The blouse pattern is a semi fitted tunic with front and back gathered into band collar. The front buttoned band forms a pleat. The full length sleeves have elasticized wrists. I always choose raglan sleeves for fast sewing projects andam then reminded that they are not a flattering style for my small shoulders. Ah well.
Once the blouse was done and I had worn it with my magenta wool pants, I wondered what else I could wear it with. Black pants certainly and possible a black skirt, if I had one. A black skirt is a versatile wardrobe basic, but they always remind always me of the black skirts I had to wear for girls’ chorus and waitressing jobs in my youth. Leather and fabric is big this year, so I decided to do a black skirt using the black leather and fabric in my stash. The pattern is Burda skirt pattern 103 from 5 2006.
It is a basic straight skirt with contour waist band and center front seam with kick pleat. The interesting bit is the “side seams” are S-curves. Because of the odd pattern pieces and darts, I made a muslin of the skirt out of a mid weight cotton to test the fit. The fit was good except my high hip caused the center front seam to hang off vertical. This was easily fixed by adding 5/8 inch to the top of the skirt on the high hip side.
Some construction details: I marked the darts on the back of the leather with chalk
|darts marked on leather with chalk|
and I used an iron-on woven stay tape to stabilize all seams on the leather pieces.
|Fusible woven stay tape on seams of leather|
Yes, you can iron leather. Test on a sample to determine the best heat setting, and if steam is any benefit. The thread used for construction and top stitching was Coats and Clark poly thread. The needle, a size 12/70 Top Stitching. Darts, hems and non top stitched seams in the leather were glued flat with a glue that dries flexible and is designed for porous surfaces. I used leather adhesive, but SOBO or rubber cement can also be used.
The original skirt had zippers the entire length of each curved side seam. A 20 inch one from back hem to just below the pocket on the front, and a short zipper from waist to the bottom of in-seam pocket. Talk about air conditioning, No way on the whole seam zipper, but I did mentally dither over adding the in seam pockets with zipper openings because of the unfamiliar insertion process and hand sewing required. And the uncertain success of top stitching through 2 layers of leather and the zipper tape. In the end I knew I would be unsatisfied with the skirt if I did not put in the pockets, so one weekend I just did it. I sewed the seams together, basted the zipper to the seam allowances, top stitched 1/4 inch from seam on both the leather and fabric through the zipper tape.
|Zipper basted to seam allowance|
|Top stitching with Teflon foot|
Sewed the pocket facing to the zipper tape on the lower side, and the pocket lining to the upper zipper tape by hand , and then sewed around the outside edges of the pocket by machine.
|pocket facing slip stitched to zipper tape|
|Curved Hip dart|