Monday, February 7, 2022

Peacock Jacket Finished, and First Outfit

Today, I'm thrilled to show off my finished Peacock Jacket! Woo! I built an outfit with it right away, and wore it to work on Monday. 

As a reminder, we started with this:
It's a lovely pastel blue leather jacket, but I was getting bored of it. 

So I turned it into this: 
And this: 
I did a bunch of gold touch-ups on the back, and then sprayed the whole thing with a lacquer to help keep it looking nice. 

And now, the outfit! 

I'm relieved to see that it's light enough now in the mornings that my stair pictures are bright again. Yay! Spring is coming. 
I built the outfit to show off the jacket - nothing scene-stealing. 

  • Jacket - /id, thrifted, customized by me; last worn here in September 2021 for a Mom-Day Adventure
  • Shirt - Yest; last seen here in January with zebra and PANK
  • Skirt - DaRue Petite for Draper's & Damon's, vintage 80s, thrifted; first worn here in October 2021 with an embroidered moto jacket
  • Shoes - Channi B; last seen here in December 2021 with gold pleats and dragons
  • Coat (below) - L'Atiste, consignment, Vancouver; last worn here in January

I kept the underneath items very classic (a white shirt) and simple (solid colours) to let the jacket shine. 
Unfortunately, there were very few people in the office. Thanks for bearing with me, Carol-Anne! I also showed it to Andy the security guard. 

I'm really pleased with how it looks. 
The gold rubbed off almost immediately in the elbow bend areas, but other than that, it held up well all day. 

I'll have to see if I can sneak in another wearing of it when I'm seeing more people! 
I enjoyed wearing this skirt again! Although it's a true "pine" green and the belt/shoes are more teal, it all flowed together. 

Done up. I only wore it like this when I had my coat on. 
I like how the design works on the front. 

Open again. 
How would you style this? I'm open to suggestions/ideas! 

Masked up.
More dark teal. 

This coat is loose enough not to rub on the jacket. It was a lot warmer than expected today (10 degrees!) and didn't rain as had been predicted. 

I'm ready for pretty much any weather. This Ed Hardy scarf is almost the exact shade of blue as my jacket. 

  • Silk scarf - Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier, consignment
  • Hat - gift from Tammy
  • Gloves - Roeckl, consignment
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
Easy shoes - there's a hidden platform in the toe area. The colour is teal, but when I held them up to the pine green skirt, they were nearly an exact match, just a shade or two off. 

Minimal bling: 
The jacket's blingy enough! 

  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Brooch (on hat) - Le Chateau, c. 2007?

The black "tie" I wore with the white shirt is an extra sash piece that came with some article of clothing now lost to the sands of time. I have a few skinny sashes like this - they're useful once in a while. 

Back to the jacket. 

Art Project: Peacock Jacket: The Big Reveal

Now we'll have a look at what I've done from my early December 2021 update. If you missed any of the process pictures, you can revisit them:

  • Part 1: Design and first drawing - here, November 2021
  • Part 2: Black-lining on the back - here, November 2021
  • Part 3: The finished back - here, December 2021

Since I last did an update, I have completed all the sleeves and the front of the jacket, along with all the colour, gold and touch-ups.

Here's where we last left off - I'd finished the back, including all of the gold-work.
Ooh, so pretty...

I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do on the shoulders. I'm not reinventing the wheel here, just doing some of the same designs I'm familiar and happy with. Roses! 

On the upper shoulders, I did a pair of roses, with two feathers, copying the design from the peacock on the back. 
I knew that I wanted to evoke the look of chains draping down the arms, like what a punk rocker might have attached to a jacket. I drew a draped "chain" using the same pattern as on the back. 

Getting the extra darkening in with the black pen. 
This is always my favourite part - the design looks so much more deliberate and artsy. 

Getting the darker black on the chain. 
I like those feathers - they are surprisingly easy to do (once I figured out how!). 

I didn't do anything on the middle section of the arms, but did the front and sides of the cuffs. 
All ready for colour! 

