Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Leather Jacket: Sewing Leather to Silk

At long last, I've actually made some progress on my jacket! I've been meticulously testing out sewing tools and techniques on scraps of leather over the past two weeks, whenever I could tolerate sitting at my sewing machine.

When I'd had my fill of scraps, it was time to move on to sewing my jacket. I started with the leather facings. Not only would this help me finish the lining, I reasoned, but if disaster struck, it would be on pieces that are on the inside of the jacket.

One of the things that I haven't seen discussed on line or in sewing books in any detail is what to do when sewing two types of fabric together - in this case the silk lining of my jacket to it's leather facings.

A tip I picked up from Sewing With Leather & Suede by Sandy Scrivano is that when sewing leather to another fabric, you should sew with the leather on the feed dogs and the other fabric on the foot for smooth feeding. However, I had also seen warnings that the feed dogs could mark the leather, but in my tests this hadn't been a problem. So, I sewed leather side down, using a size 80/12 leather needle. My leather is not particularly thick and the recommendation I've seen is to use the thinnest needle that will do the job (smaller needle = smaller holes).

Scraps: Silk and leather sewn together

My first test - sewing leather to silk - worked out just fine. So, then I tried sewing with piping sandwiched in between the leather and silk. I basted the piping to the silk first, using a fine microtex needle. Then, changing back to the leather needle, I sewed the three layers together.

More scraps! This time with piping. 


And then it was on to the actual jacket lining:


The back lining piece with collar facing

Front facing with lining attached

Closer look at the facing with piping and lining

I think it all looks good so far. And I'm finding leather pretty easy to sew on. It's a really stable fabric. Still, I'm taking my time and going slow. With summer coming, there is no rush for a leather jacket, and mindful sewing will prevent mistakes (fingers crossed).

More to come! I've already started sewing seams and more.

17 comments:

T. Sedai said...

Oh man I love it already and you haven't even started on the outside!  The piping is fab.  I have decided I need a coat with piped lining now.  I am feeling inspired.

Kristinm100 said...

Holy crow, that's looking gorgeous!

Kimbersew said...

Wowza!! that's Bea-ouuuuu-iful!!  I often manage to forget to pipe the lining.  Maybe if I stitched it first (or worked more slowly?) I could appreciate this step more.  Wasn't it just recently you were hesitant about piping?  Look at you now!  Bravo!

Clio said...

 Totally!  But after my first piping success, I've gone a bit nuts for it! Ha!

annaandthepinkcloud said...

Looks fantastic! And how fun is it that you "keep-returning-to-stare-at-pattern" is the same as mine!? :-) I don't think I dare make it in leather, though. I have some ooooold stonewashed black denim that would possibly be perfect but I never really seem to get around to making a muslin even. I'll look so much forward to following your process sewing this jacket :-)

Sheila said...

That jacket is going to be Fierce.... I tell ya.

poppykettle said...

ooh ooh - looking pretty good! Love the colour combo too :)

Clio said...

 I can understand why more people haven't made this pattern! I just love it!  I've also thought it would be fantastic as a tuxedo jacket - in really nice wool with satin lapels.

Allison Churchman said...

Well if the outside looks half as good as the inside this is going to be one amazing jacket.

Elizabeth Larsen said...

I can't wait to see this jacket.  I know it's gonna be killer!

Dixie said...

This is looking pretty terrific so far. The color combination is beautiful. Can't wait to see the finished jacket!

Sherry said...

It is looking very awesome Clio!  The piped lining is a nice touch, in fact piped anything is a nice touch in my world!

sewbusylizzy said...

That is going to be spectacular!

Judi said...

Wow!!!!

Clio said...

 Isn't piping great??  It just adds that extra polish. I'm hooked on the stuff.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

The piping is such a gorgeous detail!

Karin said...

This looks wonderful!  You are going to have a stunning jacket.