Scrap busting Ilford Jacket

HelenHelen's Makes, Scrap Busting25 Comments

Scrap Busted Ilford Jacket

Helen's scrap busted Ilford Jacket.

I sew a lot. I sew clothes for my business and for myself, I sew things for Sam, and I’ve recently taken up quilting, too! All this sewing results in a lot of textile waste. While sewing your own clothes can be a way to opt out of the fast-fashion world, it presents its own challenges when it comes to sustainability. One way I like to combat my waste is to save my larger scraps and use them to make even more projects. Now that I am quilting, I’ve started saving the smaller scraps too! There is something so satisfying about piecing things together to make a larger something. Even when we are not scrap busting in our sewing, we are making garments out of a bunch of pieces of fabric and it’s really amazing!

This Ilford Jacket is made with six different fabrics from Helen's stash.
Scrap busted Ilford Jacket, back view.

This week I have a project to share that is made out of 6 different fabric scraps from my stash. I liked the way all these pink scraps were looking together, and next to this gorgeous dark blue popcorn denim, it was love. I’ve been pinning several scrap busted jackets like this on Pinterest and I wanted to do my own take on this cool look!

Scrap busting Ilford Jacket Inspiration (Sources left to right: Urban Outfitters, Asos, and ELINA PRIHA).
Sources (left to right): Urban Outfitters, Asos, ELINA PRIHA

Fabrics Used:

Helen's Ilford Jacket, front view.

For my pattern base I used the Friday Pattern Company Ilford Jacket. This pattern is great because it has nice straight lines and a simple, unlined construction. I’ve made three of them now! Two for me and one for Sam (coming to the blog soon). I was able to take this jacket pattern and easily add seams across the front and back to break up the jacket into smaller pieces. I also separated the button placket from the jacket (it is all on piece in the pattern) so I could make it all out of the dark blue denim. 

Colorblocked Ilford Jacket close up, seperated button placket and sleeve cuff.
Helen's added elbow patches to her color blocked Ilford.
Ilford Jacket with asymmetrical pocket design.

Once I made my initial horizontal breaks I further broke up the back of the jacket to make use of the pieces I had on hand. You can add a seam literally anywhere! You don’t have to approach it evenly, my back horizontal seam and front horizontal seam don’t match at the side seam and I think it looks cool. Don’t hesitate to play around with the breaks and do some sketches to work out your ideas. 

Side by side view of the left and right sides of Helen's color blocked Ilford jacket.
One pocket of this Ilford features a pocket flap.

Once I had my base jacket, I designed some cool front pockets. I knew I wanted them to be asymmetrical and overlap the seam in some ways, and I was even able to work a pocket flap into a seam as well—so fun! The Ilford comes with some really cool pockets so it would be easy to use the ones provided here, too. The last modification I made was to add oversized elbow patches. I had some corduroy left so this was a no-brainer, I love a good elbow patch!

Helen showing off her corduroy elbow patches.
Color blocked Ilford Jacket pocket and sleeve placket close up.

Sewing this jacket was not that different from the Friday Pattern Co instructions. I did have to sew my scrap-busted back and front together first and then attach my placket, but from there it was true to the pattern. I also went the extra mile with this project and did bias bound seams! I used another fabric I had some scraps of and pieced together enough bias tape to bind most of the seams. I used a flat-felled seam for the rest (sleeve and side seams). I love the way it looks and it was really satisfying to sew! Sometimes it’s nice to slow down with a project like this and enjoy every little detail. Plus, denim is so pleasant to work with! It was pretty easy to apply the bias binding on these seams. 

Ilford Jacket interior, bias bound seam finishes.
Helen showing off the interior of her Ilford jacket, complete with bias bound finishes.
The Ilford Jacket shown buttoned up.

Since some of the fabrics I used for this project were different weights I made sure to interface areas like the cuffs and sleeve plackets. I used washed linen for these parts and I wanted to make sure it would hold up to wear and tear. I also chose to use classic jeans buttons for this project because I had a bunch in my stash and the copper colour just looked so good against the blue and pink. I recently did an Instagram story about how I installed these buttons if you want to check that out here. I got these buttons at Blackbird Fabrics

Scrap busted Ilford Jacket placket close up.
Scrap busted Ilford Jacket (pattern by Friday Pattern Company).
Scrap busted Ilford Jacket.

Thanks for checking out my scrap busted Ilford Jacket! I think I will wear this jacket a ton, especially now that the weather is a bit warmer here in the Pacific Northwest. I hope you are feeling inspired to tackle your own scrap-busting project. It can be very freeing and fun to use up your scraps and get creative with seam lines. Remember—seams can go anywhere and there is no right way to scrap bust! 

Happy sewing,

About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

25 Comments on “Scrap Busted Ilford Jacket”

  1. This is GORGEOUS! I love the fabrics you chose… the shades of pink are so nice together. And you made an excellent button choice. I love how creative this is.

  2. Helen!!!! This jacket is dope! I love everything from the combination of the fabrics to all those amazing pockets and asymmetries! All the details are just spot on! And… the pièce de résistance… those bias bounded seams!! *jaw dropping*

  3. I LOVE THIS – the coral and indigo are just perfect together. Lisa Woolfork recently did a podcast ep for Stitch Please about the virtues of the scrap box/bag/draw/bin and wow this is a great example of why this matters. Brava!

  4. Love it! Now I’m inspired to make an Ilford from some cast-off jeans from our household, maybe combined with a suspicious brown corduroy I thrifted (ELBOW PATCHES!).

  5. This is SOOOOOO CUTE!!! It’s a good thing I don’t live in Canada, because I might be squealing it away from your closet while you weren’t looking. ;-P I don’t usually make boxy jackets because they tend to overwhelm my small, no curves body, but this version has so much interest and texture it would totally work. Must. Make. Now. Thanks a million for the shot of inspiration I desperately needed. Love your jacket, love you! Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  6. I love the colors you put together and I appreciate the idea. I bet you will get lots of compliments on that jacket and many requests asking where you got it. I am trying to use up years worth of good sized scraps, so any scrap buster ideas give me inspiration for my scraps.

  7. This jacket is absolutely lovely! I am so inspired by the idea to make a scrap-jacket like this… One question, if you don’t mind – I’m making an ilford at the moment, and it will be my first attempt at flat-felled seams. I just wondered how you navigated the underarm area, where the front and rear bodice meet at a severe angle so I’m struggling to imagine how a) you end the flat-felled seam between front and rear (since the edge is straight all the way from hem to shoulder) and b) how you attacht the sleeve at this point with the flat-felled seams there?

    Apologies, I hope you understand what I mean!

    1. Hi Robert,

      Thanks so much! I do understand what you mean. I did bias bound seams so it was easier for me to navigate this area. I would suggest asking Friday Pattern Co what they would suggest :)

  8. Love this, Helen. Would love to know how you separated the front button plackets as this is a gorgeous touch. Is there somewhere I can find this technique? x

    1. Hi Laura,

      It’s been a while since this project but I believe I simply cut off the grown on placket (minus seam allowance) and then drafted a new placket to add on.

  9. Thank you, have just bought lucky dip denim remnants from Dalston mills to add to some other scraps and can’t wait to make this. Thanks for the inspiration, Helen

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