You know that moment when you see an item of clothing on Instagram or Pinterest or what-be-it, and you just HAVE to have it? I had that moment with this unbelievably cute Free People jacket, called the “Sunday Funday Trucker”.
Image Source: Free People
I truly believe that a key to being well-dressed is having a few staple pieces in your wardrobe that double as statement pieces. Jean jackets are an essential, but this pearl jean jacket completely takes any outfit to the next level. Pair it with a cute dress, or even leggings and you’re ready to go. It would go so well with a Lily Pulitzer or Tory Burch dress, adding the perfect amount of edge and class. But first I have to be able to afford those brands… Or make dupes!
This tutorial is super easy, there’s just 4 steps. If you’d prefer to watch the video, you can do so below:
- Get your materials: Jean jacket and beads!
I found my jacket at a Goodwill in Costa Mesa, California. Be sure to check both the men’s and women’s sections, as jean jackets can be unisex! My jacket cost $9.99. This jean jacket was the perfect color and size, but there was one big issue. The bedazzled name “Miche” in the back… I thought it would be super easy to remove, but let me tell you… Miche put up a fight.
I then stopped by JoAnn’s and went to the jewelry aisle, where I picked up several types of beads. I went for large pearls, mixed size pearls, and tiny silver seed beads to add some subtle sparkle to the jacket.
- Prepare the jacket
This step may not be applicable to you if you found a jacket in perfect condition. For me, this step involved trying out a bunch of different glue removers to get Miche to disappear.
First, to remove the gems, simply heat up an iron and run over the OPPOSITE side of the fabric. The glue will melt and loosen the gems. Be careful, as the gems are HOT! I scraped mine off with scissors.
Second, the glue residue needs to go. I first attempted to use rubbing alcohol for this, but with no success. My mother-in-law, Wendy, walked into the room at the perfect time. She said she had a lot of different lacquer removers back at her shop (she has a sign business, and her office is right by the house!).
So we biked over to the shop and she set me up with some lacquer remover and a paper towel. This stuff worked MUCH better, but some of the residue was very well-packed into the fabric. In hindsight, I should have brought the iron and attempted to melt the glue a little.
Most of the glue came off, but for safe measure I added some distress detail around the area.
Miche 0 : Katie 1
- Add distress
There are lots of tricks for distressing. One of the most common is using a cheese grater. This method works, but I like my way better. I cut slits into the fabric, then throw it in the washer and dryer. Boom. Done. No other work necessary!
Be sure the strategically place your slits. I didn’t want mine to be as distressed as the actual Free People jacket, so I cut mostly small slits.
- Add the pearls
The final step is to hand bead the pearls onto the jacket. If you are unfamiliar with beading, I’d definitely recommend watching a quick tutorial, as there are a ton of helpful tips!
Basically, I started from the wrong side and stuck my needle and thread through to the right side, strung my pearl, then went back down into the fabric. I repeated this process over again (minus stringing the pearl), creating an “X”. Finally, tie off the knot on the wrong side of the fabric.
This process takes a LONG time. I used a mixture of sizes of pearls, along with tiny seed beads that add a small amount of sparkle to the jacket.