Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Leather Coat part 1 The Book

I joined the Wardrobe Refashion group. I took the pledge for 4months. It's certainly no hardship for me, it's a way of life that always has been a part of me. I only took the 4 month pledge cuz, well, if you've been TRYING to read this blog with any regularity, you'll know that regular it ain't. I just didn't think I could or would want to commit to anything for longer than 4 months, and if it means that I have to upload posts in a timely fashion, well, that's just not me either! So 4 months it is, and already into the 2nd month, I haven't posted anything yet...go figure!

Anyway, I decided to step this wardrobe refashion thing up a notch and make it the driving force of a special project. That special project being this:

I bought this coat at an estate sale for $7.00. Yep, $7.00 for this fox collared, butter soft leather coat. And when I say butter soft, OMG, do I mean butter soft. It's incredible. I want to touch it.......I want to touch it ALL the time!!!!!

Aside from being a coat that it is just not my style, it does have a major flaw. The right shoulder and sleeve have been bleached out by the sun.

Yeah, doesn't that bite!

So first things with the collar!

Then off with the sleeves!

I used the sleeve that was not sun bleached to make this:

Waaaay tooo cooool. 600 pages!!! LOVE IT!!!

I know there are tutorials out there on how to make a books, but I didn't use them. Perhaps I'll check them out next time, but I'm pretty pleased with how I did it and how it turned out.

I used 3 pads of 4 x 4 grid paper. Folded 6 sheets of paper in half and ran them through my sewing machine that was threaded with a heavy Perle cotton. The machine was set at six stitches to the inch with a fairly loose tension. After all the paper was folded and stitched I stacked them together making sure their bottom edges and "spines" were flush. Using a much thinner but stronger nylon thread I sewed the spines together by hand running my stitches through the spine stitches of each folded group of papers.

To help make a sturdy cover I glued pieces of the cardboard cut to size onto the the first and last page. (cardboard came from the original pad of paper)

To reinforce the spine, I cut a 6 x 6 inch piece of silk (from and old scarf) and glued it to the front cardboard, around the spine and to the back piece of cardboard. I also glued in my ribbon book markers at this point.

Next I cut a piece of leather from the sleeve that was approximately 1/4 inch bigger than the front + spine + back. I cut two other pieces that were 1/4 inch bigger than the front only. I sandwiched the leather pieces around the front and back and sewed them in place by hand using the same Perle cotton that I stitched the pages with.

Ta da!

Oh BTW, in the pic of the book you can see that open edge of the book has some unruliness to it. That's cuz my stitching on the machine was off here and there. No problem though. I clamped the pages together good and tight and use my dremel with a sanding stone and one of those sponge sanding blocks to even them up nice and neat. I think with the next book, I'll make a gig for the sewing machine to get that stitching arrow straight.

Leather Coat part 2 ........ Contemplating the details.


  1. Beautiful book, clever idea... and it must be sooo nice to touch this book! Do you smell it too?

  2. Hey is that the cover for Sue's book??

  3. Can't wait to see what you did with the coat. I LOVE your book! It's great. Want one, please! ;o)

  4. How cool! I would love to reprint this project in my crafty zine (CROQ - If that's a possibility, email me at heather AT

    Awesome!! I just brought a bright red 90s leather jacket (really awesome, but really dated cut) to the thrift store because I didn't know what I would do with it if I refashioned it. (Where it came from: a ladies clothing swap at my church. Nobody claimed it, and I was the person who was in charge of taking care of all the unclaimed clothes). Wish I would have seen your post before then... good thing I have another thrift store leather coat in the closet!!