Vogue V2827 »
InstructionsBuy high quality, fabric-weight leather. Leather Impact of NYC is a good place to start. Their website is: www.leatherimpact.com. They can help you determine how many skins you need for a particular project. Use pattern weights when cutting out, but lay everything out before cutting to plan how best to use the skins available to you. Use clips when sewing seams not pins.
Type of item: Clothing
Italian (Lamb) Leather skins
What was your inspiration?
Taking a class in sewing leather at a sewing expo. Going to Leather Impact in NYC and seeing all the different colors and varieties of leather. Researching all I could find about construction techniques and learning how to work with it and what you can and cannot do when sewing with this kind of material. One more thing, perhaps one of my ongoing inspirations for sewing in general is that I am a pear-shaped petite sized woman. Now that Petite Sophisicate is not in business anymore, it's very hard to find a leather jacket that will fit me properly, expecially in any other color than basic black. Amazingly, this particular project only cost $125. in materials and it fits me very well.
What are you most proud of?
The custom fit and the simple fact that I successfully sewed a garment made out of leather! It was a daunting thing to contemplate but having done it, I'm not intimidated anymore.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Make your pattern out of a similar weight fabric before you attempt making it out of leather. I made this pattern up two different times, tweaking the fit each time. When I finally got around to making it out of leather it fit wonderfully when I finished.
Also, invest in a Teflon presser foot. I used a leather sewing needle but have since learned that if your leather is a lighter, fabric-weight variety, a regular sewing needle is advisable because the holes won't be so big and the leather is less likely to rip and tear.
Many people that sew with leather swear by gluing seams before sewing but I didn't do this. I used flange clips (for clipping together thick documents) to hold everything together then just pinched these off as I went. Go slowly and take breaks. Consider using 3m fabric tape to hold the zipper in place as you sew. This works well.
See cutting suggestions above.
For finishing, after sewing the lining shoulder and side seams together, I sewed the bottom edge of the sleeves, the jacket bottom edge, along the inside front zipper edges, and the lining neck edge to the leather, (right sides together), first, then inverted the lining and sewed the lining armholes (sleeves to jacket) together by hand, avoiding any loose hanging lining edges. This worked really well and made for clean lines inside and out.