Choosing your fabrics:
The Moto Chic Jacket is a statement piece that everyone will take note of. Why not choose a fabric that will turn heads also and leave your sewing pals drooling. I know, I know- black is safe! I too find myself gravitating towards neutrals and anything denim friendly, but let's step outside of our comfort zone for a moment and ponder the possibilities:
Clockwise from top left:
1. Mood fabrics cotton blend reptile textured jacquard
2. Gorgeous Fabrics: Novelty boucle
3. Miss Matabi- Muji dobby. 100% cotton
4. Mood Fabrics Printed Neoprene.
5. Girl Charlee Slub Stretch Twill
6. Mood Fabrics Roma Ponte
Personally, I feel the best fabrics/easiest to work with are cotton twill, wool gabardines, linen and denim. Stretch sateen will also work well.
First things first- where can you buy leather?
Just like the myriad of online fabric stores, you can also find everything you want and need online. My go-to places are Mood Fabrics and Leather Impact. I find that Mood Fabrics had the best selection and value for my projects. If you are seeking more assistance in getting started, I would get in contact with Leather Impact. They have a comprehensive website for specialty skins and put it out in black and white how it works. If you are unsure of where to start they are probably the most knowledgeable and willing if you were to give them a call (yes, the old-fashioned way) and tell them about your project and what you have in mind.
Leather is a very broad classification for animal hides/skin. The assortment available can make your head spin: from goats to stingrays, to ostriches.
Where do you begin?
Leather comes in different weight grades, and typically garment weight is considered .7-.9 oz. If this is your first project choose something light that resembles the drape of a a woven fabric like lambskin.
Skins and hides also come in different sizes. Leather is sold by the square foot (or meter). This often limits the size of pieces that can be cut from a skin or hide and therefore cut lines need to be added to piece together. For instance, you will not be able to cut a pair of pant legs from a lambskin because you will not find a skin large enough. For the most part, you should be able to use the full pieces of the Moto Chic jacket on a lambskin hide, but for the larger sizes you may need to be creative and add additional seaming to get a better yield out of the leather.
When you purchase skins or hides you will find the square footage of the piece is stamped on the back of the leather by the tannery, indicating how much square footage is available.
How much leather should you buy?
Here are the conversions for the Moto Chic Jacket
Coming next: Cutting your leather
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