Thursday, August 12, 2010

Leather Skirt Rebirth

Hello friends, hope your week has been a good one. Still ungodly hot and humid here in Virginia and I am keeping to my air conditioned studio for relief. 
A while back my sister-in-law, Wendy, gave me a leather skirt she had gotten from a friend. It did not fit her and she thought I might be able to work with it.
Very slim and very long
 Judging by the slim style and the length, it looks to be from the 80's maybe. I remember that was the style back then. Lots of long skirts and big shoulder pads.
Love the cool detail at the waist. I'm thinking this would be great to incorporate into a large tote...what do you think?
The leather is super soft and pliable and it was very easy to work with.
 I have never worked with leather before, so I decided to keep my first project very simple. I used my zippered pouch pattern and created a cool little leather clutch. The beautiful crocheted trim and antique lace was a gift from my dear blog friend Heather of Bebe & Alice on Etsy. Thank you again Heather!
I even reused the skirt lining for my clutch lining...waste not, want not! Reused the zipper also.
I really love how it turned out...so buttery soft. I am really loving the juxtaposition of the worn leather and the sweet feminine lace. Kind of like denim and pearls.
 I started playing with the leather and cut out leaves and simple flower shapes. This clutch is a basic fold over style with a leather bow tie for closure. More antique lace from Heather...have I said thank you enough for the beautiful lace???
I was very surprised to find out how easy this old leather was to work with and I have quite a bit to play with yet. I used a special machine needle for leather and also a leather/vinyl presser foot. The only tricky part was keeping the leather layers lined up properly while sewing. Leather is a little slippery and with right side together, I had to be sure to go slower than usual while stitching. Also since the needle leaves tiny holes you really have to be sure of where you want your stitches...no redo unless you like the pinhole look.  One of the best things about leather is that the edges do not fray...just pink or cut with a scissor and go...so cool. You don't really have to line these if you don't want to...all the more rustic. Other than that is was fun. I'm thinking of mixing the leather with some vintage fabric. I think that would be awesome and unique. Any ideas from my creative followers??
I hope you enjoyed my little foray into the world of upcycled leather.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
PS...you still have one more day( winner is picked on the 13th) to win one of my aprons over at the Rik Rak Studio Blog with Kristal. Check it out!

21 comments:

Marie said...

Janet - you are so talented. I love what you did with the leather skirt. Very creative.

Hugs - Marie

Kelly Ann said...

how heavy did that leather skirt have to be to wear...holy moly....but you're little bag is pretty stinkin' cute...

Heather said...

love that pouch, janet! you worked wonders again!

Kathleen Grace said...

What a great idea! The clutch is adorable, I would have thought your sewing machine would have a hard time sewing leather?

Twiglet said...

Great little bag - will love to see what else you make with the rest of the skirt!

Bagladee said...

OH WOW, you turned a beautiful skirt into a gorgeous clutch!!! Its soo pretty.

Emma x

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

That's awesome! You are super creative.

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

Oh my how cute is that. I have some old leather skirts and you have given me ideas for my daughter and daughter in laws for Christmas. Thanks for sharing. ~~Sherry~~

Maison Conti said...

Love the purse you made Janet, and YES YES YES on the tote with that cool lacing. It seems like such a pleasant way to escape the heat...your fans can feel grateful for your air conditioning!

SewSweetStitches said...

Oh that is SO cute!
I've worked with leather a few times- I like to punch holes with an awl & hammer, then embroider along the holes. It's a lot of hard work though!

Aprons and More said...

Love the clutch! Now can you find a way to incorporate the leather in an apron? You know the leather and lace thing? I bet you could come up with something fabulous!!

Vicki said...

Hi, Janet,
Charming and delightful is what your sweet leather clutch is!! Love everything about it! I just read your barn chicks post and enjoyed it very much. The barn you chose to feature is beautiful, and Bengie is a gorgeous horse~Thank you for coming by to visit me~Have the happiest of weekends, my friend~Vicki

leather skirts said...

Very nice site.I have some old leather skirts and you have given me ideas for my daughter and daughter in laws for Christmas. The barn you chose to feature is beautiful, and Bengie is a gorgeous horse.

Lori~Studio Waterstone said...

Okay I saw this in your sidebar and my eyes and ears immediately perked up! Great job! I LOVE that it's recycled right down to the zipper.

Women Leather Skirts said...

Wonderful post. I am impressed. Keep it up.



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