Thursday, February 26, 2015

Refashion: Sewing leather for the first time!

I thrifted this very soft and very warm leather jacket from my local thrift store last year for only $9.99! It fit me fine above the waist, but it fit poorly at the waist and below due to my short waist and sway back. I had never sewn with leather before so I was nervous and excited as well in trying to fit this jacket on me.
Note how the jacket bunches up at the back due to my short waist and sway back.
There was a at waist seam that separate the top from the bottom. I took out my trusty seam ripper and started ripping from the lining side seams. This jacket was made in Canada which means that it must be at least 15 years old. The seams were ridiculously securely sewn and were glued down tightly. My eyes were almost going blind trying to rip this well made jacket apart!

Then I rip the leather waist seams all the way and separated the 2 halves. I put on the top half and I was actually liking the look of just the top half. However, I wanted to have a leather jacket that's warmer and more useful so I decided that I had to attach the bottom part with some alterations.

So I tried on the top and bottom to see how much I had to cut off at the waist raise the waist of the jacket. Eventually I cut off 3 cm of the bottom of the top half and 3cm of the top of the bottom half and sewed them together. I broke 2 leather needles sewing this seam because the manufacturers had used contact cement (or some serious glue) to hold down the seams and I had to sew through them all. I top-stitched the new waist seam to give it more support as well as helping the seam to lie flat. I hand-sewn all the seams inside the jacket because it was actually easier as I have no opening to sew through with the sewing machine. And this is how it looks after:
Note the big gap between the last and the 2nd last button because I had cut off the original at waist button hole.
Note that the back doesn't bunch up anymore! Yay!
I know that the jacket doesn't really look very much different from the original. But it now fits me and it was my first time sewing with leather! It was just a relief that I didn't mess up the jacket and I can actually wear it.

The only thing I am not sure is the big gap between the last and 2nd last button. I'm not sure if I should add something there to balance it out. But if I put something there then perhaps it would draw attention to the gap. What do you think? Should I do something to hide the gap or should I just leave it alone?