I've added the colour to the upper sleeve here. 
And to the cuff. It doesn't look finished, because I hadn't added the gold at this point. Working on a soft leather garment, and thrashing it around as I work on it (some angles are better than others), means that all the previous work is going to get scrunched and handled, folded and bent. 

I noticed that the gold that I'd done on the back was flaking off. Sigh. I'm resigned to the fact that the colour fades over time (you'll notice that the colour lightens up a lot), but that was a lot more fading than I'd hoped for. 
You can see where the green arrows are pointing that those loops have lost most of their gold. I touched up the one at the top where the red arrow is. Big difference. 

So, having learned that, I decided that the gold would be last on the sleeves and front, and then I would retouch all the gold that needed it on the back. Once I'm done the full jacket, it's not going to be treated as roughly as it would when I'm working on it. 

Here are both sleeves done, upper arms and cuffs. 
I did the fronts of the pockets when I was working on the back (they have the gold done). 

Some close-ups. I will be adding gold along the feather lines...
…and colouring in the loops, bumps and all the small "bubbles" coming off the chain design. 

How the sleeves look from the back. Both sleeves took about 6 hours total. 
I don't do design where my arms are going to rub against my body or where they might rest on a table or desk - easier to leave those sections blank. It's really important that I continually test out how the jacket looks when it's on, as opposed to the on the hanger, so that I get the design to look right. 

I took my jacket with me on our trip to Powell River a couple of weeks ago, and worked on it for about 6 solid hours, deciding what I was going to do on the front. 
I decided on big roses at the waist (they make the waist look small), with more chains just above the the boobs, and at the hem opening. A small leafy design went on the lapels - they needed something. You can see that I'm adding some more leaves on the right, but haven't done them on the left yet. 

I added a secret rose to the back of the collar. 
You can see that my further manipulations of the jacket have caused the touched up loop's gold to flake off. 

With the chestal region chains, I carried them up under the collar - I like being able to show them off. 
I'm kind of just making it up as I go! 

All done with the colour on the front, including all the "halo"-ing I do with the blue colour around the loops and chains. I do a line of a dark blue, and then use a lighter shade to blend/fade it out into a halo of colour. 
I'm using Tombow alcohol-based markers with a paint-brush felt tip for all my colouring. They blend really well.

The fresh colour is much brighter than it ends up a few days later. 
Those two shades of red calm right down, as do the two shades of green in the leaves. You can see the difference in the sleeves and the front, which were done about a week apart. 

Colour on the secret rose.
And we are ready to add the gold! 

But first, gotta sign it! 
I did this on the inside back hem. 

And here we are - the front is all done. 
I'd originally intended on changing out the buttons, but I actually like that they just disappear into the jacket. It lets the design stand out. 

And the back - I redid the gold on the loops/chains and hem only - I didn't redo the gold on the feathers, as I liked how it looked more faded there. 
I also went over some of the black that had gotten covered with the liquid gold ink, just to tidy it up and make it pop. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my jacket come together over the past couple of months. I've added a small summary to My Art Projects tab, so that you can find this easily if you want to show your friend/spouse/mom (hi! I know you're all out there!).

I'm onto my next project, for my hairdresser Kaitlyn, who brought me a teal jacket to play with. I've decided on a theme: Spiderwebs! 


  1. Yay, first comment?? I love the jacket completed!! And the fact that it fits great is an added bonus. I've altered and added things to stuff before but end up donating it because the fit wasn't quite right, and then I regret not having it. That turned out beautifully Sheila. Love the dark green skirt and shoes with it too.

    1. Yay, you are! Thank you so much, Joni! I bought it and wore is as it originally was (undecorated) for a couple of years, and when I was casting about for my next project, it seemed the perfect piece to do.

  2. Oh, Sheila (oh, that's going to be going on all night)! This jacket is stunning! All of that work definitely created a masterpiece! I think a striped Breton tee (in either a burgundy or green) with your wide leg pants (I forget the special name you have for them) along with a beret would be rather cool. But, I love the pleated skirt and plain white blouse. Those shoes are killer, too!

