Sunday, November 3, 2013

Deer Skin Leather Jacket

Vogue 8932 MISSES' JACKET AND VEST: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket or vest has raised neckline, seam detail and shaped hemline. A: front-button closing. A and B: two-piece sleeves. B and C: raw edge finish, seams stitched on right side of fabric, and front snap closing. I hadn't noticed on the line drawings that the back hem is much higher (just below the waist) than the front (hits below the hip), so if you a "butt-conscious" person, you may want to consider lengthening the back a little.
Thanks to my generous brother-in-law, I was able to make this amazing jacket. When he gifted me a number of leather hides, I wasn't sure what to make, but I knew that whatever I chose needed to do the gift justice.  I feel like I accomplished that.
So much leather!!!
The leather and sweater knit combo was one that I very much wanted to add to my closet. I already had this Vogue pattern in my stash (along with the lining), so I just needed to purchase the sweater knit and the chain for the closures. I was very lucky and even had some of the jewelry parts I needed in my crafting stuff!
Love the mixture of textures!
Fabric: 4 Leather Deer Skins (gifted from hunting brother in law), 1 yard of sweater knit (Haberman Fabrics), 2 yards of ivory lining (stash)
Notions: 2 feet of antique bronze chain (local bead shop, $10), topstitching thread, leather needles, rubber cement and a hammer. Yes, a hammer.

  • Added 1" of length to the bodice back.  When I muslined it, there was quite a discrepancy in the seaming details along the back, by about 1/2". 
  • The pattern is unlined, so I cut all the jacket pieces out of lining fabric as well, assembling the same as the outside.
  • I omitted the front facing piece altogether, creating the lining and attaching it to the outside all along the neck, front, and hem lines (one big circle).
  • I felt that the sleeves needed a slimmer fit, so I took them in quite a bit (it is a 2-piece sleeve, by the way).
  • Closures! I started off thinking I would do welted buttonholes, but then considered a zipper. I really wasn't sure how to do a curved zipper, so then I researched (shopped online) for different clasp closures. When I couldn't find what I wanted, I made my own! The oval pieces became my "anchor" pieces, and I doubled the chain to "beef it up".  I used the circle parts to hold the bar for the toggle, and added a few gold jump rings to balance the gold toggle bar.  They aren't any trickier to close than a button in a buttonhole, in case your were wondering.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use small squares of fusible interfacing to reinforce the "corners" on some of the pattern pieces. I used them on the leather and the lining both. Also, when I stitched into those corners, I kept the needle down, clipped the corner deeply, opened the corner, pivoted the fabric under the needle, and finished stitching.
  • Practice, practice, practice your stitch setting with the leather. My machines were super fussy about the weight of the thread and the thickness of the leather.
  • Rubber cement will help in getting your seam allowance to lay flat. Hammering before and after also helps, but watch your fingers! I only smacked mine once, but that's all it took!
  • Trim your seam allowances often and even into the areas where there will be multiple layers (like the hem).
  • Think outside the box when it comes to closures! With a unique, curved front opening, the natural closure options were snaps and buttons.  But, I felt that there was too much open "real estate" on the front, and it needed to be broken up somehow. I also wasn't crazy about the thought of stitching or welting buttonholes... so I started googling "jacket closures". 

 I knew I wanted some metal involved, but it wasn't until I stumbled across different clasp closures that I came up with the idea to use a toggle.  The antique bronze is a great compliment to the colors of the leather and the knit, but I was stuck with gold toggle bars.  So, I incorporated some extra gold jump rings (which was handy in shortening the chains to adjust the fit).
Here the chains are in the "open wide" position.
Here they are pulled closer together.
The topstitching started off great on the front, but then got fussy on the back when I had to pivot around those back of the shoulder corners.
 My machine started skipping stitches, and you know leather... a hole is forever. I switched over to my old 1925 White Rotary machine for the armhole topstitching, but experienced the same skipped stitch issues.  I sweated through the stitching of the leather tabs for the ring/toggle closures, but made it through.

All in all, I'm very happy with the final jacket.  It's a wonderful weight, cozy to wear, and was a bargain in supplies. I feel like it's on trend and fashionable, and I love that I can tell people exactly where the leather came from! The fit is great and between the top stitching detail of the front with the chain closures of the front, it's an awesome jacket from all angles!


L said...


L said...

That jacket is everything and then some! The awesomeness can't be touched!

Liana said...

Gorgeous! What a great brother-in-law! I'm tucking all this into my inspiration file.

MAD14kt said...


Linda said...

Fantastic job! Looks great and warm!

Kay said...

Love. This.

Dana said...

That is such a great jacket! You really put those creative juices to work and they didn't let you down. Nice job!

Ann Brodsky said...

You hit a home run and then some with this! It is breathtaking, and I love the details for your closure and the sleeves. So inspirational, I am buying this pattern tomorrow. Now only to find a deer hunter to cozy up to....

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

It's beautiful. What more needs to be said?

Exclusive Misses Leather Jackets said...

i am crazy about this outfit and jacket love this.

bpatricia74 said...

You did your brother-in-laws gift justice!!! Wow!! The jacket is amazing.

bpatricia74 said...

You did your brother-in-laws gift justice!!! Wow!! The jacket is amazing.

bpatricia74 said...

You did your brother-in-laws gift justice!!! Wow!! The jacket is amazing.

buy mens leather jackets said...

Nice post love reading it

mens coats

Leather Pants

Humphrey Potatohammer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nelly Jane said...

I've just come across this via a google search for the vogue pattern I love your interpretation of the pattern and the mix of leather with the knit works really well. You've given me inspiration to think how I could alter the pattern to give it an individual twist.