RED JACKET CHRONICLES PART ONE
HI DARLINGS! This week is a little different than my normal postings because I am doing a three-part post on the red faux leather jacket I made last month. I have to admit that since the blog and the business of the blog have become so popular I find myself trying to get as many DIY projects sewn as quickly as possible so that I have enough to post for you guys… problem is that I don’t often get time to really enjoy slow sewing anymore.
Well ever since I started teaching Norris to sew he has really fallen in love with it and his enthusiasm has re-energized me. He wants to make everything he sees, LOL! so last month we were walking by a shop and in the window was this amazing red leather moto jacket. Norris immediately said “babe, we gotta make that jacket” to which I replied “umm ok” so the next day off we went to find the “faux” leather (no way I was letting him use real leather, LOL) the perfect zippers (because he didn’t want small zipper teeth or pulls) the right snaps and pattern.
Now, I have a SIMPLICITY MOTO JACKET PATTERN #8174 but there isn’t one that Norris liked for men, so very much like he used my cardigan pattern to make a men’s version I told him we could use my moto jacket pattern and re-draft the shoulders etc to fit.
Once we got the fit right for him we had to make further style modifications. My SIMPLICITY PATTERN doesn’t have a lot of the details that we wanted so we created a collar and added one more zipper to the upper front of the jacket. We also wanted zippers in the sleeves and a functional belt. Below is a video of our prepping and some pics of the notions and steps.
We got our faux leather from a local shop in DTLA, we had to make sure it wasn’t too thin but not stiff either and that it would hold up to the top stitching. The zippers were going to be critical to the look of the jacket and we both wanted gold hardware. We found exactly what we needed at ZIP UP ZIPPERS. We also found our snaps, eyelets for the belt and buckles there. The zippers were too long so we also purchased extra zipper stops so we could cut the zippers to size.
Because sewing faux leather can be tricky we made sure to get different needles and thread so we could test on pieces of the faux leather before getting started. The best combination for a great stitch was the Guttermann thread and Microtex needles. You can’t rip your stitches once you sew because they will leave little holes in your fabric so we had to get it right the first time. Testing on a swatch of your fabric is always a good idea no matter what you are sewing with. Some needle/thread combo’s work better especially if there is top-stitching involved.
The other thing that was key to this project was using the proper cutting tools. FISKARS had just sent me some awesome goodies that came in right on time. I started off cutting my faux leather with my FISKARS RAZOR EDGE scissors but found it was easier to use their new amazing R. I have just started using a rotary cutter because I have been dead set on scissor cutting BUT these ROTARY CUTTERS are OMG good. They are sharp and cut through like a hot knife on butter. I used the SELF HEALING MAT and used my scissors for my lining fabric. One of the coolest things ever was the FOLDABLE RULER I used when having to cut long strips of the faux leather.
Once I had everything cut up I realized I didn’t have any leather clips and since you can’t pin into your leather I ended up using paper clips, LOL and it worked.
I know you guys are going to ask me about this red lip lining… I have had that silky fabric in my stash for a good 7 years lol! I knew one day I was going to have the perfect project for it and this was it. You can find some options HERE. Okay, so tomorrow I will share some of the process pics and tips.