Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Leather Jacket, Pt. 6: One more naked picture

Before the jacket gets its lining. If nothing else, the drying time required is making me take my time with this project, which is always a good thing. Who doesn't pick up speed when the end is in sight? And isn't that when we make some of our most memorable screw-ups? So slow is probably better.

I picked up some new glue yesterday. I've been using rubber cement on the flattened seams, but I wanted something stronger for the hems since they will take more abuse, both in the wearing and in the lining installation. When I wasn't able to get any at the fabric store, I tried buying some off my local dry cleaner, but she wouldn't let go of hers. The fabric store finally got in some Aleen's Leather Glue, which looks and smells a lot like Elmer's but is stickier and dries pretty quickly.

Last night I got the sleeves in. Surprisingly, they actually went in without stretching, without any accidental pleats, folds, tucks, wrinkles – any of those nasty things that can happen to set-in sleeves when you're not looking. And even when you are. After I made sure they were right and the jacket fit comfortably, I cut off the seam allowance on the jacket side, notched the curves on the sleeve SA and glued it back into the jacket. (I figured I'd normally be pressing the seams into the jacket, so this made logic and gave me a thinner and more protected seam.) I should have taken a picture of the sleeve, glued and then shoved down over my foil-wrapped pressing ham to dry. It was one of the more bizarre sights of this project.

Next up, the lining. Because of the heaviness of the leather (relative to fabric, anyway), I'm going to iron a strip of interfacing along the bottom of the lining so that when I turn the jacket inside out through the opening the entire lining doesn’t shred from the strain. The pattern instructions have you doing this through an opening in the side of the lining, which would be easier in that I could attach the whole hem at once, but I don’t see turning this jacket inside-out through a 6” opening in a lining seam.

Supplies used in this project not generally kept in my sewing room: binder clips, paper clips, bobby pins, tin foil (for keeping the pressing ham glue-free), wax paper (for keeping the cutting area glue-free), rubber mallet. I'll be glad to be finished so I can get this crap out of the workroom and back into the desk/toolbox/shed where it all belongs.

In the realm of non-leather-jacket activities (yes, there are still some!), I finished the second pair of pants for my Wardrobe. They've been mostly finished for the better part of a week, but other projects have distracted me. Wonder what? So here's my second pair of BWOF 6/07 #116 pants, this time in a black stretch twill from Paron's. The photo was taken at the end of the day and after getting rained on, so they don't look their best, but they're good basic pants, comfortable, flattering and a fairly easy sew.

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