Biker Jacket Extroidinaire
I have the jacket but admit to being more of a moped girl than a Harley girl so there is no danger of any mid life crisis going on here! There may however, be just a touch of nostalgia. You see this is not the first leather jacket I have made and it won't be the last either. You will have to watch this space for more details on my next one.
My first leather jacket was made when I was about 19 or 20. Back in those days when I was indestructible and no challenge was too big. I bought my hides back then from the tanners and they were really expensive. From memory I paid around $100. I bought a Burda pattern with kind of bat wing type arms and a tight band at the bottom. It was a challenge to sew at the time but my vintage 1950's Bernina rose to the challenge and I was left with a jacket I loved and wore out just about every Friday and Saturday night. Eventually though when leather jackets went out of fashion, it was mothballed in the spare wardrobe until eventually it was sent to the op shop. This was probably about the time that the spare room became a child's room and no longer a spare room. I now have major regrets at getting rid of it. I am hoping my 2015 version will not meet the same fate.
My 2015 version is made from Perfection Fused Leather from Fabric.com. Oh the marvels of modern technology! No thick awkward shaped hides, this time! Sadly though, no lovely leather smell either but you can't win them all! This stuff is buttery soft and just slightly stretchy. It is a dream to work with. To up the challenge just slightly though and to give the jacket more body, I opted to interline my pieces with cotton flannel, the shirting kind. It beefs the whole jacket up to regular leather weight.
I opted to make my jacket using the very popular Style Arc Ziggi pattern. This did present me with a few concerns. The first being size. I was investing $30 in this pattern and considerably more in the leather. I really didn't have the time or inclination to make a practice jacket so I took a punt and ordered a size 8 pattern, despite mostly buying a size 10 in rtw. The pattern appeared to have quite a bit of ease so I hoped it would work out okay. Reading reviews of the leather, I thought I may have to stitch it using tissue paper which I was not looking forward to but I found that my walking foot worked beautifully and handled the leather with ease. There was no stretching or catching and my feed teeth did not leave drag marks. I think the flannel interlining may have helped with the stretching issue as well. I was so confident in my sewing ability on this leather that I even included the quilted sleeve tops.
If you read my post last month, you will know that my only real snag was putting those darn sleeve zippers in the wrong seam. I did consider re cutting them but you, my wonderful readers convinced me otherwise, and for that, thank you!
Anyone who has made a Style Arc pattern will know that the instructions are next to useless so I am eternally grateful for the detailed instructions in Sewmaris's sew along. These proved invaluable and to anyone making this jacket, I do recommend you study them.
I had hoped to have some suitable lining in my stash for this project because of my luck at the op shop but somehow black lining must have proven elusive. I visited Fabric Vision and came home with a piece of satin with Pierre Cardin woven into it, another reason to up my game with my finishing.
The verdict....I love this jacket! The fabric is a dream to work with, the pattern, superbly drafted and the fit is spot on. My only minor irritation is those sleeve zips but that is diminishing with time.
In case you were wondering, above is my original leather jacket. At the time, it was a thing of beauty but actually I could probably get away with wearing this style again now although I probably wouldn't get those buttons done up!
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