i knew that, to really play with this pattern and bring some sense of modernity to it, i wanted to use leather as the trim on those waist bands, back bustle and bow. actually, i was on the fence about the bustle, but i had enough leather to go for it.
first was making the pattern pieces, so that i had a reference when i shopped for the leather. only i didn’t do that, and ended up needing to go back to mood to get another skin. the price was reasonable, if on the high side–but the quality is killer. soft, pliable and easy to work with. whew–that meant i didn’t have to buy anything special, like a new presser foot.
i made cardboard templates of the pattern pieces i wanted in leather, one set with seam allowances and one set (for the facings) without. i wanted to reduce the bulk in the leather seams as much as possible using a method kenneth showed me for sewing the pieces together.
only i did it backwards. oops. fortunately, this ended up being not really noticeable at all, and, more importantly, the featherweight plowed through all of that leather like it was regular fabric. naturally, it was on the last bit of sewing that i finally got the hang of it.
i had been making such a fuss to myself about working with the leather that i almost couldn’t even get started. fortunately, after the friday night sew-in, i had busted my butt to get the top finished so that i could get buttonholes at jonathan’s first thing on saturday morning. after all of that, i knew i needed to keep going.
bit by bit, i finished each leather piece.
i finally got the skirt, which kenneth had persuaded me to re-design as a separate piece, sewn together and attached. in the end, i decided to keep the garment a dress for simplicity’s sake. i thought attaching the skirt to the bodice as intended better preserved the integrity of the original design and didn’t leave the leather waist bands just out there with nothing to tie them to a larger idea (the bustle and bow are attached on the skirt).
here’s the problem with working with leather: you actually really need glue to aid the work. it becomes, then, horribly easy to just start gluing things together.