Thursday, May 17, 2012

Leather Jacket: Snip Snip!

The fans of purple have it. I have to say the winning votes came from Elizabeth who lobbied on her blog and Phyllis, who pointed out that it might be exciting for the first-time-in-NY-ers. Who am I to deny someone their "only in NY" moment? Besides, I had a little epiphany along the lines of: the people that I will most likely want to meet are probably the ones who will dig the purple. So, I plan to fly my freak flag proudly and turn up to dinner purple-locked. Now, on to today's update on Project Leather Jacket.

Here's what the Craft Lounge currently looks like:

Pieces of leather and pattern pieces neatly laid out on the floor and bed.

On Saturday morning, as I was trying to finish up my jacket lining, I had one of those "d'oh!" moments.  A piece was missing and nowhere to be found. Then I realized that I hadn't cut it. The missing piece was the collar facing, which will be leather.

Also, the pattern leaves the peplum lining hanging free, which is really rather odd. I'd have to pleat it and the peplum too and then leave them hanging separately. Really, I can't imagine how that's going to work out. So, I got the idea from another pattern reviewer (review here)  to use the lining piece for the peplum as a facing/underlining type of piece. (You'll just have to trust me on this if you can't picture it).

Anyway, all this meant I had to start cutting leather before finishing the lining.

It took an hour or so for me to lay everything out, mostly because there actually are variation in the skins. Not huge ones, but ones that you notice as you get close up and nit-picky. I knew to expect this, but hadn't really wrapped my brain around it.  So, I decided that I wanted the lapels, center back and peplum to be on the most buttery beautiful pieces, then the upper sleeves, center front and then side pieces on the next best, and followed lastly by the under side of the sleeves and back of the lapels.

Then it was on to cutting! I decided to start with some of the pieces that I'll need first and cut as I go rather than cutting everything all at the same time. I'm hoping that will make me less mistake-prone. I used my Elna rotary cutter and extra large washers from the hardware store as pattern weights. It worked beautifully! The leather cut neatly and easily.

So, I can move ahead with the lining and the jacket. Also, I have a bunch of scraps to start testing my machines on. Yay!


puu said...

hurrah for purple hair and leather jacket progress!

Anonymous said...

Purple hair rocks. I'm so excited to see your jacket progessing. Cutting leather looks decidedly scary!

K.Line said...

Oooh, I love how you've laid everything out. So exciting.

T. Sedai said...

Yay for the hair and yay for the jacket! I can't wait to see your progress on the jacket - it is going to be amazing for sure.

And as for the hair - its true, you wouldn't want to rob someone of the NY experience. I know when my mom's friend came out to visit from Kentucky she really wanted to see someone with green hair and someone with a mohawk. Well, wouldn't you know we went to Disneyland and saw these two teenage boys - one had neon green hair and the other had a giant blue mohawk! She was really excited, probably the highlight of the trip for her. So, anyway, yeah, purple hair for the win!

Sherry said...

I always get a bit nervous cutting out things like this! Can't wait to see it sewn up!

ElleC said...

While reading your post, I realized I was holding my breath! The thought of cutting the leather scares the crap out of me. I would definitely need some pharmaceutical assistance to make the first cut. You are so brave purpled hair one.

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Phyllis said...

Save those scraps too, they can be used to cover buttons, for trim or details like pocket flaps or to make small bags.

becki-c said...

Love the purple! You are right, the people who might not like it aren't people you want to impress anyway.

Love watching the process!
One comment from someone who has been wearing a home-sewn leather jacket for a few years, if I may... Be careful of the texture and strength of the skin. I found as you get close to the edge it gets kind of stretchy and weaker. For my first jacket I squeezed both upper sleeves out of one skin, but on later ones I got an extra piece so that I could cut them each from the strongest part.

I have a leather jacket that is bright aqua and I get the most compliments.