I have come to the conclusion that cows are stubborn,
no matter what form they come in.
And try as you might, you can't always get them to do what you want.
At least, that was my experience with this week's leather challenge.
This project really put me to the test, and had me pretty scared at first.
I'll admit, my first day had me oober frustrated, near tears, and,
actually, a small little expletive was uttered.
I don't swear...at all...so that was a sign things were going really rough!
But, just like working with cows,
you've gotta lay down who the boss is and not let 'em whoop ya!
And that is just how I decided to approach this knee-knocking challenge!
To start things off, I found a hideous fake fur and leather coat at Goodwill.
I say hideous because fake fur gives me the heeby-jeebies,
especially the stained and discolored variety this coat was sporting.
So I did the only humane thing that could be done...
I put the furry fiend out of its misery.
With seam ripper in hand, I completely dissected this coat.
And quickly discarded this furry mass...careful, it might bite!
(If I come down with rabies, we all know where it came from.)
I was left with the lining...
...and these leather pieces.
I had already removed the sleeves from the jacket before snapping this.
Having never sewn leather before, this was a huge learning curve for me!
I didn't want to get too ambitious, so I decided to make a vest.
To get things started,
I needed to make some fitting adjustments to my vest.
The arm holes were way too long and gaped terribly.
To fix this, I first took in the shoulders.
The arm hole on the right is after taking up the shoulder,
and the one to the left is what it looked like without any changes.
Next, I needed to fix the neckline, which was too wide.
I marked and sewed a graduating seam or long dart down the seam in the middle of the back.
This took in the neckline and pulled the shoulders in a bit more.
My neckline was pretty high, so I marked and cut off the excess,
leaving enough to fold over and hem down later.
The arms still gaped a little bit,
so I gradually tapered in the side seams under the arms.
All of these little tweaks made for a great fit!
Next I removed the pockets and sewed up the holes.
I really wanted to keep them, but the pockets stuck out too far and
just didn't work with this vest.
After that was done, I folded and hemmed all the edges and armholes of the vest.
Taking the leather piece that was originally the collar,
I cut a lining piece from some beautiful red fabric,
this covered up the messy underside that had been glued to the
lining and 'fur'.
See how messy that is?
Laying it on the fold...
...leaving lots of extra room around the edges.
Those edges were folded inward and ironed down.
Then I pinned...err, paper clipped the lining to the leather piece.
And sewed them together.
Now the collar got clipped to the vest,
right sides together.
After that was sewn down,
I flipped the collar over and sewed down the lapel corners to keep it laying flat.
Five broken needles (and lots of chocolate) later, I have a fun, leather vest!
For a fun pop of color, you can even fold that collar up a bit!
It was a bit windy, can you tell?
Both me and my sewing machine survived
with a completed leather project to boot,
I think that deserves a thumbs ups!
Now head on over to The Renegade Seamstress
and cast a vote for your favorite leather refashion!