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06-04-2013
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Jila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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thank you! and yeah, im actually attending a portfolio night on the 11th, so i want to get as much stuff done as i can. i had a couple draped dresses from a year ago that i need to sew together/fix.

i was actually planning on making a dress with a bronze chainmail neckpiece (and attach little bronze roses i found) that have lobster clasps to attach to a draped chiffon dress. i wanted to dye it in a 2 tone ombre, but ive never really dyed before, so im kind of nervous i might mess it up.


and have you tried using a thinner cow leather? i actually took a leather class a year ago and for my final project i made this underbust cutout corset



a girl in my class made a flounce dress out of cow leather, and i just bought the rest of the leather she had left from her and used it for my project. it was actually quite thin for what i wanted. i later found out a friend of mine bought really thick cow leather for her project (a vest) that was way too thick for what she wanted to. i really wish we switched, because i think it would have turned out much nicer if i used something thicker. you can tell in the picture it was starting to stretch a lot by the time i was top stitching the edges closed (i actually used her thicker leather for the belt straps if you can tell the difference). not quite sure why i didnt put an extra layer of canvas either. but yeah, if you can find something thinner, it would probably be much cheaper than lambskin, because youll probably have to buy 2 or 3 skins depending on the skirt length/width. if i had enough left over for a skirt, i would have made one, because the thickness would have been perfect for it. i actually did want to make a high waisted miniskirt, but it would have equaled to 2 lambskins, which i thought was way too pricey for a miniskirt lol


Last edited by Jila; 06-04-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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07-04-2013
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Nymphaea's Avatar
 
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^Wonderful Jila! A corset! Someday, I hope, I can sew that!

Yes, dyeing fabrics is a nerve wracking process in the beginning I think. I haven't done it myself. I guess it takes a lot of practise (like most things ) and try it first on a sample!

My leather skirt is made from leather from a 'outlet' store, so it was rather cheap, I can make some mistakes, but my conscience won't let me! I have a bit of an obsession for details, it has to be perfect. When I'm finished I want to buy some quality leather. I like lambskin more than cow, it looks more expensive. I would like to make a top, a fitted dress and shorts in leather. I was wondering do you tape something on the inner side of the leather?

I'm planning to take some courses on leather and a Chanel jacket. Maybe I'm gonna do a parttime course of a year. In 2 weeks there will be a open house where they have these courses, after that I will decide which course I want to take, because I want to be sure to learn a lot!

I was working on my Jil Sander coat from my avatar, but it's a lot more difficult than it looks. The difficult part is the shoulder/armpit area, because there is no seam on the shoulder and the armpit consists of a square piece of fabric. An acquaintance of mine with more coat making experience will look into it, I hope she can solve my problem!
And I have to finish a silk blouse, tricky fabric!
In between I'm crocheting and knitting and sewing cute but chic pillows.

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07-04-2013
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yes! theres double sided leather tape you can buy to tape seams down (either taping them open or taping them to one side. even when i topstitch, i like taping down the seams to keep them in place

this is the type of tape i use, either in 3/8" or 1/4". if you see some in a different color roll, it doesnt matter. theyre all clear, just the paper its encased in are various colors
http://bergentailorsupply.com/scotch...athertape.aspx

some other tools are important too. not sure if youre using a domestic or industrial sewing machine, but getting a teflon foot is really imperative to get the leather to not stick to your presser foot. a rubber (or poly) mallet and/or a leather roller is nice too for pressing down seams.

make sure when you sew, you dont backtack. you dont want to put more holes in the leather than necessary. instead, to close seams, pull one of the last outer threads toward the inside of the fabric and tie a double not to secure the seam. also, when youre fusing (and you should be fusing all of your leather unless its something really meant to stretch, because leather is practically all on the bias) make sure you use a completely dry iron and a pressing cloth on top. no steam!

and do you have any bigger pictures of the coat?

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07-04-2013
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I've taped my seams down with some kind of special glue for leather/textile/etc. It works quite nice! I also have heard of the double sided tape. Thanks for the link!

I'm using a domestic machine and I use a special foot with 2 tiny rollers in it, but when I was sewing 4 layers (2 seams on each other) it didn't transport it at all, so I used my standard foot and it worked!

I also don't use a standard stitch but a stretch stitch. With the standard stitch I saw the thread very clearly when I stretched the leather, with the stretch stitch I don't see any, it looks much more professional! I didn't fuse my leather because I wanted to have the stretch. What kind of fusible do you use?

I've attached some pics, I had the actual coat for a short time, but unfortunately after that I realised how difficult the shoulder/arm pit area was.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JS6.jpg (51.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg JS pic1.jpg (144.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg JS pic2.jpg (146.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg JS pic4.jpg (132.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg JS pic7.jpg (289.5 KB, 2 views)

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07-04-2013
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ah okay, the little bit in the armpit area is called a gusset. its added into sleeves that fit really close to the arm. if you dont have it in styles like these, youre not going to be able to move your arms as easily and/orr it would result in your entire garment shifting up whenever you lift your arms, which is not pretty.

heres a pretty decent looking blog post of someone drafting a gusset.

http://sewingforlife.wordpress.com/2...or-the-sleeve/

if you google how to sew one in, it looks like there are a lot of examples as well

and as for fusing, im not absolutely sure if theres a specific type of fusing for leather. i got mine at an actual leather supply store and just asked them for fusing and they gave me this grey nonwoven fusing.

and if you dont want to fuse, try to make sure all your pieces are on the sturdier parts of the hide (if youre using an actual hide). the thing about using leather is that some parts of the animal are stretchier than others. like the center back of the hide (where the spine would be) is the least stretchy and the strongest, and closest to the edges where the stomach would be (most animals generally get cut down the center) is the most stretchy. so if you do use a hide and end up having to use parts close to the edge, i would still probably fuse it (even with a lightweight fuse at least). tbh, the only time i wouldnt fuse are for things like gloves where you actually need to prestretch it before sewing.

