My father bought this leather jacket in Spain in 1961 during his travels with my mum, and it’s a family heirloom that I want to wear till the end of my life so I took it into Sew Love to see if they could help me do that - Martin
Not having tackled a re-work like this before, Rosie was enthused to get back into the menswear groove (having specialised in it through university). In hindsight, the best place to start would be to take photographs or notes of how things are constructed. Specifically: location of pleats, tucks, internal pockets, cuff attachments. In other words, everything that I did not photograph BEFORE jumping in and unpicking all the lining into pieces for dear Rosie.
Once everything was unpicked from the jacket and separated from each other into individual pieces, Rosie pressed them all flat (noting where the crinkles/gathers were originally).
Using some handy newspaper Rosie traced around each piece to form pattern pieces. Taking note of notches, points of the darts, and importantly the grainline of the fabric pieces to correctly transfer onto the new pattern pieces. She matched each seam so they would fit exactly (sometimes fabric may have stretched, ripped or swayed a bit during wear).
Next up a toile was cut from some cotton sheet offcuts. This was a practice go at fitting the lining into the shell, and due to my non noting of special bits before unpicking, this is where Rosie had to figure out where there were gathers and folds in certain parts along the hem and sleeves.
Martin came back to visit and get some other repairs done and he chose some great funky bright lining from the little assortment we hunted out through the fabric stash for him.
Rosie set to work sewing the new lining together starting with the front opening and leaving the bottom hem open so she could sneak on in and attach the cuffs of the sleeves neatly from the inside.
As with most lined jackets, a hole is left open in the sleeve seam which is where you dive in to close up the bottom hem. This sleeve seam hole is LAST to be stitched closed and everything looks neat and tidy. What a beauty!
What was your favourite part of this project?
Touching in on old skills, and seeing an old jacket come back to life with some SNAZZY new (but also old) lining.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
I’d say it’s probably doing these cuffs, ensuring that they’re turned in the right way and sitting neat.
Have you worked with leather before?