Monday, March 26, 2007

Hmmmm Project Leather Coat part 4

I have the book and wallet done. I understand (relatively speaking) how to work this leather. I've got a list of possibilities, and I have this much yardage:

Ooops, there are 1 1/2 sleeves and some misc pieces that aren't pictured here.

I've gone through the list of things to make. I've got their requirements organized. Ur, what does that mean? Well, it just means I've placed them in a sort of hierarchy that takes into account, how much I want to make the item, how much yardage it needs, what size pieces it needs, and how do the seams and detailing already present in the coat work with the designs I have in mind?

For example, I want to make a bag really bad. I also want to make a base ball cap just as badly. The bag obviously takes lots more yardage, and I really rather use pieces that are as big as possible. On the other hand, the cap, doesn't take that much yardage, the pieces are small and could conceivably be cut from scrapes. I know I can get at least one of the sections (gores?) of the cap out of the piece of collar left from the wallet. I also have a another project in mind that is going to need some long very thin pieces. I have to ask myself where can those long piece come from and not take away from the big bag pieces.

Then I throw the next thing on the list into the convoluted mess in my brain and it sounds like this:

I want this...I have this....but then needs that....but then so does that....if that then what about this....if that is this then this is that....that there...this there...that and this here...looks good.

Then the I think about the next thing on the list and it sounds like this:.......never mind you get the picture, just increase it exponentially.

So I do this in my brain until all the pieces fit. No, that's a lie. I do it until all the MAJOR pieces fit. Major pieces are defined as those that I HAVE to have. I don't bother with the list of it would be cool to make pieces. They get the scrapes. Some will work some won't and will have to wait for another coat.

Usually when I take on a project like this, I just go this far and then begin. But this coat has a bit more to it than other coats. First off it's leather.....the absolute WORSE material to make a mistake with. If that seam is off, you better just live with it cuz if you rip it out and re-seam well, all you've succeeded in doing is making a lovely perforation along your true seam......honey it ain't gonna last. The other unique thing about it is the detailing it has. (There are closeups of the details in part 2, and you can see them in the pic above also.) Sooooo, now that I've started this project, and I've told the world about it (the Wardrobe Refashion family and anyone else who stumbles here) The pressure is on! No mistakes!!

So I did what any sane person would do. I made some crayon rubbing of the coat!

I made a rubbing of what I determined in my convoluted hierarchy are the main pieces. My hierarchy also told me that the bag was to be the next piece made. One side out of the center back, and the other made of the section from the the right and left fronts.

Lower center back.....didn't the crayon rubbing work great!?! The detailing, stitches, and seams are easily seen. LOL if you look close enough you can see the weave of the rug too......btw estate sale, hand woven, random pieces of women's wool suits and coats (1940's? 1950's) it. much was it Tim? $65?

Center back piece and right front piece to be used for bag, you can imagine the what the left front pieces looks like right?

Yeah the bag is almost done!!!!!!
Then the phone rang and I draped it around my neck. could be this:

Or this:

Egads! If I do either of these will I have enough for my bag??? Yes, OK hierarchy still intact , bag design altered to first design filed in brain that does not use the detailing. Everything is cool and still on track. Looking, looking, adjusting.....I just don't like the fit of the neckline on the second style. Hmmm the upper back has a similar swirl what if.......

Yeah, I'm liking this one. Obviously I'll make it a bit longer in the front it barely covers the boobage right now, but the back is just about right. A nicely fitted scoop neck tank, with a low back and crossed points on lower edge. Easy to get in and out of, not a lot of closure/button/zipper things to think about!!
So far so good. I've only changed my mind 14,726 times BUT I haven't ripped any seams I shouldn't have.....yet.
Vivian has to wear this all day tomorrow while I work on something else.....prob'ly a new bag design!.....And that item I have in mind that needs the long thin stripes....I have to do some internet searching. I don't know how to do it. I've seen it. I've read the directions years ago, I don't remember it though. I might get around to making the pattern pieces for the ball cap, maybe not. I've got some knitting that has to get done. I need to finish a few pieces in the next couple of days so I can take them all to my sister's house and use her wash machine to felt them. I'm calling them my "NEW bags", cuz my hero inspired me to make them. And I have GOT to get some "Nuff Stuff Folds" made. Those design have been burning holes in my brain for a week now!

Wallet..... Leather Coat part 3

The upper collar not including the lapels, the piece you see below, was used to make a simple no frills wallet.

There are 2 pockets on either side.
I considered sewing the wallet by hand, but then just went ahead and ran it through my machine. I used regular office binder clips and a few hem clips to hold it all tightly together......leather does have a tendency to stretch and slide as it goes through the sewing machine.
I'm having sooo much fun doing this. I really am the kind of person that needs to be given a problem or a challenge. In the next post I'll go a little bit more into how I do/did things and what's going on my head while I do it. I promise not to make it too scary for you. I'll tone it down and only relay the pertinent thoughts! :-)
I realize the book and the wallet aren't that exciting as far as designs go, but I made them first for a couple of reasons. The first is I've never really worked with leather before. I wanted/needed to get a feel for it. I needed to know how it would behave under the foot of the sewing machine, and how easily it was to hand sew it. Notice also that I used a heavy Perle cotton on the book and "regular" thread on the wallet. I also now know how the leather behaves as a single layer, doubled, or tripled. The second reason is cuz I didn't/don't know what all the future projects might be. I had to make a couple of things that used small pieces of leather, or pieces that I wouldn't be sorry about using and no longer having them for something else. The wallet used the otherwise mostly useless, oddly shaped collar, a piece of leather that wouldn't be missed. The book used half of the sun bleached sleeve, I wouldn't be using that sleeve for any future least not as a sleeve!
Now I have a fairly large list of things I COULD make. I have the maximum amount of yardage still at my disposal. And I've got a pretty good idea what the leather will and won't do.