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!
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.
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.
One thing I did was topstitch along both sides of each seam to make it look more modern.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Are you tired of us teasing you with partial glimpses of what we did? Are you ready for the 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!)
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!
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.
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,