Saturday, March 30, 2013

Red leather skirt

I've had this red leather in my stash for a little over 2 years. There were three skins to start off with, then I made this dress last year and used up a whole hide. (It was suppose to have sleeves but they ended up pulling the dress oddly so were discarded.) For the remaining two skins I knew I wanted a skirt. There wasn't enough leather for anything with fullness so it had to be some sort of pencil skirt. But, being me, I didn't want plain and simple. I'll do simple if my fabric is busy but with solid colors I really like complicated designs.


This is skirt 116 from the September 2010 Burda. I love this design so much. There are no darts, and the shaped pieces fit together and mold around the body. It's totally unique. (I also love the dress version included in the same magazine - don't know when I'll get around to it, though.) Leather is totally unforgivable to sew with. Once it gets a hold punched through it with a needle there is no getting that hole to go away. I made a muslin to perfect the fit and found I only had to let the waist out a bit at the top side fronts. I let out a total of 3/4", which is a typical alteration for my somewhat square shape.


The fit of this skirt turned out really nice. It is figure hugging but not too tight. I shortened the pattern to hit right above the knees and had to remove the vent because of material shortage. As long as I don't try to climb any super tall steps it's not at all restrictive to movement.


I have no dressform pictures to show you the details because I could not get it over my dressform's hips. The reason for this is that the bottom is slightly pegged. Arg! Here are the front and back seaming details with the skirt flat on my bed:


Everything was going smoothly until I tried to put that zipper in. The first time I pulled the leather too much and ended up with a dimple below the bottom of the zipper. The second time looked better but I could see some of the holes from the first attempt and it no longer felt very sturdy. I took a day off to calm my nerves and ponder what to do next. Next day I ripped out the entire vertical seam, applied some iron on interfacing to the edge where the zipper was going, and re-stitched the seam taking a slightly bigger seam allowance. And would you believe I stretched it too much again and had yet another dimple at the bottom?!!! Out that came and I tried it once more, gritting my teeth and praying for mercy. It is still not perfect but oh well, I am not attempting another go.


I lined it with red Ambiance from voguefabricsstore.com. The directions did not call for any but I added interfacing to the top edges of the skirt. I really appreciated the separate lining pattern included with this design that didn't force me to reuse all the pieces that make up the front. Leather glue was used to affix the bottom hem in place.


I love my skirt! The leather is incredibly soft and buttery feeling. Hopefully I won't have any trouble creating outfits around this bright statement piece.

Here is the line drawing from the Russian Burda archives:



Sadly I did not get around to making an Easter dress this year for me or my daughter. I couldn't decide if I should make something warm or summery because the weather here tends to be unpredictable this time of year. Oh well, I've lots of pretty dresses to choose from. I'll check the temperature tomorrow morning and go from there. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday! I'll be cooking Easter lunch for my dad and immediate family and thanking God for the resurrection of his son Jesus!

93 comments:

  1. Beautiful skirt, Amanda. Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love everything about this skirt...the seaming detail, the colour, the fabric. Consider me envious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG. No wonder this design works so well with these skins. The design is wonderful in itself!
    You choice a great style for these leather pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My goodness that is absolutely beautiful, what a lovely colour too. Happy Easter to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a striking skirt. It will look fabulous with a lot of your other creations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gorgeous. The back look perfect from here. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is just gorgeous! Enjoy it every time you wear it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this skirt pattern and the leather looks stunning

    ReplyDelete
  9. lovely skirt. I am a huge admirer and fan of your stitching skills.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the front detail of the skirt, looks nice, you'll get a lot of wear out of it, I'm envious!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is stunning and you look great in it! I think the zipper looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love your leather skirt! The zipper looks perfect on the pic.
    Have a happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You've outdone yourself on this one, Amanda! I've always liked that pattern, but in red leather... it's amazing. Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That skirts ROCKS! I've never had a desire for a leather skirt, or anything in that matter, and now I do! It looks great on you, too! Well done! I have also experience zipper-frustrations, or lately hem-frustration. When you get the garment all constructed and it's coming out really well, then ONE task throws you completely off and threatens to ruin all your good work! Ugg!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is absolutely gorgeous! I love the leather!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your leather skirt, the details are special and so is the color.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That is just incredible, and you look amazing in it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gorgeous skirt, and can I tell you, you have a stunning pony tail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ponytail definitely needs a trim but thanks!