    1. Lol, thank you so much, Marsha! I love the idea of a striped top and I know the pants you mean (my Jean-Paul Gaultier jeans) - that would be a fantastic look!

  3. I love seeing all the progress pics and that completed jacket - as it is with your other pieces Sheila it's really stunning! :)I like blue and green together too so I love this outfit you wore it with for the first time, although it's a shame you didn't see many people for them to be admiring this jacket. Once it's warm enough to wear on it's own you are going to get so many compliments on it from everyone you pass!

    1. I'm glad you enjoy seeing how it changes as I work on it, Mica. Thanks so much. I know, I need to wear it in public so I can show it off (I need the accolades, lol). It will be worn more in the spring, I think.

  4. My goodness Sheila it's amazing! Such a art work! I can imagine that Vivienne Westwood would loved to have that piece in her collection. Don't know why but I just pictured it in her London shop back in the 80s.

    1. Thank you so much, Nancy! I want to wear this with my black tulle skirt as well - very Westwood (she is one of my fashion idols).

  5. OMG! Your creativity is amazing Sheila. Such Talent. Agree with Marsha above that wide leg pants (boss lady pants?) would also look great. Looking forward to more outfits.
    Judith from Ottawa

    1. Thank you, Judith! Yes, I can picture my red linen Boss Lady pants with this, or my JP Gaultier jeans.

  6. The peacock jacket is stunningly AWESOME!!!! I'd wear it with jeans, with wide legged pants, with a pencil skirt, with a vibrant shirt that highlights one of the colors in the jacket…

    Here's to Spring coming next month!!!!

    1. I nearly wore a red/abstract roses skirt with it - next time, Laurie! Thank you so much - I'm actually glad I'm finished (I get tired of it after so many hours working on it).

      Spring for me starts April 1st when I do my closet swap-over, but there are signs of spring here. Soon!

  7. The jacket turned out so great! And it was a perfect first outfit. I think the skirt went with it so well.

  8. You are such an accomplished artist. You did so well. Love the jacket. It would be too BoHo for me, but it is sooo special, so unique, so pretty.

  9. What a massive transformation of an ordinary jacket. No one will duplicate your look out and about. I love how you dressed it up.

    1. You nailed it, Sam - I like having something no one else does Thanks so much!

  10. Your peacock jacket is a masterpiece, Sheila, and the items you chose to accompany it on its first outfit couldn't have been more perfect. It's a marvel how the pine green of your skirt and the teal of your shoes, belt and bling work together.
    I'm sure the next outfit you create with the jacket will be equally amazing. You definitely need to show it off to more people.
    Such a shame about the gold rubbing off though, but I'm guessing you can live with having to touch it up now and then.
    Can't wait to see your next project! xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Ann. I was so shocked at how close the pine and teal were! I am looking forward to trying something else with it, and may move it into my spring wardrobe to take advantage of all the pretty skirts I have there.

      I's a drag, but ah well. Nothing lasts forever.

      Sadly, I will not be able to do the Spider Jacket. :( The material isn't stable enough for me to work on.

  11. The peacock jacket is finally finished- and it's absolutely beautiful. The roses on it look 3D. I love all the details on the sleeves and the front- and the back part with the peacock is aaamazing. It is so wonderful having something that nobody else has- isn't it? I like the pine pleated skirt you paired with this jacket and teal shoes. Beautiful styling, head to toe.

    1. I'm happy it's done, and I'm satisfied with it - thank you, Ivana! I have those roses down pat now, lol. I love having a totally unique item. Thanks!

  12. I read your blog every day, but I don't believe that I have ever commented before. I love what you did with this blue jacket! Awesome! You are so talented!

    BTW, your country was featured on FOX News today. All that they were talking about was that truck convoy protesting the vaccine mandates in Canada. I am not a FOX News fan, but this was blaring away on the TV in the grocery store when I went shopping on my lunch hour, so I couldn't miss it.

