How to Revamp A Thrifted Jacket

I spied this little workwear style jacket in a charity shop about a month ago and with some gentle encouragement from a friend, decided to get it and do a revamp job on it. The end result is exactly what I hoped for and just shows where you can go with a bit of vision and some beginner sewing skills. Moral of the story: don‘t be afraid to take a leap with an item of clothing that might have some potential. Just go for it!


The Vision

The Process

There were two main ‘changes’ that I wanted to make to this jacket. Firstly, the bottom seam had come fairly loose & was hanging down. Obviously this isn’t really the look that any of us are going for so I knew I needed to stitch it up.

What I should have done was hold it in place with some pins, however I was obviously feeling too lazy to do that and instead just held it in place whilst I sewed it. I made sure that when I was stitching I was using tiny stitches on the front – not even a millimetre long – and then between them using longer stitches on the inside to cover the area quickly. This meant that where it counts, on the outside of the jacket, you could hardly even tell that a repair had been made. Result! 

Secondly, the main alteration I wanted to make was to change the buttons so that they contrasted with the material of the main body. To do this, the first thing to do is to find the buttons that you want to use. Remember that they need to be the same size as the current ones & no larger if you still want them to fit through the holes. This is so important! Luckily we have a ‘button box’ in our home that I was able to have a root through and I was delighted when I found this set of perfectly sized, canvas covered buttons. I loved the creamy-white colouring of them, it was exactly what I had in mind. In our box I also discovered a patterned black & white one, which in turn I used as a feature to go on the top button hole – he’s a pretty one & very artisan looking if I do say so myself. 

Once I’d chosen my buttons, now was the time to take off the old ones. To do this take some small scissors (or a stitch unpicker if you have one) and pull the button upwards so you can see the threads underneath it. Once you can see your threads carefully cut through them, avoiding cutting the garment. Then gently wiggle the button. Don’t pull too hard, the button and threads should just slip out. If you can’t get your scissors behind the button because it is fitted to tightly, carefully snip away at the threads on the inside of the garment until the button easily comes loose with a twiddle. Top tip: It will make your job of replacing the buttons easier if you remove the buttons as you intend to sew them on.

As you remove each button this will hopefully leave some tiny visible holes in the garment, these will really help you with the next step. It’s time to sew the new buttons on. Take a needle and a thread of a similar colour to the button and align the button with the old button holes. Hold your button here as you sew the first few stitches and then freely stitch away. I found this quite fiddly at first but you soon get used to it and I certainly got quicker the more buttons I did. When you’ve got your button on, just check that it aligns with the button hole, this is the final check you need to do.


I am so pleased with the final result, the new buttons have given this ‘granny jacket’ a new lease of life & I have already worn it so many times – including in this post

Have you ever re-vamped an old item of clothing to make it more ‘you’? 

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