Makeover Style: Sleeve Scene

Annette Bailey
Makeover Style: Sleeve Scene

Many ready-made denim items are finished with a gold "jeans" thread. This thread is readily available at your local sewing store or by mail order. Keep a spool on hand so that when you remove a seam, you can re-sew it using the same type of thread for a professional finish.


  • Ready-made jean jacket
  • Embroidery, bobbin, sewing and monofilament thread
  • Fusible cut-away and tear-away stabilizer. Note: Use black stabilizer when working with dark fabrics. When the jacket opens up, the stabilizer won’t be very noticeable.
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Chalk marker
  • Assorted beads
  • Hand beading needle
  • Fusible crystals and appropriate applicator tool
  • Outline embroidery designs of your choice


  • Carefully remove the bottom band from the jacket using a seam ripper (this will also include the button hole and button all in one piece).
  • Open one underarm sleeve and side seam to allow for hooping. Leave the cuff area intact.


  • Stitch or print templates of the chosen designs.
  • Arrange the templates along the sleeve, above the pocket and at the collar such as our sample, or create another pleasing arrangement. Use the chalk marker to mark the design placement.
  • Iron fusible cut-away stabilizer to the back of the embroidery areas except the collar and pocket area.
  • Hoop the jacket sleeve, aligning the guide marks, and embroider the first design. Un-hoop, but do not cut away the stabilizer. Repeat to embroider the remaining sleeve designs.
  • Hoop two layers of tear-away stabilizer, spray with temporary adhesive and adhere the jacket area above the pocket to the top of the stabilizer, aligning the guide marks. Pin outside the embroidery area for extra holding security. Embroider the design. Un-hoop, and tear away the excess stabilizer.
  • Repeat to embroider the collar.


  • Use the hand beading needle and monofilament thread to embellish the embroidery with beading. Knot the thread at the back after every few beads. If a thread break occurs, all of the beads won’t be lost. The cut-away stabilizer left in place will afford a firmer surface to bead on. Once the beading is complete, cut away the excess stabilizer around the outside of the embroidery and beading areas.
  • Apply fusible crystals around the outside of the embroidery designs to create a cohesive look.
  • Measure 4" above the jacket lower edge and mark around the edge. Cut the jacket to the new length.
  • Pin the jacket band along the raw edge; sew in place similarly to the method in which it was originally constructed.

Design Editing
The quilting motif category offers many outline styles. Often– ­times these designs are large, but with simple stitch editing tricks, you can create a smaller design that’s perfect for adding other embellishments like the beading on our sample jacket.

  • Open the chosen design in editing software and "Save As" a new name so you don’t change the original (A).
  • Use the software lasso or select tool to highlight the areas of stitches you want to remove. Click on the stitch "cutting" tool or use the "Delete" key to remove the stitches (B).
  • Save the design again, print templates of the design and transfer the new design to your embroidery machine via a cable, jump drive, card, disk or other device specific to your equipment.

A Original full-size design.

Img A

B Use drawing tool to draw around areas to be removed.

Img B








Annette Bailey is the editor of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine.

Tulip design: Husqvarna Viking, #03, design 24 (modified) Credit EZ Glitz fusible crystals from Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design.

Editor's Note

We'll be featuring several more makeover stories in future issues. Drop me a line at and let me know what types of clothing you are most interested in seeing ideas for.

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