Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leather Jacket: The Bones

OK, this is possibly the post in which I shock and horrify the people who know more about working with leather than I do by talking about how I used my iron over the weekend.

Whenever I start a new project I always try scorching a scrap of the fabric. Does that sound crazy? Maybe it is, but I like to know how hot an iron my fabric can take before I try to press the actual project. So, I start on low and slowly nudge the heat ever higher. I usually use a silk organza pressing cloth and a seam roll and tailor's ham. No exceptions here. And - guess what - the leather didn't scorch even with a very hot iron. 

After establishing that I could safely press my leather, I began testing a few fusibles. This wasn't so far off the reservation since it had been suggested in my book on leather, and I'm very pro-interfacing in general. I use a lot more than called for in patterns, and I've never been unhappy that I interfaced a zipper or waist or armscye or any other stress point on a garment. Interfacing often makes it easier to sew on a zipper, and I find that it adds to a neater overall look in a finished garment.

I also learned to appreciate hair canvas when I sewed my Lady Grey Jacket last winter - it adds body and shape to the front of the jacket and the lapels and collar. So, I figured that my leather jacket deserved the same treatment.

I'm not sure you can see the black interfacing on this, but it's there.

In the end, I decided to use black Pro-Tricot Deluxe fusible interfacing for the zipper areas. I normally use this for knits, but it also is fine for leather according to the handy instructions that came with it. And I used fusible hair canvas that I bought at Steinlauf & Stoller for the front, side front and lapel pieces. I like that it adds some body to the leather and, I hope, will help the front shaping.

So, now that the bones are in place, so to speak, I'm ready for zipper insertion. If you recall, when I first tried doing this on muslin, I messed up three times. So, I will be slow and steady making sure I get it right the first time! 

Later in the week, we'll talk more about seams and sewing machines. Stay tuned.


puu said...

wow, thank you for sharing this.  i love that you're trying the interfacing.  it never would have occurred to me and i am eager to see how it turns out in the finished product.

Meg at Mood said...

Dmitri says he fuses all the time just like you did here.

Linda Lewis said...

You are going to have one banging leather jacket!!!  Guess what, I'm having a sciatica attack this week - boo hoo! 

Evie Jones said...

I didn't know you could fuse lining to leather...that's really cool!  

Clio said...

 So glad to know this wasn't a bad idea!

Clio said...

 Oh no!  Trust me, I feel for you!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I used to try to get away without it, but interfacing really does make a difference.  Good luck on the zipper!