    1. Gail, thank you so much for de-lurking to comment! I really appreciate it - and thank you for reading daily!

      Thanks so much for your kind words on my jacket.

      Oh, gawd, those's the mandates for cross-border truckers, and it's brought out the crazies and anti-vaxxers. Ugh. We are not all like that.

  13. Evening Sheila, WOW!! such a beautiful design you are just so talented and the colour of your skirt and shoes just go beautifully. Not that you would sell it but that jacket is a unique piece of art and it would go for a fortune. Love the colours. Shazxx

    1. Shaz! So good to see you, my dear. Thank you so much - I won't sell it, but maybe I'll give it away one day when I'm tired of it. :)

  14. The jacket is incredible! An unique work of art. Well done, Sheila!!! It looked fab with the pleated skirt and those wonderful shoes. I can see it working with a solid total block of colour underneath (top and skirt or trousers and top or a dress) - which would let the jacket shine.

    Give yourself 10 gold stars and a pat on the back!

    1. 10 gold stars? Wow, thanks, Vronni. :) Yes, I thought about a solid colour too - I like the idea of some Boss Pants with it.

  15. Incredible. To have such talent. I can't really paint or draw a thing. More 3-d here. I can see a picture of a dress, and then cut a pattern and make said dress, but nothing on a flat surface. I am just in awh.

    1. Thank you so much, and welcome - I appreciate your kind comment. :)

      Oh, but you have an amazing skill! I am not a sewer/sewist, so I'm in awe of you!

  16. I am a few days late in seeing this post, but oh my--the jacket is even more spectacular than I dreamed it would be! You are going to enjoy this for years to come.

    As for how I would style it, I think it would be awesome with some wide leg trousers; the jacket is so nicely fitted that it would be a cool contrast. Of course in this ensemble you have created great contrasts to set the jacket off too, with your skirt and white blouse.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda!

      Yes, love the idea of wide-legged trousers!

  17. Yay! Amazing work, Sheila. You're inspiring me to do a project like this.

  18. I'm running out of superlatives for your magnificent leather painting, She! You know how much I love a peacock so this makes my heart beat a little faster, it really is magnificent. xxx

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Vix. I'm really pleased with this piece.

  19. Amazing work, Sheila! I love the tattoo influence, and the colors are just beautiful and subtle after they "settle." Did you experiment a good deal with the markers to sort out what will wear most effectively? I've seen those Angelus cartridge markers used with acrylic paint on leather, although I haven't tried them myself.
    Velma (waving to you from NYS!)

    1. Velma, so nice to see you again! :)

      Thanks so much - I like how the colours settle, just like a real tattoo! I experimented with the pens I already had from my Zentangle dabblings - my mom bought me most of them. It really varies which ones work best on different finishes, so I just try everything to see what works, and then go buy more colours if I need them.

      I have not seen Angelus cartridge markers - very cool (I looked them up). I really like the paintbrush/felt pen combination of my Tombow markers - it allows good control, but with the ability to blend.

      Thanks so much!

  20. A beautiful job on the jacket Sheila - you have several one-of-a-kind, Sheila-embellished pieces in your closet now.

  21. woww, this is such a gorgeous work of art, love the peacock and the amazing design of the roses and geometric motives that tie everything together. And so great colours!. Sorry that the gold fades, hope the lacquer works!
    Rocking the pine green & teal shades together, such a fab colour combo!

    1. Thank you so much! No, the lacquer doesn't really help, unfortunately.

  22. On wow! That jacket is a work of art! Breathtaking!

  23. Three huge cheers for the return of early morning light and three equally giant cheers for your incredible peacock jacket.

    What a complete and total stunner, Sheila. A literal work of art that you can carry with/on you, spreading joy, no doubt, to all those who have the pleasure of seeing it as you go about your day.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. So happy to have my stair picture light back, Autumn. Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it.


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