Refashioning ethnic dress – Yao jacket

As you might have realised by now, I’m a big fan of ethnic textiles, embroidery and handicrafts – especially crafts that you can actually wear. The problem is, even if a garment is wearable, it doesn’t mean you necessarily want to wear it as is. 

I bought this Yao tribal jacket at the Talat Sao market in Vientiane last year and until now it has sat in my (ever-expanding) “to-do” pile as I wasn’t sure how to refashion it. 

I’ve realised that sometimes you have to wait for inspiration to strike – and then get chopping/sewing… and cutting up old socks…. 

Yes, old socks. Here’s what I did. Chopped off the excess length of the jacket, created rather large darts in the front and back to make it a bit more fitted, and then – the piece de resistance – used old Explorer socks (probably purchased for a school camp in 1989!!) to create jumper-like sleeves. They look pretty yuk right-side out… 

 … but the texture on the inside was perfect to complement the fuzziness of the pom poms down the lapels of the jacket.

Plus, the socks add a bit of warmth. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out and have decided to raid my local op shops for more thick socks to add to boring jumpers or things with too-short sleeves. Feel free to laugh, but this idea is making me feel I’m something of a genius!!