Giving Your Old Puffer Jacket New Life

20th April, 2022   |   How To...Guides

As seen on the Today Show : The hidden potential of puffers is incredible – a few really simple tweaks can transform them beyond all recognition.


Puffer vests are indescribably useful for transitioning between seasons. By simply chopping off the sleeves, you’ll gift yourself a vest you’ll probably wear for months on end, with everything. And, it’s a very easy conversion for you or your machinist to do.

All you have to do is cut off each sleeve leaving half an inch of fabric to spare and then tuck the excess underneath and stitch inside to secure.

If you then want to embellish your new vest, the haberdashery world is your oyster. You can trim around the arm holes with anything you like and remember, you can always layer up embellishments to create your own design. This beading was $7 per yard from Pacific Trimmings in New York City.


Those sleeves don’t need to go to waste. Making a small bag out of them is much easier than you’d think because it’s already half made. Simply sew up the bottom, create a handle and off you go.


There are so many ways you could convert your puffer so here are a few more to get you going:

  • Replace the zip
    You could go for one in a contrasting colour or different metals. It could be thick and chunky or skinny and hidden.


  • Adding a zip pull
    This can be a very simple way of tying in additional colours and giving a designer finish
  • Updating the bottom elastic
     Adding a new piece of wide elastic can radically change your jacket. You can get amazing colourful and stylish elastics online or at a haberdashers – simply sew over what’s already there or replace it altogether. You could even do this to the cuffs and neckline too.

  • Sewing on badges 

These are a really fun way to personalize your outfit. 

Go for modern abstract shapes, contrasting colours/textures or fun badges that are meaningful to you e.g. clubs you’re a member of. Or you can go sentimental and unpick a badge from a top your child has grown out of. I once bought a babygro off ebay just so I could unpick the badges and sew them onto my jacket!

And of course you can sew these onto your jeans or shirt too.


Kate’s favourite trimming shops





Pacific Trimmings (NYC)

VV Rouleaux (London)


Converting a White Shirt 

Converting Jeans


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