For over a year I’ve been itching for an army green utility vest. It’s such a versatile piece that can dress down dresses, layer under jackets or over tees and sweaters, be belted, be open, and worn a million other ways. But with other great layering pieces I have in my closet, I could never bring myself to buy one, especially since I couldn’t ever find one that was just right.

Then Chicwish sent me this faux leather sleeve jacket, and although it was cute, the sleeves looked a little too plastic for my taste, and they were kind of sticky and hot. I wore it one day when I was out with my friends and Leanne suggested I chop off the sleeves to make a vest. Genius. 
I’d never done this with a jacket, but it was really quick and easy and would be perfect for pretty much any thrifted or unworn jacket that is calling for a refashion. 
jacket: c/o chicwish
plaid shirt: old navy
boots: c/o chicwish
bag: c/o lily and jade
watch: burberry
earrings: tiffany’s

Click through for the full tutorial!

seam ripper
pins & scissors
matching thread
Step 1. 
Using your seam ripper, detach the sleeves from the jacket. 
Your sleeves should now look like this:
Step 2. 
Serge or zigzag around the entire arm hole opening. If your jacket has a lining (like mine did), make sure you serge it to the outer fabric. 
Step 3. 
Fold twice over around the entire arm hole, pinning in place. If your fabric isn’t stretchy, you’ll run into a little bunching, as you can see. Just space out the bunching as much as possible. 
Sew around the entire arm hole with a straight stitch, securing your twice folded edge in place. Pull your fabric and sew carefully to avoid any tucks. Once it’s finished, it will be a bit wavy, but if you don’t have any tucks, it should iron out flat. 
Step 4. (optional)
Hem the bottom of your vest. Mine was a bit longer than I liked, and since there was about 2 1/2 inches between the original hem and the bottom of the zipper, I was able to hem it up a bit so it wasn’t quite so overwhelming to my frame. 
And you’re done!


  1. Tracy Miller says:

    Looks really great! You are so talented.

    Tracy @Its Mostly About Fashion

  2. Love this as a vest! Such a great layering piece!

    The Style Storm
    xo, Christina

  3. This is amazing, but I have to admit that I really loved the leather sleeves…


  4. alicemyra says:

    This is genius! I have a similar jacket that I've barely worn because of the same reason. I'm more a vest girl so I will definitely be doing this tutorial.

  5. you are so talented! this looks even better as a vest! xo


  6. Cute, and so much more versatile as a vest!

  7. LindiNicole says:

    You did such a great job! That looks awesome!

    Sweet Southern Sparkle

  8. alittlehopex says:

    You did such a good job! Love the look!

  9. Sanja T says:

    I agree about the sleeves, I love the vest.

    Love of Cuteness – Giveaway

  10. I totally agree about the sleeves too. How fun Merrick! I just came across you site and I had no idea how amazing it was. I know we talked about it a little, but to see it… I'm totally impressed friend! So proud of you and all your hard work.

  11. Roben-Marie says:

    Brilliant! I have a jacket just like this and don't like the sleeves. Time to get our the sewing machine!! 🙂

  12. Great tutorial! Such a fantastic way to refresh an old piece!

    xo, Ashleigh @ Fashion in Flight

  13. I have been wanting to do this to a jacket that I have! You always beat me to refashion punch! Oh well, I am still going to do it and now I don't have to make my own tutorial, I can just follow yours! You look beautiful as always!

  14. Jessica S says:

    I love the way you styled your vest! This piece has definitely been a workhorse in my closet!

    Enter my current giveaway!

  15. F. K. says:

    Looks much better! I love it!

  16. Sarai says:

    This is wonderful! I may try this in. a lees sew method…. Simply due to my not having a sewing machine…. I have a jacket that is to right in the shoulders, but I love it! Perfect answer!

  17. Jo Ann says:

    Great idea! I have a jacket that I loved until I took it off in the car and the sleeve got caught in the door and was hanging out for 20 miles on a rainy day. Oxy-clean did not save it bit now I can!

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