I often feel cold when I’m working on my DIY projects, choosing, cutting fabrics, and sewing on my kitchen table. I can wrap a blanket around myself, but it will slip away, crumpled on the floor soon enough. I can turn on the heater, but I don’t need it to warm the whole room, just a small section I’m in. I can also wear a long-sleeve sweater, but because it’s the kitchen, I go back and forth between sewing and washing dishes and I hate to roll up my sleeves a lot. So it’s time to make myself a DIY Bolero to keep me warm and cozy at all times when I’m working on my projects (and washing dishes :)

I frequently go to Kinokuniya bookstore at San Francisco Japantown, and back in 2010, I bought this Japanese magazine Cotton Friend Autumn 2010 edition. I wasn’t able to sew a thing back then, but I knew I wanted to try making some of these fun projects.

On page 30 – 35 on that issue, I was immediately in love with this bolero. It just looks so cozy and I LOVE the combination of the balloon sleeves, V front, and boxy, slightly cropped cut.
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The pattern for this project (and many other projects) is included, so now it’s time to actually make this DIY bolero after 3+ years of owning this magazine. The timing is just perfect. For the fabric, I chose two pieces of Peruvian textile blankets that we bought during our trip to Peru last year. The Peruvian textile I used for my DIY Maxi Skirt is long and wide. In contrast, these striped blankets were long but not so wide. The fabric width was barely enough for the torso backside pattern piece.
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However, once the fabric pieces were cut, finishing the whole project was relatively easy, thanks to the concise visual how-to on the magazine. After attaching the back side and front pieces, I sewed a bias tape surrounding the V-shape front. Then I attached the sleeves and gathered them. It took me approximately the same time I spent with DIY Maxi Skirt, around 5 hours. Here were some of the photos I took when I wasn’t so “in the zone”.
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Lastly, I attached a small hook and eye at the tips of each front sides (i.e.: at the base of the “V”). And it’s done!
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I really, really love the balloon sleeves :)
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I just remembered a Joker pose from a set of playing cards I had a long time ago, and I just had to try imitating it with this awesome DIY bolero…
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…but after that I mellowed down, unhooked the front, and just chilled out a bit, y’know?
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What do you think about the DIY bolero? I’m really happy that I kept that Cotton Friend magazine, I really am. And that magazine has so many more fun fashion projects to choose from! So many DIY projects, not enough time, right?

Thank you for reading, until next time,

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