Small Things

November 11, 2012

It’s been a hectic week and I’m guessing that’s true for a lot of us.  I’m thinking of those folks who are still impacted by the effects of the storms on the East coast and hope their lives return to normal soon.

My sewing room has been singing it’s siren song and I managed to turn out this simple jacket upcycle over the past few days.  Then I found these boots at a rummage sale.  Right after I’d finished the jacket.  Just when I’d started to think that I’d love to have a pair of burgundy boots exactly like these.  I’m grateful.

The boots are Frye, the denim jacket came from Goodwill, as did the sweater that provided the sleeves, the ruched skirt was purchased 3-4 yrs ago retail, bracelets are from my collection, and the silk “scarf” is actually a thrifted upside down kimono-style robe, featured here.

I also want to thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post.  It’s one of the things I love about blogging, being able to share triumphs and challenges within a caring community.  I was totally motivated to start creating again, too.  In addition to the jacket shown above, I also did this piece, using a thrifted boiled wool jacket and a thrifted sweater.

I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m excited about creating an outfit and posting it for you.

Speaking of small things, this was a moth hole.  It’s also my favorite feature of the jacket, where it’s placed, a seemingly random flaw that feels perfect in it’s imperfection.

Hope your week is full of good things, great and small.

(I’m heading over to Monday Mingle, and also Visible Monday at Patti’s right now.)






47 Responses to Small Things

  1. Veshoevius on November 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Those burgundy boots are a real find. I love what you did to cover the moth hole! What a great idea! Lovely jacket, very impressed you made it yourself! – the colour is beautiful.

  2. Jan Graham-McMillen on November 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    AAAAAHHHHHH! Brilliant cobalt & grey jacket! Moth holes as creative muse … really, such a great response. I have a tartan wool wrap that the moths loved at one point … I can cease to morn it now as it has some embroidery in it’s future. Jean, you just rock. And you’re looking particularly pretty in your outfit, BTW.

  3. Amber of Butane Anvil on November 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Wow, Jean!!! Your work is so cool (the “x” mend / details are awesome), and those are some glorious boots! Best of all, I am thrilled to hear that you are both feeling the warm response and, especially, creating again. Hooray! xoxo

  4. Joni on November 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Are those my new boots?? Thanks, I love them!! haha Just kidding of course, but wow, what a score at just the right time. Burgundy leather is my favorite.

    Your work you do is so unique. I love how it looks a bit tousled in an artistic way.

  5. Debbi on November 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    The boots were meant for you to take them home. Your jacket is amaazing. I need to try to learn to sew so I could attempt (notice I said attempt) to do some amazing pieces like yours.

  6. Mrs D on November 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Lovely! Sometimes mistakes can turn into interesting features and the mending on that sleeve is one of them!


  7. pastcaring on November 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Jean, happy accidents are so satisfying, aren’t they? Burgundy boots, just when you want them! Moth holes leading to design features! Perhaps that is the essence of your creative upcycling, stumbling across the right combination of pieces and having a flash of inspiration? Whatever your secret, you are very skilled, and the perfect model for your creations. xxxx

  8. Paula on November 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    ok I am definatly going to copy your vest idea–its totally brilliant! Great look~

  9. Shybiker on November 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Wow, your sewing creations are so beautiful. I admire your talent. And those boots rock.

  10. Pam@over50feeling40 on November 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    You are so creative, Jean! I am really impressed and I love the boots!

  11. Jeannie on November 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    You, my dear, are pretty incredible! So freakin’ talented! If I had a sewing machine, and I can sew, I’d definitely try that denim and sweater piece…LOVE IT!

  12. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style on November 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I love the “X” on the back of the jacket and on the mend, Jean – beautiful and practical too : > And the denim jacket/sweater you created is also fabulous. Thanks for sharing the beauty with Visible Monday.

  13. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas on November 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I adore this upcycled jean jacket. I can’t wait to try it for myself Jean! {I already have a couple of sweater sleeves hanging around waiting for creative genius such as yours.} Thanks for sharing.

  14. Megan Mae on November 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Oooh that second piece is so gorgeous. I especially love the seaming you added. You’re so awesome at upcycling. All of your pieces look like something I could, and would buy.

    Score on the boots! I’ve kind of found burgundy is more difficult to style than I expected this season, but I am feeling inspired.

  15. Jane on November 12, 2012 at 1:33 am

    What a fabulous jacket/sweater. You are so talented. I wish I could try it.

  16. Izzywizz on November 12, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Hi Jean! I just wanna thank you for popping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment, I really appreciate it. :) wow you seem to be really creative, thats awsome!

  17. Vix on November 12, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Those boots are stunners, I love the whip-stitched edging. The upcycled denim is wonderful and I love the latest creation, the moth hole is extra special, I love clothes when they have personality! x

  18. anne-marie bruun on November 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Knit and cowboy is really good together. You look great – beautiful colors.

  19. sabine on November 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

    i love both jackets. the mix of the fabric in the first picture and of course the pattern mix too and the very unique detail at the shirt-cuff and the bow of the bright blue one.
    you are lucky you found such fantastic boots!

  20. Anne @ The Frump Factor on November 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Oh, am I swooning over those boots. Those are my dream boots. *goes into trance of boot envy*

  21. Fashion Confessions of a Mommy on November 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Great pieces and such a cool combination.
    Very cozy chic.

