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Child’s Leather Jacket Made from a Leather Skirt!

Today, we have a very fun refashion for you.  We spent all last week thinking about what we were going to do for our week three submission to Project Run & Play.  We tossed ideas around, browsed thrift stores for inspiration, and looked through our stash.  You see the theme is “The Refashion Challenge” and we’ve done that quite a bit around here!  But since the seamstresses both in the challenge and sewing along are so talented, we wanted our submission to be something special.  So we went for broke!

leather skirt before refashion

I started with a leather skirt.  Yes, a leather skirt!  You see, it’s not every day one finds a sueded leather skirt at Goodwill for $5.00.  It is such a supple, soft leather, we’re sure it’s leather from a lamb, and thereby even more valuable.  But the cut and length were rather 80s so we needed to bring it up to modern day.  And we decided on a child’s leather jacket as our final design.  Yes, a leather jacket for a 5 year old!  Lined and with a fur collar, cuffs and matching hat to boot!  I never said I was completely sane, and as a pregnant woman, rational thought isn’t part of the equation.  But here was my line of thought; you see, I have a leather skirt and I wear it (well, when not pregnant) about once a year.  Or less.  But a child’s leather jacket in winter really has some value, I know I wear mine weekly, and even more often in cold weather.  And cold weather is where we are at right now.

Today I’m going to vary from the step by step instructions and just give a broad overview and some tips for sewing on leather and fake fur.  This is because with a refashion of this type, I don’t think I could duplicate it ever again, even if I had another identical skirt and could remember all the steps!  Basically, it’s a one of a kind jacket, fitted to Annie’s body!  So step by step instructions would be a waste of your and my time!

But in general, so that if you’re an advanced seamstress, you can laugh at how difficult I made it!  I began with a pattern I could use for general help, sizing, look and instructions.

McCalls pattern 2403

But since I wanted to keep all the seams I could on the skirt, I deviated from the pattern as needed.  Also, leather wasn’t one of the suggested materials for the coats illustrated, so I had to make some variations on that account too.

child's leather jacket back detail

One thing I did was topstitch along both sides of each seam to make it look more modern.

leather jacket lining

This also served the purpose of attaching the lining to the child’s leather jacket.  The collar was the part that scared me the most, so I saved it for last!  (Procrastination helps, right?)  But after pinching and sewing in the shoulder seams to take up some of the excess material, and trimming several inches, for the same reason, we ended up with a collar that works very well, thank you very much!  And I love how high and snug the collar fits around her neck.

fake fur collar on child's leather jacket

The sleeves with fake fur cuffs were one of the first things I finished, (because I needed to take out one of the panels on the original skirt to make it the right size) and Annie insisted on trying them on every time she possibly could!

child's leather jacket cuff

And we added some elements of whimsy so as to make a leather jacket more suitable for a 5 year old.  Let them stay innocent as long as possible, I say!  So we added a white fake fur collar, cuffs and pockets with red accents to soften it up a little bit.

child's leather jacket

This was my first attempt to make a hat, but I’ve been so enamored with the hats that the contestants (and some of the sew along seamstresses) have been making that I had to try!  And you know what?  It was easy and turned out (after Allegra made some adjustments and added a red bow) so cute!

fake fur hat

Are you tired of us teasing you with partial glimpses of what we did?  Are you ready for the reveal?

child's leather jacket reveal

Alright, we apologize for teasing glimpses, but we hope once you see the final child’s leather jacket all in one place you are a tickled with it as we are!

leather skirt to jacket

Annie is so happy to have a leather coat, “just like Mommy” and I think we softened it with enough details so that she doesn’t look like a miniature teenager!

soft child's leather jacket

Now some tips for sewing on a child’s leather jacket.  1:  Measure twice, sew once.  You see, every time a needle goes through leather it leaves a tiny hole which never recovers, like cotton, wool, etc.  2:  Leather will stay in place with glue, which is a lot easier to deal with than pins which leave holes and torture your fingers as you try to push then through a couple of layers!

leather jacket for child

And a few hints for sewing on fake fur.  1:  Wear a mask & clothes you don’t care if they get fuzzy, or you will be coughing up hairballs later.  Just saying!  2:  Fake fur doesn’t conform to sharp shapes very well, so don’t try to force it to make it!

cute winter jacket for child made from leather skirt

Total Time: Who knows!  But it was worth it!

Total Cost: $9.98 ($5 for the coat and the rest for the white buttons)

Talent Level: Advanced seamstress (or Just a Touch Crazy…you choose!)

child's leather jacket back view

Here is the back view, I love how fitted it is, but then again, it was bound to turn out that way as I was taking measurements every few minutes to see if it was fitting like I wanted it to!

child's leather jacket and matching hat

L is for leather coat!  And even though Annie was in a warm library, she was perfectly content to keep the coat on!  child's warm leather coat

And she was pretty comfortable outside too, even though it was very cold and a wind was blowing!  Everyone at the library was complimenting her and she was eating up all the attention.  I do think this coat would not have been as cute on a mannequin, though!

We are pretty happy with the way this outfit turned out, on a pure cuteness level and also for keeping Annie warm for the rest of the cool weather.

child's leather jacket made from a leather skirt

Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!  And be sure to visit Project Run & Play to be inspired by all the fantastic seamstresses there!

Make it beautiful,


15 thoughts on “Child’s Leather Jacket Made from a Leather Skirt!

  1. So cute! She reminds me of a Russian princess! What’s the saying about great minds? It’s funny that you commented about finding good locations for photos. It’s taken me a couple of years to find the best spots in my house and I literally just mentioned (like an hour ago) to my friends that I should write a post about what to look for or how to set up, especially in an older home with limited windows. The shots with Hadley sewing last week were in her room, but I had to slide her crib to the middle of the room to get to that corner with light from both windows filling the room. I’m so not a photographer, but I do think I’ve gotten better with practice and I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

    1. I would love to read a post by you about good photography locations! Allegra (our resident photographer) usually takes all photos outside because of superior lighting and the whole old house/bad lighting issues! We added you to our RSS feed, so we’ll be watching for your post!

  2. Love it! What a sweet little jacket! Also, I was checking out some of your other refashions – you ladies are talented!

  3. What a cute outfit! I love the coat and the fur accents.

  4. Very cute jacket. I like the contrast from the dark to the light colored fur. I think you are quite brave to work with leather too.
    Deborah sewmuchtogive

  5. Wow, that turned out great! Looks very warm and I can see that she loves it.

  6. And this is why I love to refashion! Your coat & hat is darling. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    xoxo Grandma

  7. Nicely done! It looks so cozy.

  8. Absolutely beautiful! I agree, she looks like a Russian princess! I love the heart detail on the pocket.

  9. I just love her expression on the before picture! That jacket is amazing. I agree that she does look like a little Russian princess! So darling!

  10. You are so brave!! And, I’m sure the savings had you jumping up and down!!

  11. Fantastic!!! Cozy AND cute: a perfect winter combination!

  12. wow!! Gorgeous! The jacket is perfectly perfect…. adorable photos. I love this week’s challenge. I also linked up;o) a recycled sweater!

  13. […] while back I was at a fabric store getting buttons to go on Annie’s leather coat, when I had one of THOSE moments.  (Or am I the only one this happens to?)  I was innocently […]

  14. […] realized as I was refashioning this skirt into a jacket that I had done exactly the same thing for one of my very first sew along entries for Project Run & Play!  Lots of work, but impressive and long lasting […]

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