Leather Lessons done. Time to show you what I made. First of all, I need to thank Leather Hide Store for making all of this possible. They have been amazing to work with and I can’t recommend them enough.
And now for my leather project. Nothing too special, you know, just a
I know, I made a leather jacket for Project:Sewn last year. But I made a lot of novice mistakes, some you can see, others you can’t. This time, I made a good leather jacket, where I knew what I was doing, used some absolutely amazing high-quality leather, and I am seriously giddy over the results!!!
I ended up needing two remnants for my jacket, I’d say about 25 square feet total. I didn’t use all of the one hide (in addition to small scraps), and there were 28 total square feet between the two. Though the “right side” color of both pieces was a great match, the thickness of the second hide was thinner than the first. It was also a bit more stretchy. So when I cut out my jacket pieces, I cut the sides, underarm pieces, and all the “double sided” pieces (collar, hem, facings, cuffs) from the thinner, stretchier hide.
I used BurdaStyle Asymmetrical Jacket pattern. And I forgot at first that Burda doesn’t include seam allowances on their patterns. You have to add your own. I traced everything out and made my first cut before remembering. So so SO glad I didn’t get further into cutting. As it was, the mistake was just an inconvenience. I wish they’d just include the seam allowances. If I’m printing out the pattern anyway, what’s another page or four in a stack of 25? Burda is crazy.
And while we’re talking about crazy Burda, let’s discuss the pattern itself. Like all downloadable Burdastyle patterns, you get a finished-garment picture, a line drawing of the front and one of the back, and a fabric/pattern layout illustration. And that’s it for pictures. The instructions are written in paragraph form, and come across as if Burda expects you to know what you’re doing. Burda isn’t for sissies. But the designs are awesome and actually look like something you’d buy and like to wear. So it’s worth it to me to suffer through, fending for myself for the end product. Which, in the case of the Asymmetrical Jacket, is pretty much completely rad.
The fabric recommendations for the Asymetrical Jacket is for woven material. The leather was fine with it, though. I used my grandma’s ‘38 singer, had all my leather-sewing supplies on hand, and followed my sewing-with-leather tips, going slow and carefully, and I love the end result. One thing I didn’t know going in, and found out too late in the game, you should size up when sewing with leather off a woven pattern. I do like how form-fitting my jacket is, but it is snug through the shoulders and underarms. But I’m of the belief that full range of motion is superfluous in fashion, so I’m still happy.
As I’m observing in this picture, the jacket is fully lined. I’ve used this fabric for lining before, on my son’s Harmonica Jacket from a few years ago. I bought a bolt of it from, I think WalMart on clearance. It’s perfect for lining; some sort of stretchy polyester with stripes running its length, which I’ve lined up pretty darn well, thank you very much.
And hey! Look lined on this side, too. And there is the hidden snap that keeps the underlapping front from dipping down when zipped.
The zipper on the jacket took me the longest of any of it. I’m usually okay with zippers, but this one was tricky. For one thing, the pattern calls for an 18” zipper, which you have to trim the zipper down. Burda expects you to somehow removed the top zipper stops, then replace them after cutting. I tried. I really did. I almost lost a finger and didn’t even get the stops to budge. So I just cut them off and then used some same-colored embroidery floss to stitch a knot at the top of each side of the zipper. It works. Burda is crazy.
The other thing that threw me with this zipper was the zipper strip that runs down the left side there. The pattern says to cut a strip 3/4” wide. Even if I was using the recommended woven fabric, I don’t see how I could have gotten two sides of folded-under seam allowance and covered the zipper tape effectively. After struggling for way too long with the recommended size strip, I sacrificed more of my precious Ruby Red Slipper, and cut a 1.5” wide strip. Problem solved. Burda is crazy.
Just a few other details. The sleeves have vents and cuffs. And there are some more of the snaps you saw at the hem, only here they aren’t hidden. I just used some Dritz heavy-duty snaps. I worry that they won’t wear very well. They were hard to set into the bulky leather at the cuffs (no issues at the hem, where they only had to go through one layer) and just don’t fee very secure to me. And I totally hit my thumb with the hammer when setting them. My blood blister matches the jacket, though, so it’s all good.
I cheated when sewing the sleeves. I was supposed to set the sleeves into the arm hole, in the round. I know this is the preferred method of sewing sleeves. But I couldn’t think of a good way to gather the leather for easing, and I was intimidated by the idea of messing up and having to unpick. So, I sewed the sleeves in before sewing up the sides of the jacket or the underside of the sleeves. I did my best to ease the arm scythe as I fed it into the machine, and I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’m not sure I could have achieved the seam matching so well if I had tried to set the sleeves in the proper way. Sometimes cheaters prosper.
Speaking of my kids. It’s really funny how impressed they are by this jacket. They kept checking on my progress and cheering me on. I went into my kindergartner’s class yesterday, before I finished the jacket, and he totally was telling his teacher about it. I also wore it last night to an activity with some of the youth from my church. I received multiple compliments on it, without them even knowing I made it. It’s teen approved, you guys!
You can win $50 to use towards some amazing leather of your choice from LeatherHideStore.com.
Jacket: Asymmetrical Jacket by BurdaStyle in size 38, leather is Ruby Red Slipper from leatherhidestore.com.
Tee Shirt: Seafarer Top by Sew Much Ado, blogged HERE
Jeans: Jalie 2908, denim from Michael Levine/lowpricefabric.com, never got around to blogging these
Hair, makeup, jewelry, photography and background provided by my awesome friend, Camilla.