If you were on a scavenger hunt and you were supposed to find someone wearing denim, the place to be would have been at SAX Consignment last week when I stopped by to say hi to one of my daughters who was working at their store that day.
I’d just come from having a casual lunch at Taco Jane’s with girlfriends in San Anselmo. It was my first day in a long time for wearing double denim. I had on my DL1961 jeans with their frayed hems rolled high, a favorite white shirt of mine by a Nordstrom line called 1901 (what’s with all the numbers?) and my trusty jean jacket and AGL tennis shoes.
The store is small but that didn’t stop me from stalking this lovely woman wearing an outfit that I could practically lift from her and wear myself. I adored the shiny bright navy ankle pants, her thick soled white patent loafers, her oversized backpack in that lovely shade of whitish-tanish-blushish. I love mixing fancy with casual, which leads me to the piece de resistance: the hand decorated distressed jean jacket with words on it.
Here are some of the phrases written on it: Reach for the stars; Fly for the clouds don’t stay on the ground; How Rare and Beautiful It Is To Even Exist; Love; Shine Bright; THIS IS ALL MINE!!!!
I did talk to her and asked her about her unique jacket with stars and planets and hearts and kid drawings. She told me she loved this jacket because her kids were the illustrators. It made me want to go home, pull out fabric pens and start writing on denim! Or maybe for my next birthday, I’ll ask my kids to decorate a jean jacket for me. Wouldn’t that be so fun to wear? Something loved ones had a personal hand in creating?
The denim pieced vest
Then I turned around and ran into another jean project! This woman named Dorcas was wearing a patchwork jean vest in multiple shades of denim. Her mother-in-law used to have a boutique on Union Street in San Francisco, and that’s where she found this vest. It’s so well-made! After I admired the outside of it, she showed me the surprise inside.
It’s so well-made! After I admired the outside of it, she showed me the surprise inside.
The lining is this beautiful bird print. Denim, birds, patchwork, three of my favorite things. I was thanking my lucky stars that I’d dropped in.
When I look at it close in this photo, I would imagine it could be worn inside out! Could this get any better? The only way it could have been better is if it had actually been on the racks and I could have purchased it.
Making a denim jacket for Erin
I’ve had my own DIY denim project for the very daughter who was in the store that day. I made this jacket from scratch for Erin when she was about seven-years-old. I used the wrong side of the denim fabric (the lighter, pinker denim) to make the front and back side of the jacket, plus the sleeves. I used the right side (the indigo side) of the fabric to make the flaps on the front and back. I made star and moon appliqués in both the right and the wrong side of the fabric to decorate it. It was quite celestial.
Here’s the backside of it. It’s lost a couple of beads up near the top. The beads represent the twinkling night sky. I added detachable stars in front and back so in case Erin got bored, she could unbutton the stars and put them in different places. She got bored a lot, but she never took the stars off and on. You’ll understand in a minute.
Trevor, her big brother, gave me the idea to outline the moon in beads. The other night there was a crescent moon in the sky. I saw that outline and thought of him and his contribution to his sister’s coat.
She’d just lost the coat I purchased for her from Macy’s. I decided to make a coat for her that had some form of identification in case she lost this next one. I added her name to the inside of the back. If she left it somewhere, someone could bring it back to her or me. That was my theory…or was it an excuse? I love her name and I loved seeing it here. I loved the playfulness of the letters and colors so I ended up covering the seams to make it officially reversible.
Fabric pens is what makes the inside of the letters in her name darker than the rest. I used different colored thread for the different letters.
I decided to give her four front pockets. What child doesn’t need pockets for carrying around things like snails and caterpillars? I adorned the pockets with her birthdate.
Other than those beads missing on the back, it’s in pristine condition. Why? Because she never wore it. But when she grew up and started doing crafty things herself, she saw it with new eyes. I hang this coat on the door handle of the coat closet in our Sonoma home. Whenever she brings anyone over to the house, it’s the first thing she grabs to show to her friends.
Some things don’t get appreciated in their own time.
Do you have a love of denim? Do you adorn denim jackets? Maybe you add pins or brooches to them? Do share, would you please? I’d love to hear about your denim affairs. We all would!