| Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman - Blog Post: Refashioners 2018: Cropped Leather Jacket

Refashioners 2018: Cropped Leather Jacket

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

Indiesew + Refashioners | Cropped Leather and Ponte Jacket

When Portia Lawrie asked me to participate in this season of Refashioners, I jumped at the opportunity. I took part last year (you may remember the hilarity of these teal suede pants) and I had found the entire experience to utterly sew-jo inducing. Scouring thrift stores, searching for inspiration images, and getting to work remaking something drab to fab does amazing things for your psyche.

This year's theme is "Inspired By", where we are asked to pick an image that inspires us to refashion any type of garment we choose. Unlike in year's past, we weren't required to start from a particular category of clothing (like suits). We could use any type of second-hand, used, or otherwise previously loved garment to start from. The other caveat? Only 20% of the final garment can be composed of new sewing materials or supplies.

Oliva Palermo has been a style icon to me for many years. She has been seen wearing no less than ten different black leather jackets. Her style is edgy, but constantly classic. And it all looks effortless.

This black leather/ponte bomber jacket was my inspiration to create something similar:

Olivia Palermo | Leather Bomber JacketSource

...and here is what I was working with! Shown below is a women's large leather jacket (no doubt from the early 90s) and a women's maxi-length ponte Christmas dress:

Refashioned Leather Jacket and Dress |

I feel rather lucky that I found both garments at the thrift store with very little trouble. The Arizona brand leather jacket wasn't cheap (nearly $40), but it was in perfect condition. The leather has no visible signs of damage. 

The black ponte dress was $5. At checkout, the cheeky college-aged cashier casually asked, "Getting ready for Christmas already?". I had barely the energy to explain my plan, and instead replied with a snappy, "You know it."

And here's what those two tired garments became:


Leather and Ponte Jacket | Princess Seams


I used my Lonetree Jacket sewing pattern and my Beatrice Form as a starting point. Unlike in the inspiration image, I knew I wanted my leather jacket to be fitted with princess seams.

I simply traced my size of the Lonetree Jacket onto tissue paper, and draped it onto the Beatrice Form, pinching out princess seams in the front and the back. I also removed enough length in the jacket to make it cropped so that it hits just below my natural waist.

I'm still new to draping, but I'm pretty pleased with the result:

Refashioned Leather Jacket | Indiesew Blog

The back and front side panels are sewn from the ponte knit fabric, doubled up. I knew that this would give the jacket plenty of stretch to make it comfortable enough to wear during the day.

Leather Jacket Back | Refashioned by Indiesew

The under-sleeve is also sewn in the ponte knit (but just one layer there, because I was running short on fabric). This makes the sleeves ultra-comfortable, especially when bending my arm.

I chose to keep the front of the jacket closure-free. Since draping and sewing with leather are still new skills for me, I decided to simplify the design and go sans zipper. Instead, I bound the entire outer edge of the jacket in black bias-tape. Funnily enough, that bias tape was also thrifted a few years ago.

Mitered Bias Bound Corner | Leather Jacket Refashioned Leather Jacket | IndiesewOutfit Details:
Jacket: Repurposed Leather Jacket for Refashioners
Dress: Kila Tank (lengthened to midi-length dress, tutorial and fabric coming soon!)
Shoes: Clarks Wedges (discontinued, similar here)

The only supplies I used for this jacket that were "new" were my thread and a ton of Wonder Tape to tack down all those leather seams before topstitching.

I found the entire process of creating this jacket really fun and stress-free. The fit feels great on me and I am sure this will get a lot of wear as we head into fall. Details of the Kila Tank Dress you see worn under the leather jacket will be coming later this week!

Thanks again to Portia for inviting me to be on the Refashioners Blog Tour, which just kicked off this week! Be sure to check out the full blogger lineup and follow along with #therefashioners2018. There's also a community challenge going on with an incredible prize package (did someone say new sewing machine?). 

Happy sewing!

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