Embellishing With Vintage Silk & Linkup

Yea! A project I’ve been mulling over for at least four years finally finished! Wearing occasionally while I was teaching, I had gotten good use from a simple cropped, black jacket by J.Jill. So I put it in the sack to donate to Goodwill. But then I kept taking it out and putting it back. I kept seeing…something.

Eventually I saw it as a piece to embellish. That might be fun.

When I taught a Japanese Kimono section with my 5th grade art classes, I managed to acquire several vintage kimono silk scraps. Hmm…maybe an Asian theme would work with the jacket.

I’ve used a new necklace picked up at the Kansas City’s Symphony Guild’s boutique.  I’m using my Caslon jeans, a Nordstrum’s house brand. The ballet flats are Ann Klein, found on eBay and the piped edged black/ecru leather bag was found at Goodwill (on of the rare instances that I’ve found a bag at a thrift). The green shell that I used was another thing I pulled out of my giveaway bag. It’s a White Stag that I picked up at Walmart (so long ago, I can’t even remember when) but it went perfectly so I guess I’m keeping it.

Still, I was missing something to get the project rolling. When a gorgeous silk Japanese panel (below) popped up on eBay, I knew I found the missing link. The project was a go (OK, maybe it took a few months!)


My work on this jacket was at a snail’s pace. I like hand stitching. With the exception of some lining, I hand stitched my little heart out.


My original idea was casual, pairing the coat with slacks. But Michael thought it was classy, that I could wear it to something special, like when we go to the symphony. It took a bit of searching but I finally found a dress that paired well.

I have a few black dresses but the best one that worked was the oldest. Do you remember when Isaac Mizrahi designed for Target? This dress is that old. But, hey, if it goes it goes, right? My medallion necklace is thrifted. I have my gold recycled leather clutch from the Lions in Four non-profit. My golden heels are Shaylie2 Block Heels by Marc Fisher.

A Little Touch: Buttons are a weakness of mine. I have more that anyone needs. But, of course, none of the ones I had seemed to fit with this piece. I had to go hunting. Fortunately I was able to find on eBay vintage glass Czech buttons (below).


The Japanese Kimono Silk Fabric: When I received this selection (below) of vintage fabric years ago, I remember being so excited. I only used five of the samples with the jacket. The pieces are so lovely they beg to be seen. No doubt this will take me years of mulling as well.


I have all this stashed too, plenty to work with.


The Accessories (below): I have no idea what the stones are in the necklace. Do you know? I’m pretty sure they go great with the jacket. My earrings are…vintage something, I just can’t remember what (Japanese or Chinese for some type of performance dress?) But it all works, I think.


One parting look (below) to illustrate how this project looked for quite a few weeks.


I’ve thrown this photo in after the fact because I realized that, because of my hair, no one can see the silk I added to the collar!


This is my bit for the 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup. I bought the jacket back in 2003 on clearance at J. Jill, but the fabric and buttons were sourced on the 2nd hand market.

Thank you for stopping by. I’ll have another blog bit next week. You are certainly welcome to leave a comment or two or three. I love to hear from you.

It’s Time for the Linkup!

Now to the 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup. For inspiration, I’m again kicking it off with a collage of the wonderful slow fashion stylists that linked up last month.

I appreciate all of you who link up. To be in the collage you must link up with something you scored from a consignment shop, eBay, a charity shop, or even from a friend. This can be either in the comment section below, in your linkup title, or in your post. I do read each post and try to find an item that you have gotten from a second hand source.

This month thirteen bloggers linked up at least once, sometimes more than once with GEMS that they searched for and thought deserved a second life. I now give you…

Last Months Slow Fashion Stylists from the 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup


Starting from the top left and going clockwise:

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the linkup. Again, to be in the collage, the link title or in the blog, you have to mention what was pre-loved. I hope to see you at the link-up tomorrow!

The link up button is now on every post that I publish to make it easy for you to link up.

I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

Husband Michael gets credit for the photos of me and does a bit of editing from time to time.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..


Time for my usual link-up blurb!

It’s time for the March 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup which stays open until March 30th.

Any post on a blog, Instagram, Facebook or the like can linkup to this style celebration. If you can copy and paste the URL in the Linky box, you are good to go!

One item is quite OK—a hat, skirt, pants, shoes, purse, or a piece of jewelry.  That item (or items) can be from a thrift shop, eBay, consignment shop, vintage boutique, one of the online consignment shops such as The RealReal–or even something a friend gave you because they didn’t want it anymore.

When you do post, I would appreciate a description about your 2nd Loved item (or items), what type of shop you found it and what drew you to it. Tell as much or as little as you want. To be featured in my collage, which I will put on Instagram along with your links, you have to say what item is second loved. That is a “have to”.


If you have never participated in a linkup before, no fear. Go to Linkup 101 guide that is found on my 2 nd Loved 1st Friday linkup page (also found at the top in the tab section).

Just click the frog below to link up and join the fun!

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47 thoughts on “Embellishing With Vintage Silk & Linkup

    1. Thank you, Penny

      There comes a bit of satisfaction in rehabbing something that was useless for a bit of time. I’ve been wearing this jacket all week, including to an art opening last night. This may just become one of my favorite pieces and might just encourage me to do a bit more of upcycling in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful work, Terri. You have a unique piece forever. I wonder how it would work without the revers? Happy weekend, sweetie, x.


    1. Thank you Mary. If you are referring to we call “cuffs”, I guess it would be a matter of opinion. After pinning everything one the jacket to work out the logistics, I liked the jacket with the silk additions on the bottom of the sleeves. For me, it balances the design. Because of my hair, the collar addition can’t be seen (I may add an extra photo before it’s over). The bottom sleeve was always a little wide on this jacket and the stiffer silk gives it some stability. As usual, it’s all up to personal taste. Take care and have a wonderful weekend. Terri xox


    1. eBay has a wealth of kimono scraps listed. I don’t have the heart to tear up full Kimonos or Hoaris so it best I just get scraps. I accidentally found my panel when looking for vintage silk. I seems a bit wide to be part of an Obi but Obis would make good panels I think. My next challenge with my left over scraps is to see how I can piece them together to make a modern kimono that you see in the shops today.

      If you ever embark on this kind of project, let me know. I would love to see what you come up with.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I will have to say, Brigid that i have gotten more complements that I was expecting. Mainly, I think because around here, folks appreciate a bit of bright during the dreary February/March weather that we have here in Missouri. That back panel really cheers people up because it reminds them of the Spring to come.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not surprised Jodie. Your Mom and I are sort of the same in quite a few things and I would LOVE to see her do something along this line! I would even put it on my blog! Thanks for stopping by. XOXO Terri


  2. Your jacket is truly gorgeous. I really love it and it’s a work of art. I love the buttons too, you can’t beat vintage buttons and the ones you have chosen are beautiful.
    I like both looks, it looks equally lovely dressed up or down. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you, I know you do this kind of thing too. I can’t resist beautiful vintage kimono silk scarps. They can be put to such wonderful use. I’ve worn it with just pants so far and am going to eventually get it on Instagram.


    1. Thank you Rena and you and me both on having an original pic of the jacket. I actually thought I did and was going to include it. But surprise! I didn’t take one and only had that back view with the silk panel pinned on. But take my word, the jacket was pretty boring. I just thought it would be a good thing thing to work in and it was pretty reasonable (well, reasonable for J.Jill). Let me know when you do something like this. I would love to do a post of collected embellished clothing by a bunch of us. That would be so much fun!!!!!!


  3. Terri this jacket is just amazing! What a fabulous eye you have! I love the buttons! I remember my grandmother having jars and jars of buttons and I was always fascinated by them. So often I’ve wished I still had them! Amazing job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That silk jacket is so beautiful, artful and unique Terri. You styled it so well. Great elegant look!!

    Welcome by Thursdays to linkup with me and now on the very first Sunday of each month we have a new linkup too. Come share your beautiful style. Thanks!! Ada =)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This jacket, and your workmanship and creativity, is AMAZING! I used to collect scraps of vintage fabric (and buttons, and ribbon!) but I could never bear to potentially ruin them with my lack of sewing skills. So I’m Really Impressed to see someone actually do what I only dreamed of 🙂

    This is my first visit to your blog, I found you through Catherine’s #IWillWearWhatILike link-up and I can’t wait to see more!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Bettye-Thank you for finding my little blog. I do admit that I’ve been sewing since I’ve been 10 so that has been quite a while. I did this all by hand, and so was able to take a very slow pace which I think is good for anyone, especially beginners. I still have tons of scraps and buttons to figure out what to do with! Take care, Terri


  7. What a fantastic project Terri! The fabrics you’ve used are beautiful and have transformed the jacket into a fabulous and unique piece. I love upcycling but I’m hopeless with sewing – I should learn to use the sewing machine my mother in law gave me.

    Emma xxx


    1. Thank you Jeanne! For a while there, I had a problem of wanting every scrap pack of kimono silk out there-I’ve reined it in lately. But I always go back to my silk packs for projects, even using them in original garments. Finding use for odds and ends has given me so much satisfaction, I have found. Thank you for dropping by and checking my jacket out.


  8. Terri, this is a brilliant makeover for this jacket! I have been fascinated with kimono styles and fabrics and prints since I was a young girl, so I am swooning over all of those beautiful samples! I adore your symphony outfit! Those shoes are magnificent. And I had a good chuckle about your dress being Isaac Mizrahi for Target! I still have a bright orange paisley blazer from that collection!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shelbee, this post seems like such a long time ago-I had forgotten that I had done it for the link-up I use to run. I still have a lot of silk scraps left over. I have a few things from Issac’s Target collection, including a pair of mules that I’ve never worn but really love them so keep hanging on to them-maybe some day!


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