Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Purple Leather Jacket- Sewaholic Cordova

I have a secret... and I'm so excited to finally be able to spill the beans! I was a pattern tester for Tasia's newest pattern, the Cordova jacket!!! First off, let me say that it was exciting and an honor to be asked to test the pattern. I have long admired Tasia for her special patterns and her amazing blog. My Pendrells are some of my all-time favorite makes (see one, two). And I've learned so much by reading her sew-a-longs and thorough blog posts.


When Tasia asked me to be a pattern tester, I wanted to make something super special. She sent the line drawing of the Cordova jacket, and I was sold. Peplums! Zipper! Yes, please! I love that it's different than any other jacket pattern I've seen out there. I think it could easily be made fancy or casual just by changing the fabric choice.

Sewing Notes- Overall, this pattern was easy to work with. I think it would make a great first jacket pattern--if you've sewn a dress with sleeves and a zipper, you can sew this jacket! The only thing missing from this pattern is pockets. I made simple patch pockets that I sewed inside the lining. They are simple rectangles, and they'll be perfect for stashing keys or holding gloves.


I decided to use two different fabrics for the body of the jacket--a lovely, soft purple wool and purple leather, both from SAS Fabrics. The lining is beautiful purple rayon bemberg ambiance from JoAnn. Now, I'd never worked with leather before. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the wisest idea to use a new fabric when testing a new pattern, but thankfully it worked out. It did make more work for me...I've been reading sewing blogs for long enough that I had already soaked up some tips by osmosis, and I did some Google-ing.

Here are my top 5 "sewing with leather" tips: 1) Cut out your pieces with a rotary cutter and weights so nothing slips. 2) You probably can't fold over the leather to cut out pieces in pairs. Don't forget to flip the pattern piece over to cut out the two pieces in mirror images! 3) Use binder clips instead of pins to hold everything together. 4) Use a walking foot and leather needle. I did this and had no problems. 5) Use a hammer to coax the seam allowances to lie flat. But first, I took a scrap of leather and wrapped the hammer in it to avoid damaging the leather.


Additionally, I decided to do some light tailoring: I made a back stay--both Tasia and Gertie have good posts on this. I added sleeve heads in the lining--Gertie has a post that helped me visualize this--I didn't use her method exactly, but it was still very useful--also I put the sleeve heads in the lining instead of the main fabric because I wanted to avoid extra bulk when sewing the leather. Finally, I hand-stitched some of the seam allowances down to encourage them to lay flat. Phew! That was a lot of extra work, but I think it was worth it to have a jacket that I know will keep it's shape.


I also want to give a big THANK YOU to my hubby for these fantastic pictures. When I finished the jacket, he just couldn't believe that I made it. He kept saying, "You made this?... From scratch?!?" Which is super funny because he watched me cut out the fabric and work on it step by step. His enthusiasm really made me feel proud, and he even offered to take some special photos in a mini photo shoot. I think they turned out great.


I was especially excited about the photos with the B on the wall--"I made view B!" I shouted gleefully as my hubby snapped photos! Only to get home and realize that I actually made view A. Drat! Oh well, that will be our little secret!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over and pick up your Cordova pattern!

p.s. What do you think of my hair? I tried a new curling technique for this photo shoot. Since these pictures were taken back in October, I've been curling my hair like this almost every weekend!

24 comments:

  1. LOOOOVE the jacket and how you used 2 fabrics to make Cordova even more special!! Love it! You look gorgeous in it!

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  2. Awesome work! And i can't believe that was your first time using leather! It looks so good! and p.s. your hair looks cute

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  3. That jacket is fantastic! I love the mix of fabrics. I've been wanting to try out her trouser pattern for a while.

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    1. I've been thinking about the trouser pattern too.

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  4. I love your jacket! I had already decided I needed to make this new pattern, and seeing your version cemented the deal. The leather is a fabulous touch and gives it a RTW look! Nice job!!

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    1. Hooray! Can't wait to see your version! I think this pattern has a lot of possibilities.

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  5. I truly love your fabric combo. The leather really makes this jacket special. And it looks great on you!

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  6. That is absolutely BRILLIANT!!!! I hope you don't have copyright on that version of the jacket, because I totally want to make it myself!!! I love the rock vibe you've given it, and have been wanting to work with leather for ages, so this looks like the perfect way of easing myself in. You must feel SO proud of yourself!

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    1. Please feel free to make a similar version of your own! I feel it was fate that helped me find matching purple leather and wool. My original intention was to use gray wool and black leather--I think that would look really good too.

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  7. Your jacket is so lovely, I love the colour and the leather panels you did such a bold choice!

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  8. Hair looks great! I want to know how you did it...was it a flat-iron? (yeah yeah, the jacket looks good too)

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    1. Hair is done with a 1" curling iron. I just wrapped the hair around the outside of the curling iron, instead of clamping down and rolling up. (Does that make sense?) I know other people have been doing this for ages, but it was my first attempt.

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  9. Oh I love your jacket! ANd thanks for the tip on this being a great first jacket pattern. It iwll be my first jacket too - love the leather panels. And it looks so warm in Arizona. It's snowing here....

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    1. Yeah, it's still too warm to wear my jacket in Arizona! Maybe in a few weeks it will cool down enough...

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  10. fantastic jacket you look great and very clever to add the leather panels. Please send it to me :)

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  11. Trisha:
    That is one 'Couture Jacket' you have made! Great touch using the leather! It has added that extra detail that takes this awesome pattern over the top! Tasia of Sewaholic has some wonderful patterns and you have created a beautiful jacket from this one!
    Congratulations to you both!

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  12. Great jacket, beautiful! And now I want to sew with a hammer too....

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  13. Lovely jacket. I really like the leather panels you have added. Great job!

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  14. I love your jacket! Now I have to make one.

    By the way, where did you get your shoes? They are cute!

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Thanks for the note!