Monday, May 5, 2014

Black Leather Rock Dress

Well, I am proud of this one! I wore it yesterday for the first time, and was having serious doubts about its fit duiring the first hours, but fortunatelly, the leather behaved as it should, and made room for my boobs to fit in, jeje... and specially my midrif.

Some time ago I made this in a polileather version, which was very nice aesthetically, but impossible to wear due to its unbreathability. I was soaked in my own sweat after a concert inside it, so after studing how to properly work with real leather -Don Morin's course on Craftsy, and Sterlacci's wonderful (but lacking, the actual construction steps for the three pieces lack important imformation, like for example, how to held pices together as you machine sew them) book. I found a couple of wonderful websites from the south of Spain that sell nappa leather at a reasonable price, and the product they sent me was quite a good quality leather.

For the pattern, I took my old plastic dress apart, cutting carefully the right side of the dress without seem allowances, and drawing it in the leather wrong side with a pen. I cut it and started directly sewing pices togeter, after apllying some surgical cloth tape to prevent the pieces form stretching in the machinne. After sewing each seam, you have to glue seam allowances open with special glue for leather, and finish them seams with a rubber hammer.
I used the underlining, a black cotton/spandex replica of the dress to make the neck opening and arm holes facings, leaving the shoulders till the end of the process. The dress has bust and back skirt darts, and also a zip in the back. That was difficult to handle, but I endured!
The fitting problem came because I did not have the stretch quality of the faux leather version into the equation (argh!). Since I could not baste it to have a first fit, I could only give it 1 cm more from the seam allowances at breast level, in the sides. Fortunately, as I mentioned above, the dress gave and gave with the warmth of my body, and it really felt like a glove at the end of the evening, and not like a cage, which was my feeling at the begining. But well, leather stretches naturally, and it is breathable, nice and sweet, and at the same time tough and issolating from outer conditions. I really love leather. I'll never use faux leather agian, it is just not  for me, ooops!
This, sewing with leather, was my main aim this 2014 sewing year, and I am proud of learning it with it, but I still have a jacket in tow...