Resurfacing with Patchwork and Sulky Sliver


Project Overview

Revive that old denim jacket or vest or maybe you would rather cover a workshirt - the choice is yours. A great way to use part of your favorite fat quarter fabric collection and Sulky Sliver Metallic.


  • Sewing Machine with a 1/4" Seam Foot and a Bias Binding Foot
  • Ready-made Jacket, Vest or Yoked Workshirt
    If using a new jacket (especially if it is Black) pre-wash and press.
  • Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread
  • Fabric - The total amount depends on the size of the garment area that you wish to cover. Start with 6-8 fat quarters or a similar amount of other fabrics.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 yd. Lamé interfaced with a woven interfacing
  • Iron and Presing Pad
  • Sulky Totally Stable Tear-Away Stabilizer
  • Sewing Thread
  • Rotary Cutter, Mat and Ruler
  • Scissors, Pins, etc.


Choose a group of fabrics that complement each other. See Patti Lee's finished Jacket and Skirt above.
Cut a piece of Sulky Totally Stable at least 2" to 3" larger than the back and yoke or any areas of the Jacket to be covered with patchwork: iron it down onto the area. Push the point of the iron up against the outside raised seams to create and indentation in the Totally Stable that will be the pattern to cut the finished size of the patchwork. 3
Carefully peel up the Totally Stable without tearing it; add a 1/2" seam alloance all around the indented area, then trim away the rest. Repeat process for all areas that require a cutting pattern.
Create the Patchwork
After trimming the selvage from 6 to 8 fabric prints, cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 22" from each print.
Place your 1/4" foot on the machine. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew strips in groups of two lengthwise; combine them as desired for best effect. Press each seam to the darkest fabric.
Stack strips on top of one another in piles of three or four and cut all the strips into 1-1/2" pieces.
Now, sew all of the strips together in sets of two at opposite angles to one another. It can be two of the same prints or any two others that complement or contrast each other.
From interfaced lamé, cut 1" to 1-1/2" strips to be used as set separators. Sew the combined sets to a strip of lamé using the speed sewing method of continuous sewing; turn the sets horizontally and stitch them onto the lamé, right side to right side. On the next strip of lamé, sew on the sets turned vertically. Cut apart and trim lamé.
Press seam toward pair sets. Sew the strip sets together to make a strip long enough to cover the center back of the jacket when placed diagonally from corner to corner. Each adjoining strip will be a little shorter as you cover the patchwork area. Separate the strip sets with solid or print strips of varying widths from 3/4" to 1-1/2"; combine two or three or use only one between strip sets. Piping could also be used. Sew together as many strips as needed to cover the area. For best results always press seams as you sew.
Cut the pattern size (using the Totally Stable pattern from step#1). You can turn under the raw edge or trim it flush and add a bias binding strip all around (use your binding foot attachment if available). Or simply cut continuous bias and press it through a bias maker. Sew right sides together and turn under to wrong side of patchwork. Sew to Jacket along bias seam line using Sulky Invisible Thread or Sulky Sliver in the needle and regular sewing thread in the bobbin in a color that best matches the inside of the jacket.
For added embellishment, use Sulky Sliver Metallic to stitch meandering straight stitching, or use a decorative stitch over the solid strips that divide the strip sets.

Joyce used a variety of color combinations in these steps to give you more ideas on what works well. Interesting, beautiful fabrics, brilliant Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread, an old denim jacket and two evening's of creative fun can turn a $35 or $45 investment into a $150 to $200 piece of wearable art.

If desired, re-sew together cut-off peices of patchwork or make additional patchwork to trim pocket tabs and/or cuffs so they can be turned up.

Make a festive, tiered wrinkled cotton skirt out of the patchwork fabrics to match your jacket, or just add patchwork patches to a denim skirt like Patti Lee did.

The jacket that Joyce showed on PBS TV also had a yoke of Ultra Suede added above the patchwork back panel. You also could add Ultra Suede fringe if desired. Use your imagination and play.

This patchwork technique is very addictive. You may find yourself making these resurfaced denim pieces for your entire family to wear! Kids love it!