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08-04-2013
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^^Pics by me and stylebop.com.

Thanks Jila for your input!!! The next time I'm gonna use leather I think I'm gonna fuse it. Like you said, you're more sure that the leather is uniform in it's behaviour. Can you use an invisible zipper with leather?

An older acquaintance of mine recognized the square from the years 1950/60, but that's all she knew. I will see what my other acquaintance (with lots of coat sewing experience) has to say about it, because the shoulder area has to be different than I have come up with so far. Probably she can solve my problem.

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Last edited by Nymphaea; 08-04-2013 at 01:45 AM.
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08-04-2013
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I'm pretty obsessed with kimono sleeves (sleeves without seams on the shoulder) and have pattern cut them a lot.
The gusset must be cut on the bias as so it has that slight stretch and give when one lifts one's arm. It's a diamond shape and each side of the diamond must the same length. A gusset is only needed on tighter-fitting kimono sleeves, larger kimono sleeves (as in the case of their Japanese namesake) probably wouldn't bother with one.
The garment is then slashed under the arm at a specific point on the side seam, the slashes must be the same length as the sides of the gusset and must point towards the centre of the neck. When it's sewn in (usually they are easiest to sew in by pivoting when sewing up the side seams/underarm seam) it will be invisible when the arms are down.
Despite me telling you this it's probably best to look up a visual guide because it is tricky and it has to be in the right place.

Other alternatives are to just literally have the armpit of the garment open - Lagerfeld's Spring 2011 collection for Fendi was mostly kimono sleeves and he described in an interview how the 'Butterfly sleeve' was possible because of the armpit being open.
The collection actually cleverly incorporates ways to make a tight underarm into the designs, like having the sleeve and bodice almost completely separate, only held together with a strap.

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09-04-2013
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Great explanation Crying Diamonds! I get your point and love your input. It was rather funny, because every time I had had a look at the pics I saw something new. Slowly it's coming together how they made the coat and it gives me a lot of respect for the design. I love those details. If I had known this on forehand I would have draped the coat with muslin to get the right pattern.

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16-04-2013
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ive actually been told you cant use an invisible zipper on leather. i suppose maybe you can if the leather is thin enough and you use fusible tape/bridle tape on the area, but i personally wouldnt. i made a dress with moderately thick cotton twill and put in a center back invisible zipper. even though it wasnt crazy thick, the fact that i got a bit too close to the teeth in some places made it permanently split in the center. i tried to fix it for hours because i didnt have time to buy a new zipper, but it was not happening. i eventually had to take it apart and put in a new zipper. but it wouldnt not have been pretty if i had to do that with leather, since you want to put in the least amount of holes as possible when sewing leather. id avoid it all together and just stick with exposed zippers. if you really dont want an exposed zipper, id do a lap zipper (as annoying as they may be).

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17-04-2013
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My leather skirt is almost finished! I will post some pics. I have to finish the bottom part. The upper part at the waist in the back, where the zipper starts, was in fact too thick to fit beneath the presser foot, so it isn't as perfect as I hoped for. But that problem will be solved in the future, because I won't buy the same thick leather again. But I'm very content with the overall result and now I know how to do it and what the difficult parts are.
For the invisible zipper, I'm gonna try it sometime. When I see pics of other leather skirts, I often see they've used a invisble zipper, so it should be possible!

How was your portfolio night Jila?

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09-05-2013
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My finished leather skirt!
I learned a lot from this experimental project. The next time I'm for certain going to use much thinner leather, this deer leather was a bit too thick for my sewing machine when multiple layers had to be sewn. Especially the zipper part at the waist was a huge problem for my sewing machine unfortunately. But I'm fairly content with the result of my first leather project.
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13-05-2013
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It looks pretty good! Just try to eliminate darts in the future, it's less bulk.

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13-05-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymphaea View Post
My finished leather skirt!
i think you have done a fantastic job. this skirt will last forever. i think its a great length also.

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14-05-2013
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Thanks guys!

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15-05-2013
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After not having sown since I was a child I have taken up sewing again.

My first project was this dress. Not too easy to see in these pictures but the shape is really flattering.




And this saturday I made this skirt. I have wanted a denim skirt for ages so when I discovered an old and too big denim dress in my attic I decided to turn it into a skirt. I cut it of at the bottom to keep the bottom hem and the pockets, and then pleated it to give it shape. Then I added a zipper in the back and used the part that used to be below the bust to create a waistband.





Last edited by Betinapple; 15-05-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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