80s Vintage Jacket Refashion

80s Jacket refashion

I’m pretty excited to finally start tackling my clothing refashion pile and sharing some of my projects with you. I actually do a fair bit of refashioning but because taking photos of myself wearing the items can be a bit tricky, I rarely blog them. Well I intend on changing that, so this week I dragged out the tripod and studio lights, and not only shot this jacket, but a whole lookbook of how I styled a daggy 80s 3-piece suit set into lots of really wearable outfits.

Wear My Wardrobe – An 80s 3 Pc Set Lives Again

I’ll be sharing lots of vintage clothes styled for today’s modern gal over on My Poppet LIVING – hopefully it will inspire people to look at vintage in a whole new way. More about that soon.

Vintage jacket before refashion
So here is what I had to work with, a pretty typical 80’s puffy sleeved, shoulder padded ‘blouson’. I loved the fabric, totally my colours, but the style was woeful. It came as part of a 3 piece set that I picked up at the op-shop for $12, which I bought mainly for the tank top and skirt. Instead of just donating the jacket back, which I would not blame anyone for doing, I set myself a challenge to make something cool.

The body of the blouson/jacket fit pretty well, I just had to get rid of what really dated this top, the sleeves and shoulder pads. Inspired by the classic baseball jacket, the contrasting sleeves bring it right up to date and make this top super wearable.

I actually only had about 30min to make this as I was in the middle of a photos shoot and my photographer (Emma) was getting pretty antsy. Nothing like working under pressure.

The cardigan I used for the sleeves was donated to me for felting purposes, but because its very nice merino it doesn’t felt. I keep a tub of garments that are unflattering, but made from quality materials especially for this kind of thing.

What I used:

Jaket refashion before

  • 80s puffy blouson with button front and elastic waist
  • Unwanted merino wool cardigan for sleeves
  • Scissors
  • Unpicker
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • General sewing supplies

How to:

remove shoulder pads

  • First we need to get rid of the shoulder pads – Use an unpicking tool
  • Then carefully cut off the sleeves of both the jacket and the cardigan. Don’t worry if the hole sizes don’t match up, I’ll show you how to fix that.

attach new sleeves
vintage jacket refashion

  • With the jacket inside out, pin in the sleeve (right sides facing) and mark where the excess fabric starts.

vintage jacket refashion

  • Sew down the side of jacket to narrow.
  • This is the tricky bit so go slow. Sew in the sleeve, straight stitch is fine.

vintage jacket refashion

  • Finish any raw edges with zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.

vintage jacket refashion

  • Optional – If you are feeling brave, re-attach elastic cuffs to knitted sleeve.
  • Cut off the cuff sew to size and cut off excess.

vintage jacket refashion attach cuff

  • To attach cuff, with right sides facing, line up raw edges and sew around.

Attach elastic cuff to sleeve

All Done! What do you think? I like the little cuff detail, it’s a bit fiddly but worth it I think.

Vintage jacket refashion to Baseball jacket

So what did I do with the rest of the 3 piece set? Pop over to My Poppet LIVING and check out Wear My Wardrobe – An 80s 3 Pc Set Lives Again


vintage jacket refashion


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