My Version/Their Version

photo-1   vedacoat_396barneys_viaelle


I have been haunted by this cargo jacket (above right) with leather sleeves for some time now but I couldn’t remember the brand or price. So I was walking with Wes down Yonge street and I found it in the window of a boutique! It was clearly a sign. I went in and asked the sales person about it and she took the beautiful coat off the hanger and handed it to me to try on but then I saw the price… $396! I died a little inside and didn’t try it on, then slumped all the way back down Yonge. Later, I realized how easy it would be to replace the sleeves on a regular coat! All I would have to do is find the perfect coat and leather pants or a skirt from a thrift store for the sleeves. Here’s how I did it.


Sewing Level: Intermediate

DIY cost: $33.80 Jacket, Forever 21; $14.00 Leather pants, Double Take Thrift Store = ~ $48 vs. $396


  1. Find a jacket without lining that is suitable to your taste and budget. I wanted to look in second-hand shops for a cargo coat but I figured it would be easier to buy them in-store since they’re everywhere and because I wanted the body to be similar to the original Vedo coat. I found mine at Forever 21 (Fairview Mall) for $33.80.
  2. Using a stitch ripper, separate the sleeves from the jacket and then the seam of the sleeve, making it lay flat – make sure to note the front and back sleeve and mark.
  3. Create a pattern using packing paper, newspaper, gift paper or whatever you can get your hands on. Lay the sleeve on the paper and trace around it. Mark the seam allowance which you can see from the dismantled sleeve. Again mark the back and front on the sleeve pattern.
  4. Find leather for your sleeves. You can try the “big” name thrift stores but they usually charge a lot for their leather. Try to find a “mom-and-pop” second hand store. I got mine at Double Take for $14. Try to find leather that would be easy as possible to sew. Mine is calfskin so it’s nice and thin.
  5. Place the pattern on the leather pant leg (dismantled the same way as the sleeve). My pant leg was in panels so there were seam lines throughout. In this case I lined up the tip of the shoulder with the main seam on the pant leg so it would match up with the shoulder seam on the coat. (see below for how I positioned my pattern). If you are using a fabric other than leather make sure to match your grainlines.
  6. Sew up the sleeve seam.
  7. Attach the sleeve to the body of the jacket matching the back and front of the sleeve to the back and front of the jacket.
  8. Finally hem the sleeve hole.
  9. Be careful sewing with leather. Use a walking foot and a needle suitable for leather… unlike me, who broke four. Eeep!


For those of you interested in Veda Jackets (which are awesome!) they can be found online at ShopBop. If anyone knows of any boutiques in Toronto that carry Veda let me know and I’ll post them.

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Categories: Blog, Do It Yourself

  1. Char says:

    YESSSSSSS I love this. I missed your blog posts!!

  2. Marta says:

    I like yours better! :)

  3. dad says:

    Looks extremely nice. Contrat is COOL and seams on sleeves superb. Great Job Kid

  4. Kelly says:

    I have the same obsession with this coat! So happy you DIY it in an affordable way. Looks awesome.

  5. Lisa says:

    This is a really great idea! Thanks!

  6. Nia says:

    Amazing! Wouldn’t dare to guess the big price difference!

  7. Taylor says:

    I have a jacket like this but it is leather and denim. I would prefer that the denim be a lighter color, so I wanted to take the sleeves off, bleach the denim, and then sew the sleeves back on. Would I just use a stitch ripper to take them off, bleach it and then sew them back on? or is it more complicated than that? Thanks!

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