haulternative DIY fringed denim with smockwalker vintage

What You'll Need:

  • Vintage, thrifted, or pre-owned denim jeans
  • Scissors
  • Pencil, pen, or chalk for marking the denim

To Make:

  1. Lay the jeans on a flat surface (I used the floor). Carefully cut off the bottom hem. I cropped mine to right above the ankle.
  2. Determine how long you want your fringe to be, then carefully mark the top edge on each leg. I eyeballed mine, then created a small pen mark on each leg.
  3. Carefully cut quarter inch strips all the way around each leg. Tip: pay attention to where the side seams are and try to make them their own distinct strips.
  4. To get looser, more distinct fringe, wet the denim, then run them through the dryer.

How to Choose Your Denim: You can really choose whatever silhouette you want, but I like the way these straight fit jeans turned out. This vintage cut can feel a bit frumpy because the cut is so wide down the leg, but the fringe makes the shape look more intentional.
fashion revolution haulternative DIY fringed denim with smockwalker vintagefashion revolution haulternative DIY fringed denim with smockwalker vintage
Ethical Details: Tee - Everlane; Jeans - upcycled via Smockwalker Vintage; Sandals - Everlane

FRINGED DENIM GIVEAWAY

Justina actually fringed some denim for me, but they were a bit too small, so I've decided to give her pair away. Please note, there's only one pair in one size, so check the measurements before entering.

To enter, find this photo on Instagram (@stylewiseblog) and follow the instructions!
fashion revolution haulternative DIY fringed denim with smockwalker vintage

If you end up doing a #haulternative this week, Justina and I would love to see it! Tag @stylewiseblog and @smockwalkervintage on Instagram!

Learn more about Fashion Revolution Week here.

simple ethical and natural DIY projects for fashion revolution week #haulternative

#FashRev Week | #Haulternative DIY: Custom Embroidered Blouse

#haulternative fashion revolution week embroidered blouse DIY Blouse provided and embroidered by Justina at Smockwalker Vintage.

It's Fashion Revolution Week! This year I'm posting three days of DIYs inspired by Fashion Revolution's #haulternative prompt...

#Haulternative: the sustainable version of a shopping haul, spotlighting dearly loved, vintage, secondhand, swapped, rented, and upcycled goods in an effort to show that fashion is about more than a shopping binge. Learn more here.

I've participated in the Love Story and #whomademyclothes social media prompts in past years so I knew I wanted to focus on DIY this time around. It's something I've loved since I was a kid but don't often make time for in my busy adult life. I emailed Justina at Smockwalker Vintage to see if she would be on board for sending me a few good-but-not-perfect vintage things to upcycle. Not only was she in, she even did her own DIY work on two things before sending them!

I'll be featuring three different clothing DIY projects this week, starting with:

Justina's Adorable "L" Embroidery

#haulternative fashion revolution week embroidered blouse DIY#haulternative fashion revolution week embroidered blouse DIY
Ethical Details: Top - upcycled via Smockwalker Vintage; Skirt - c/o People Tree; Shoes - Julia Bo

You'll need:

  • A thrifted, vintage, or pre-owned collared shirt
  • Embroidery thread in the color of your choice
  • A needle
  • Scissors

To Make: 

I recommend following this step by step guide. You might not need the embroidery hoop for a small project like this one.

I'll be back tomorrow with a fringed denim DIY!

If you end up doing a #haulternative this week, Justina and I would love to see it! Tag @stylewiseblog and @smockwalkervintage on Instagram!

Learn more about Fashion Revolution Week here.

simple ethical and natural DIY projects for fashion revolution week #haulternative