I have been planning to make a leather jacket for quite a while.
In June, I bought the skins, then ordered zips from the USA for this pattern( zipsnot available in Australia at this length, in any colour with bronzed metal teeth apparently), Burda Style 10-2009-126.
I had done nothing about it since. Sometimes delaying for a parcel can ruin the sewing stride.
After tidying my sewing room from the aftermath of production Christmas sewing, I finally started on this project. It was about 3 layers down on the "I want to make this" pile, and suddenly appeared very attractive.
I hadn't tidied in there for a while.
Today I finished the denim version of the jacket.
Unfortunately it was nearly 6pm when my daughter took the photos, so you will have to put up with the crooked collar and terrible lighting. I promise that the collar stands up properly when put on properly. I am very keen to write all about the lovely time I had with topstitching and binding the seams, and can't wait for better photos tomorrow. I hope you forgive me for being more interested in sewing than photos.
I am starting ahead of myself. I am rather nervous about sewing a leather jacket.
The first thing I did, before buying the leather, was to trace out all the pieces so that I could lay them out in a single layer on the leather at the tannery shop (Packers Tannery, Nerangba) - no cutting on the fold for leather, and separate pieces for each side. I seem to have enough skins for the jacket. This might also be because I bought 3 more than required by the pattern I did not feel comfortable about getting out my pattern pieces at the tannery.
Next( ie, this week) I made my normal Burda pattern alterations - FBA, and large biceps adjustment. I did not make a square shoulder adjustment, as the pattern calls for shoulder pads, nor did I take in the waist, thinking that a jacket might need more ease.
The pattern is a petite, but I did not alter for length, as the finished jacket length provided seemed just right, at 50cm, and I had not tried a Burda petite pattern previously.
I made a toile in calico, butting several of the front pieces together to make this quicker.
I was mostly pleased with the fit
The main issue was that I had trouble raising my arms.
I addressed this in the denim version by adding 1cm to the side and undersleeve seams, then taking in the waist a smidgeon (technical term)
I had the best fun with the inside finishing. See my bound seams?
I also added an in-seam zip pocket, just credit card size.
I added a covering placket and inner shield for the zip.
The pattern calls for single lapped seams and raw edges throughout. I wanted to mimic the construction as preparation for my leather version, so although using normal seams, I topstitched most of them as if they were lapped, and made the whole garment without using pins.
I used my hand cranked Singer 28 and jeans thread for the topstitching. I had a bit of trouble with it at first (that would be the awful topstitching around the in seam zipper pocket) but had no issues at all once I found a size 110 needle. Even a size 100 needle kept the thread snapping.
I am really excited about the next version. I plan to start it tomorrow, wish me luck!