    Visiting from Monday Mingle.

  22. ariane on November 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Jean
    I love what you did with the jean jacket – Maybe i could do it as well –
    I have sweater that i might not wear and a sleeveless jean jacket
    Could you tell you tell me how you did and tell me if it is possible to do it with a standard sewing machine –

    Can’t wait to see what you will do with what you thrifted –

    Maybe you could e- mail me the instructions or if there were some images on how to do it


    Ariane xxx

  23. The Style Crone on November 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    The blue is so deep and rich and I’m sure that you will make it shine. Vintage pieces tend to have their imperfections and loving and embracing them seems the perfect thing to do. Good for us and good for the earth.

    The boots are such a find. They pull everything in this stunning ensemble together, and I am admiring your talent once again.

  24. Joyatri on November 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    How fortuitous that those boots appeared when they did. Your denim jacket/sweater upcycle creation looks so warm and cozy. Fabulous cuffs on your latest cobalt blue jacket. The x designs remind me of the Japanese art of kintsugi (

    • Jean on November 13, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Thank you for the link!! What a fascinating art form. It’s extraordinarily beautiful and I wish I could see that exhibit.

  25. Rose on November 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    How fabulous! I LOVE the way you have changed the imperfection of a moth hole into a design feature. Are you creative, er what???

    I positively love burgundy boots too. I find it’s funny the way you find one thing in a colour you like, and suddenly more things come to join it. It’s like they’re calling each other!

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from

  26. pao on November 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Yea Jean, heeding the sirens of the sewing goddess. She follows your lead as you bring forth one creative item after another. And she places treasures in your path as gifts for you to discover. Sew be it, indeed.

    • Jean on November 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Is that anything like “As ye sew, so shall ye reap” or “As ye sew, so shall ye rip”? I think the latter is true for me. May the sewing goddess bless my seam ripper as I uncover these treasure of which you speak.

  27. Rosalind on November 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve decided that no one does denim like you do – it suits you in all its many incarnations in your closet. As for your upbeat approach to a dreaded moth hole, well, I can only watch and learn. Brilliant!

  28. linda davis on November 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Your creations are as amazing as you are beautiful.

  29. linda davis on November 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Your creations are beautiful.
    glad to know that I am not the only one that puts the seam ripper to good use

  30. mychicstyle on November 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, love the boots and jacket as well!! Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog :)

  31. Sylvia @ 40PlusStyle on November 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Your jacket is so creative. Very, very nice! I also love your new purple sweater and look forward to see you wear it.

  32. megan, the frugalista diaries on November 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    love those prints together and your gorgeous boots! Xo Megan

  33. Melanie on November 13, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I’m glad you’re in the groove again, Jean. Those happy accidents…you said it – perfect imperfection. I can’t wait to see the finished piece on you! The boot gods were obviously smiling on you.

  34. Tamera on November 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    GORGEOUS Boots!!! i love what you did with the denim jacket and sweater sleeves!!! i can’t wait to see how you style the stunning cobalt jacket!

  35. Kaffesoester on November 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Your denim/sweater jacket is such a great piece, just perfect for fall! The boots have been waiting for the right moment – when you had the perfect jacket ready for them. Then they made their appearance!

    The blue piece is truly a work of art! I love how you finished the sleeves, and the X’ed it.

  36. Jan Graham-McMillen on November 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Forgot above to tell you that I’m blown away by your denim X sweater hybrid! How do you keep the sweater weave from unraveling when you take the sleeves? Does it take a special stitch? Please advise, if it’s not blowing secrets!
    Thanks for being brilliant, again.

  37. Practical Paralegalism on November 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Frye! Jean, the Boot Gods totally smiled upon you. They are so beautiful, as is the denim jacket you made. I love your blog so much because of your creativity.

    P.S. I’m wearing three different vintage silver bangles today – totally inspired by you!

    • Jean on November 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

      I love it! I’m heading over to see if I glimpse them on a post, maybe?

  38. Lynn Dylan on November 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Oh wow!! I love the boots! And you are so incredibly creative. I wish I had more time to do things like that. Right now my 40 hours a week at my work desk really prohibit how much I can do, but some day… I hope!!


  39. JTwisdom on November 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Wow, those boots are beautiful and you did an awesome job on that jacket. I will definitely have to try that idea.

  40. Frannie Pantz on November 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Oh those boots are so cool! And I wish I would take the time to learn to sew! What a great talent! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  41. Gigi on November 16, 2012 at 3:25 am

    This is fantastic! You are so talented. Very interesting details and the skirt looks perfect! Much more inspiration ahead….keep up the good work.

    Wish you a nice weekend!

  42. Claire on November 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    you are seriously amazing with this! i love the jacket and might just ask my mom to do something awesome like this for my christmas present!!! those boots are a great find too!

  43. Sheila, Style Agent 909 on November 19, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Frye boots! What a great find.
    The denim jacket is my favorite creation in this post. I’m inspired now to try making one myself. Thanks Jean.

  44. Connie on November 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Jean. It was so nice of you to pop by my blog for a some Thanksgiving festivities. I’ve just spent the morning eating left-overs, doing laundry and scrolling through all of your beautiful posts. I am such a FAN!!! That jacket just kills me! Love it! See you around….

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