How to Make a Fringe Jacket

By Mercedes Valladares ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Pre-made jacket pattern
  • Pattern paper
  • Pre-made fringe (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Fabric: (your choice) approximately 2- to 3 yards
  • Lining (optiona)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Leather cutting knife (optional)
  • Leather shears (optional)
  • Dark pencil
  • Staight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Jacket zipper (optional)
  • Jacket snaps (optional)

Fashion and trims are two categories that work together hand in hand. Embellishing garments, jackets, shoes or handbags adds a finishing touch to the fashion statement a designer wants to convey. Trims such as fringe have been incorporated in outerwear silhouettes such as the jacket. It immediately changes the tone of the jacket into a different trend such as rock, hippie or western. By altering your jacket pattern to insert this dynamic trim element, you will be able to change the direction of your outerwear piece instantly.

Making Your Jacket's Fringe Pattern

Purchase a pre-made pattern for your jacket's silhouette at your local fabric store or online directly from the pattern manufacturer. Although you can make your own pattern, making jacket pattern parts can be quite challenging, so it is best to start with an existing pattern that can be easily altered.

Trace your pre-made pattern onto pattern paper and store the original for future projects. Include all pattern part directions such as front and back panels, notch markings and seam allowance. Do not cut the pattern pieces out.

Select your fringe trim. You can opt to purchase pre-made trim by the yard on a roll or you can make it yourself. You can opt to use the jacket's fabric or purchase complementary fabric. For example, if you are purchasing suede skins, make your fringe from the leftover suede or purchase it pre-made.

Make your own fringe. Flip your fabric over to it's wrong side, which will be facing you. Take your ruler and measure the fringe's width and length and mark it lightly with your tailor's chalk. The thinner the fringe width, the more prone it is to fray and curl. For instance, suede fringe will look best at a 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide.

Cut your fringe strips with the appropriate cutting tool. It is very important to cut fabric with fabric scissors or leather with a leather cutting knife or leather shears. This will ensure that your fringe's raw edges are smooth and will be less prone to fray.

Mark your fringe insert placement on your traced pattern with a dark pencil. Keep the original shape of your jacket as well as your fringe length in mind. For example, if you are making a contoured, waist length jacket, inserting fringe below the armhole will not be the best placement. For a woman's medium size jacket, measure 6 to 7 inches from your front high point shoulder towards the armhole's mid-point. This will ensure that your fringe will be the jacket's focal point.

Mark your fringe placement for your jacket's back view as well as sleeve. Add notch markings to align the fabric when constructing.

Add seam allowance to each marked seam where your fringe will be inserted. For example, if you are inserting fringe at your jacket's back panel, add 1/2 inch seam allowance at the top fabric part and the bottom fabric part where the fabric will be separated to insert the fringe. Not including seam allowance, will impact your jacket's overall length and fit.

Making Your Fringe Jacket

Pin and cut your jacket's pattern parts to your fabric. Transfer all of your pattern's markings onto your fabric with your tailor's chalk.

Pin your jacket parts together, inserting your fringe trim. It is best to place your jacket on your dress form and secure it with pins as well. If your jacket has a separate lining, place your outer shell over the lining shell on your form to check the jacket's length with the fringe insert. Adjust the fringe placement as necessary.

Sew and construct your jacket together. It is important to not stitch at a fast pace when stitching over the fringe insert and connecting your pattern parts. If you are working with pre-made fringe, make sure the fringe's taping strip is evenly inserted. If your jacket has a separate lining, sew the outer shell separately from the lining. Complete your jacket by stitching the shells together and inserting your closures such as zippers or snaps according to your jacket's design.

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.