Denim Jean Jacket Hack – Add Sheer Windowpanes

I’ll admit; I am a collector of jean jackets! So, I decided to elevate my denim game with a twist of sophistication by adding fabric insets to create stunning sheer windowpane jean jackets. This fusion of rugged denim and delicate sheer fabric perfectly brings a touch of elegance to the classic jean jacket.

What is a ‘Windowpane’ Jean jacket?

Since denim jackets are a timeless wardrobe staple, why not give yours a trendy update? Enter the windowpane denim jacket – a chic twist on the classic that combines the coolness of denim with the delicate touch of sheer fabric or any other detailed inset. I’m sure this will go wild on Pinterest!

Starting with a basic denim jacket this DIY project is surprisingly easy; allowing you to personalize your jacket for a truly unique look. In this tutorial guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create your own window pane jean jacket with sheer fabric insets, allowing you to unleash your creativity and express your unique sense of style.

Wonderful timeless Jean jackets;

Doesn’t everyone have one?! Since this will totally transform the denim wardrobe staple almost any jean jacket will work but choose your own beautiful cut. Maybe those extra tattered ones can get a new lease on life!

What Fabric to Use for the Windowpanes;

Almost any fancy or detailed fabric will work but sheer panels add an extra transparent element. I try to look for fabrics that do not fray too much as then you can leave edges unfinished. The sheer nature of the fabric also allows the jacket to be lighter and be accented by your ‘under’ garments.

Look around for embroidered scarves, curtains or vintage wedding wear. Did you know that you can also dye it?! Yes, you can dye cotton with Fibre reactive Dye or polyester with iDye Poly (tutorial coming soon)

There are ready-made sheers available in the bridal wear departments of fabric stores as well. A tight weave will ensure that it is sturdy enough for repeated washing.

I also choose ones that do not have very large stitching; so that it less likely to snag on things like jewelry.

Take a look at those curtains as well! Look at these sweet flowers that used to be part of a kitchen valance. I believe lace is also making a comeback. There are so many hand crocheted doilies begging for a new home – how ‘boho’ is that?!

Materials Needed:

  1. Denim jacket (light to medium wash)
  2. Sheer fabric (such as chiffon, organza, or lace)
  3. Fabric scissors
  4. Measuring tape
  5. Fabric glue, seam stabilizer (optional)
  6. Iron and ironing board (if using fusible interfacing)
  7. Sewing machine
  8. Thread (matching the color of the denim and sheer fabric)

Select Your Denim Jacket:

Choose your jacket and plan what fabric will work well with the colour. Take note of where pockets are as some may need to be eliminated. This jacket is a longer style, but the pockets will remain and work well with the design.

Prepare the Sheer Fabric Placement:

Lay out the sheer fabric of your choice and determine the size and shape of the insets you want to create. Rather than cut the sections I pin the large sheer piece in place (right side up under jacket) and cut later. If desired you can use fabric scissors to carefully pre-cut the sheer fabric into panels or shapes that will fit within the window pane design of the jacket.

The odd slashes seen above are my specific method of changing the fit slightly adding a bit of a relaxed fit. Pin around the shape(s) If the panels are flat enough you can cover more than one panel at a time.

Sew Around Each Windowpane Section:

With a denim needle and denim matching thread sew tightly to the double seams with a very tight short stitch (to deter unraveling/fraying)

Remove the Denim Sections:

Check that all stitching on the back and then carefully cut and remove the windowpane sections. The denim will fry more so I leave about 3/8″ – 1/2″ extra from the double seam. Make sure to NOT cut the sheer fabric by accident.

Repeat for the other sections:

The front is sewn with the patch pockets sitting well within the shape. If need be, the entire pocket can be eliminated since the sheer will show the pocket through the fabric.

I love the ‘shacket’ look of this denim jacket and carefully cut away the denim pieces inside the windowpanes.

This fabric reminds me of crocheted cotton, but still makes for a light airy spring jacket.

After washing the rustic nature of the frayed denim panels will add more sophistication.

How to use Embroidered Tulle:

Denim pairs so well with all kinds of fabrics. If you desire a tulle (weaker fabric) you can add a layer of organza sheer behind the embroidered fabric to stabilize it even more.

The pocket is completely cut away from the back and the slash opening will be eliminated when the ‘panel’ is cut out.

Stitch around the double seams and also the side seam. Stitch around the breast pocket as well.

The design was limited to the lower front panels but the upper yokes can also be panelled. Sleeves can also be replaced but the method may need to be adapted since sewing within the sleeve ‘tube’ is more difficult. I suggest that the under arm seam is opened and the cuff is sewn to the flat section and then attached at arm hole again.

Consider Replacing upper Yokes as well:

This jacket design had an integrated upper and lower pocket so the yoke (top front) was also replaced. I can imagine that this technique could also revamp collared shirts – endless design options.

The little peek-a-boo feature to see the under garment is so much fun, not to mention the extra breathability.

This jacket revamp required about 1/2 meter of fabric. The back panel is the largest single piece.

This concept can be applied to jeans as well. Adding some lace or fringe can further embellish. Be creative and make it your own style! Perhaps some FME (free motion embroidery) on sheer will be even more unique! Please share your creation on my Instagram! Happy making…

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4 Comments

  1. Very neat project! Thanks Barb for the precise instructions. I’m going to try doing this to my Jean jacket. Mmmm I have an old white one that could be fun! 🤩

    1. Oh, you made me laugh! Thanks! There’s been some jeans that have gotten a lot more sexy. I suppose the choice of sheer sections can be quite interesting!