Monday, December 12, 2016

Leather Jacket Reconstruction

Carlos with his biker jacket in 1999 (Dinamo Open Air Festival). It was too baggy, sleeves too roomy and caps too low.

My love has had this jacket for more than 25 years. It was custom made when he was an adolescent, and he has been complaining about it since.

He never liked its excess of ease and its dropped shoulder seams.We even took it to a leather tailor to ask for a repair, but he told us it was impossible to repair.

Resultado de imagen de ramones
The Ramones made the biker jacket popular in the rock and punk scene in the US.

With time, I've been learning how to work with leather. Read some books, done Don Morin's Craftsy course, and finally I felt ready and up to the task.
Fortunately Carlos has another old leather jacket, also a biker version, that I could use as a model.
I approached the beast by three different areas.

The jacket repaired, narrower body and sleeves, attached at shoulder points.

First, sleeves. I took the sleeve-caps zipper off, and unstitched the lining. I elongated the sleeve length at the bottom and reduced their width along both seams, to the same measure of the model. 

When sewing leather, seams have to be hammered open and glued. I restitched the lining, reducing it the same as the sleeve, and finally I stitched the zipper again at the top.

The second area to remodel was the side seams. After some calculation, I reduced both sides to replicate the model. First I had to remove armscyes' zippers, unstitch the lining and the waist piece. After redoing the side seams, stitch it all up again, not without trying it on and fitting it properly.
The final and most complicated problem were the armscyes themselves. For these, no even the model jacket was right, they were also too low. 

Classic leather biker jacket has set in sleeves at shoulder points, so I had to set them way way up. 
The first scye took me five attempts to finally nail it. Zippers were of aid, because I could pin them (not without stabbing myself with needles several times, ouch ouch!!) for fitting. The second scye was a simple replica to the first.
I am very glad with the result. Karlos complains of wrinkles in the wrong places, he says it feels 80% good. Very useful as a fitting person for me (and the BEST boyfriend EVER), he sees even the smallest flaw, but in this case, he is verging on mania. After he wore it this weekend though, he was happier with it, I think we are more than 90% good now!

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