      Delete
  19. Great looking skirt. I am so envious you can get a skirt out of two skins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Audrey! I think it depends on the skin size. These were a little over 6 sqft each and I only added 2.5" seam allowances. It was definitely a squeeze!

      Delete
  20. Gorgeous skirt. Glad you were able to get the zipper to work.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello! This is such a risky pattern to work with! Congratulations: The result is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Merche! It's never risky if you take the time to do a muslin first!

      Delete
  22. What a beautiful skirt. I really like this pattern too, and to see it made up in leather is such a treat! You are sure to find lots of ways to wear it. Happy Easter.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great looking skirt. Excellent job with the leather.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Beautiful -- you make leather look like it's as easy to sew as fabric!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't think it's difficult at all, except when putting zippers in. Those make me giddy with nervousness. Thanks Meli88a!

      Delete
  25. Perfect marriage of fabric and pattern. Very cool skirt!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ooo...I love it!! Beautiful job, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Stunning skirt and how lucky to find red leather. I've been interested in making this skirt for a long time but was worried about shortening it. Your pointers on this are useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should go for it! I did think the back vent was interesting and planned to have them on both back seams - just didn't have the leather for it. Thanks Gail!

      Delete
  28. This skirt is great and really works with the leather. I think I need this pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is absolutely fantastic. I'm ever so impressed by your workmanship... and your perseverance in the face of an unruly invisible zipper! It looks perfectly inserted from here, by the way. Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gorgeous skirt and looks perfect on you!! I've been admiring that style in Burda ever since it came out. What a great choice for leather.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just beautiful workmanship and it looks fab on you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Love this! The seaming is especially neat - and red leather! Be still, my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cool! This is so perfectly executed! Great job, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oooooh leather...*purrs* Love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the design lines on the skirt and the fit is amazing! I always look forward eagerly to your posts to see what beautiful things you have made!

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a beautiful skirt! I'm too scared (and poor) to try sewing with leather, but you did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  37. The pattern and skirt are completely awesome! ...... and it looks incredibly expensive. Glad you were able to tame such an unruly zipper through your perseverance and skills. Your work always amazes me - good job!

    ReplyDelete
  38. 1st prize!!! It's lovely. You know, we are our own worst enemies as far as seeing all of our mistakes. Everything looks great to me. You did a wonderful job.
    Hope that your Easter was enjoyable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO true!!! I often buy things that aren't 100% perfect, and it doesn't bother me like it does when I make something that has an imperfection. Why are we so hard on ourselves?!!!

      Delete
  39. whow, that is amazing! It looks like right out of a designer boutique. I love the pattern too - unfortunately I seem to have lost my Burda instructions booklet before tracing the pattern. Just my luck, eh? But your sewing comes out perfect every time. It is really admirable!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow amazing skirt, impeccable work as always and in leather too!

    ReplyDelete
  41. wow, I love red, and leather and now I LOVE this skirt...it is fantastic. Incredible work now will need to start fishing for some red leather and develop my sewing skills, just so i can achieve something like that. Wonderful sewing it looks so beautiful that words can't describe.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have to comment on your excellent construction techniques. You finished the skirt beautifully and professionally. Leather can be an intimidating material to work with but you made it look pretty simple. Great Job! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This is just fabulous! You're so talented. I love the shaping seams.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Beautiful, absolutely stunning. I love it and I am a little bit jealous it isn't mine ;) Perfect finish, lovely color, great fit and beautiful pattern. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Amanda - I found this blog post when I was looking for how to put a zipper in leather. This skirt is so beautiful. Seeing the invisible zipper in it and the red leather dress you linked to in this post got me quickly out of the house and to the store to buy one for my project. I blogged about it here (http://ifinallyhavetime.com/2013/10/17/sewing-day-with-my-daughter/) and linked to this post of yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete