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Leather Skirt Refashion

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today I’m bringing home a tutorial I posted over at Refashion Co-op.  This is the step by step on how I refashioned a leather skirt and crumbling leather jacket into my son’s Indiana Jones Cosplay leather jacket.

My son has been begging for a leather jacket.  So I made him one for his Cosplay Indiana Jones outfit.  Read all about it here.
I started with a leather skirt and a leather jacket that was the same exact suede brown leather as the skirt I’d bought many years ago.  Apparently the jacket was very old too as some of the leather was quite brittle.

Here’s the process I used:
Step one: Harvest the zipper from the old jacket.
Step 2: Take off the sleeves.
Here you can see how the leather from the old jacket ripped very easily!
Step 4: Trace the pattern for the front of the jacket onto the bak of the skirt.  (The back of the skirt had a slit, so I needed the front of the skirt for the back of the jacket.)  I used the Downton Duffle pattern for my template.  I found it easiest to use chalk to mark on the leather.
Here you can see how I preserved the side seams of the skirt for the side seams of the jacket!  The less sewing on leather, the better because leather retains every hole you make in it.  This also allowed me to easily keep the lining of the skirt together with the leather since I was using the same hem.
Step 5: Next I traced the front of the jacket onto one side of the skirt back.  Then I flipped it over to ensure that the two sides of my jacket back would be perfectly even.
Step 6: I traced the collar piece (from yet another pattern!) onto the remains of the skirt.  I needed two collar pieces and two collar stand pieces and got them from the skirt.
Step 7: I wanted to reuse those cool pockets from the original jacket, so I traced around them and cut them out.
Step 8:  I cut out my 4 pocket flaps from the sides of the original jacket, under the arms where there didn’t seem to be as much decay.
Step 9: I sewed one of the lower pockets from the original jacket onto the lining only.  My son had requested a secret interior pocket.
Step 10: I sewed the new pockets I’d made onto the fronts.  So the patch pockets on the new jacket front actually have 2 pockets, one behind the zipper and one under the flap!
Step 11: I inserted the zipper in an totally unconventional way!  I just separated the lining from the skirt along the edge and slipped the zipper in.  Then I topstitched the two back together.
At this point I stopped taking photos, but it was pretty standard for jacket making.  I sewed the shoulders together on both the lining and the leather, separately to have inclosed seams.  Then I attached the collar stand and collar.  Finally, I attached the sleeves, using the set in method.  I ended up having to open up the back seam and narrow down the jacket for my very thin son.  But he’s totally enamored with the fininshed results, and I’m pretty proud I stuck with it until the end.  There were some points there where I was ready to give up!
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Linen and Leather Newsboy Cap

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

I can hardly believe it, but I made a hat!  Or more properly, a linen and leather newsboy cap.  And if you can’t tell, I’m quite pleased with my new creation.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

I used the free newsboy cap pattern from Waffle Patterns.  The smaller of the two free patterns was just the right size for Thomas’s head.  Since the leather jacket I made Thomas doesn’t have a hood, a newsboy cap was in order.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

I have a very special Grandpa who has always worn a hat (outdoors only, he’s a true gentleman) as long as I’ve known him.  Often I see him in a newsboy cap, looking ever so fine!  So when I was sewing this newsboy cap, I thought about my Grandpa often.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

The fabrics I used were linen and leather for this newsboy cap.  The brown linen was leftover from this skirt, and the leather for the bill was the final scraps from refashioning the leather skirt into a jacket for Thomas.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

For the lining, I used some chocolate brown lining from my stash.  I used the thickest, stiffest interfacing I had in my stash inside the bill.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

The only change I made to the pattern was to use double fold bias tape to finish the inside of the hat because I couldn’t figure out how to do it otherwise.

Newsboy Cap made by Skirt Fixation

Overall I’m pretty impressed that I made a newsboy cap.  It was a fun little diversion from my regular sewing.  I still need to tack down upper cap to the bill better, but the leather is a little hard to sew through.  Some newsboy caps have a snap between the bill and the upper cap, so it bears thinking on how to add a snap during construction.

Have you ever made a cap or a hat?  Got any tips for a newbie hat maker?  Leave them in the comments below…

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Indiana Jones Cosplay Outfit

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

The second theme during season 11 of Project Run & Play is Cosplay Craze.  If you’re not familiar with the term Cosplay, it’s basically dressing up as a character from a movie, book, cartoon, etc.  The Project Run & Play theme had one stipulation; the creation should not be a costume.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

My son has been asking for a leather jacket for a long time, so I used that request to tailor (see what I did there?) this prompt to fulfill that request and one other of his requests too.  If you haven’t guessed, our cosplay inspiration character is Indiana Jones.   Here’s the details on how we created an Indiana Jones cosplay outfit.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

After looking at several photos of Indiana Jones, I decided it was time to fulfill my son’s request that the next pair of pants I sew for him have a real zip fly instead of a faux fly like the previous two pairs of pants I’ve made for him.  So I turned to Peekaboo Pattern Shop for their classic chinos pattern.  (affiliate link)  It’s a great pattern, and you really do end up with (wait for it) classic chinos!

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

This pattern can be made in 13 sizes from 3 months to size 12.  Thomas is almost in the largest size for length, but only an 8 in width, so I should be able to make this pattern work for a while yet.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

I found the pattern very thorough and easy to follow except for one little instruction on the welt pockets.  After checking with the Melly Sews welt pocket tutorial, I was good to go.  I won’t have any trouble in the future, but it was my first time constructing them this way, (also known as the REAL way!)  The zip fly came out impressive, so Thomas can be assured of real zip flies on all the pants I sew for him in the future.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

You should recognize the shirt pattern we used if you’ve been around Skirt Fixation any time at all!  It’s the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt.  Allegra embroidered Indiana Jones’ iconic bullwhip on the front.  I did make two changes to the pattern this time; I added sleeve cuffs and a band around the bottom.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Apparently Thomas has grown since I made him a long sleeve version of this pattern and the sleeves were too short.  So then I added a hem band also to make it more like a sweatshirt in cut.

Refashioned into a leather jacket

Finally the leather jacket.  I started with a suede leather skirt of mine and a suede leather jacket I picked up at a thrift store.  By serendipity, they were exactly the same shade of brown, and it was a good thing since I used most of both of them to create this Indiana Jones jacket.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Unfortunately much of the original jacket had become brittle, or started to rot?  Anyway it tore very easily.  So I basically harvested the zipper and used part of the sleeves from the original jacket.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation


If you are interested in the full tutorial on how I made it, you can find it here on Refashion Co-op.  I used the Downton Duffle Jacket pattern (affiliate link) and tried to preserve the cool pockets from the original jacket.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Thomas requested a secret pocket on the inside, so I was able to use one of the pockets for that.   I 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 results.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

The snap tab from the other pocket became a snap tab at the collar.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

That’s it except a few details about the photo shoot.  Allegra had an awesome Indiana Jones photo shoot planned in an area that would have been perfect, but then she got sick!

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

So Thomas and I walked out into the woods on this icy cold day.  It was all going great until my iPhone, my only camera, decided to shut down because of the cold!  (Did you know they’ll do that?)  So we only managed to get a few photos and they’re far inferior to what could have been, but I tried to fill in the gaps with some flat lay detail photos.

Indiana Jones cosplay outfit created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Be sure to hop over to Project Run & Play to see what the contestants made (prepare to be awed!) and don’t miss the sew along entries too.

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Nordstrom Knock Off Skirt {Buy or DIY Skirt}

Skirt Fixation shows you how to make this Nordstrom skirt for a LOT less money!

Today we have another Buy or DIY skirt for you! We’ll be showing you an easy way to make an inexpensive knockoff of a high-end leather skirt.

Skirt Fixation shows you how to make this Nordstrom skirt for a LOT less money!

Our skirt pick of the day is the Adrienne Skirt from Nordstrom.  This is a sueded leather skirt and has some fantastic paneled detailing.

Buy or DIY Details:

Nordstrom Skirt: Adrienne Suede Skirt

Fabric Recommendation: Perfection Leather Brown Fabric

Pattern Recommendation:  Lekala Trumpet Skirt  Modify by shortening to knee length, split the panels in the middle alternate directions, use snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes

Buy or DIY Math:

Nordstrom skirt: $945 retail price.

Fabric needed: 1 yard at $14.98 per yard

Notions: Snaps $5.30

Pattern: $2.99

Total $: $23.27 for DIY

Total Savings: $921.73

Buy or DIY Summary:

No question, the DIY wins for sure!! Please note that our fabric recommendation is leather, so by making this skirt yourself you are not compromising quality at all!  You’ll be winning if you follow this fun DIY trend and make yourself this inexpensive wardrobe addition.

Now for the legal mumbo jumbo: affiliate links are used in this post, not because we’ve ever made any money off of affiliate links, but being ever optimistic, we plan to be the next Bill Gates of affiliate links.  Clicking on an affiliate link won’t harm you, and will certainly give our ego a boost, and may even add a few pennies to our bank account!

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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,