Faux Quilted Leather Skirt - Minerva Blogger Network


I've been admiring leather skirts for a while now - this one especially - so I figured I'd be a bit adventurous with my second project for the Minerva Blogger Network and give making one a go. I ordered some black pleather - and other handy bits which are included in my kit - and got busy.


By the way, I totally bought this cool top from ASOS after seeing it on Anna from Paunnet! Luckily, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...


I had ambitious plans for the design of this skirt, but as I started playing around with ideas, I found that the simplest worked best. So I drafted a simple A-line - using my first ever self-drafted skirt pattern as a basis - and loved how it looked. I was going to draft a waistband as well, but the skirt already sat quite high on me, so I simply turned under the waistline once and voila! The pleather is sturdy enough in itself so no facing was required!



To avoid this becoming a boring black skirt, I tried to imitate elements from my inspiration design. Using chalk and the width of my ruler I marked out 'quilting' lines on the wrong side of the fabric and stitched along them. Although my skirt isn't actually quilted - I literally wouldn't know where to begin! - I do like the subtle texture this has added. I also inserted an exposed zip, mainly for 'rock-chick' aesthetic reasons, but also because the idea of inserting any other kind of zip with pleather terrified me!




Before getting down and dirty I researched lots of tips on sewing with leather, which although were extremely helpful, did make me apprehensive. However, I get the impression that pleather is less tricky to work with and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy sewing it up turned out to be! 

  • I pre-washed my fabric at 30 degrees, even though handwash is advisable, but it was fine.
  • I used a suitable needle, slightly increased my stitch length and it was plain sailing from there really.
  • Contrary to all advice, I did pin my fabric, but only within the seam allowances so that the perforations wouldn't show on the right side. 
  • I used a pressing cloth when ironing to avoid melting my fabric!

The only thing I didn't get on with was the hemming tape included in my kit...it didn't really stick that well for some reason. So I bought leather glue instead, which I used on the waistline, hem and all other seams to great results. A heavy book and some bulldog clips came in very handy at making sure everything stuck down nicely!


Be warned though, bulldog clips can dent your fabric, so I'd recommend putting some padding between them and the fabric...some cotton wool, a sponge...anything!


My love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with skirts is well documented on this blog - it stems from the fact that I have to wear skirts high up due to my muffin tops, but being short-waisted with a large bust, I end up looking like I have no waist at all! However, I frigging love everything about this skirt...even the way it fits and looks on me! I think the simplicity of the shape has something to do with it, but mostly I think they key is a fitted cropped top! This trick has worked for me before with my Miette, so what I need to do is 'rub off' the two tops in question, make about a million of them and start a full-on love affair with skirts! Amarite?!?



Apologies for the lengthy post, it's just due to excitement over this successful revelation about myself and skirts! Now, go and get your grubby little hands on my Minerva kit and have some fun with pleather...

84 comments:

  1. This is FANTASTIC!!!!

    Absolutely fantastic! I love the quilting!

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  2. wow ... it looks amazing ... it fits you so well

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    1. Thank you! That's the beauty of drafting your own I guess ;o)

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  3. So cool! The quilting is brilliant.

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    1. Thanks! It took FOREVER, but I'm so glad I bothered!

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  4. You did a fantastic job on this and it looks awesome on you! Definitely rub off the tops and make a slew of them because this silhouette really works for you!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, I fully intend on doing so!

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  5. I love it! I've always wanted a leather skirt so naturally yours just stole my heart ;)

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  6. It's absolutely gorgeous Marie, I think you've found your skirt shape, it suits you perfectly. And it looks sssoooo lovely in real life too! xx

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    1. Thanks a million Jane, so chuffed you liked it up close as well!

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  7. See! You can wear skirts! Who says you couldn't but I totally think you can rock this look.

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    1. Haha, thanks! I really think it's all about a fitted cropped top...so onwards and upwards now I hope ;o)

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  8. This skirt is really gorgeous. And the whole outfit really suits your shape, you look great!

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  9. CAN NOT believe you stitched all those lines yourself!!!!!!!!! Such dedication to your art!
    Truly Inspired Marie!

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    1. Thanks Nessa, I'm so glad I took time to stitch them as it makes the skirt a bit more special I think.

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  10. Gorgeous!! I had no idea that you had added those quilted lines until you explained, they're a brilliant touch and really add something special. You're a knockout in that outfit!

    It took me AGES to realize the combo of short waist + large bust can make me look like a garden gnome if I'm not careful about what I wear on top of a skirt or high-waisted trousers. In fact, I'm sorting this out in my knitting this year because I have several cardigans that look just awful with skirts because they're too long or boxy, and I look dumpy in them. Cropped is really the key, so I'm working towards that as a long-term goal. :)

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    1. Aaaw, thank you Tasha! It's funny that you've come the same realisation, because you don't look short-waisted at all! But cropped knitwear rocks, so onwards I say ;o)

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  11. That is lovely - the 'quilting' makes it so stylish x

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    1. Thank you! I did have a moment of panic when I thought it looked tacky 90s, but then I got over that!

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  12. OMG, I love it! I love the faux quilting, it works with the simplicity. I may well buy your kit!

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    1. Woohoo, go for it...it's a steal ;o)

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  13. I love to and I think it's really flattering on you! Probably the Aline shape adds waist definition, but I think you are right about the style of top too. The quilting is a genius way to add some interest! Great idea. Sound like you are goimg to get lots of wear out of this!

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    1. Thank you Helen, I certainly plan on wearing it a lot!

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  14. This is absolutely adorable! I love the whole ensemble, but the skirt is way fabulous!

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  15. What a super awesome skirt, Marie. The whole look is gorgeous. I think you've mastered a nice skirt/top combo.

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    1. Thanks Mela, I'm so happy I finally have...it's been a long time coming ;o)

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  16. the quilted pleather is fantastic! being another busty+short waisted girl im totally inspired by this cropped top idea, it looks amazing on you :) :) (plus--tiny foxes on polka dots?! adorable!)

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    1. Hehe, glad to have inspired you!

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  17. I think you look great in everything you post, but this combination is particularly flattering.

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    1. Aaaw, thanks a million Jennifer!

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  18. Very very nice result! And so helpful infofor leather sewing

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  19. I have serious skirt envy, this looks so amazing on you. The quilting effect really makes it stand out and it looks so chic. I may have to pop to Minerva crafts website now and order your kit.

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    1. Thanks Essi! And do, it's a bargain ;o)

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  20. Totally gorgeous! You're looking fantastic too :)

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  21. Hot, hot, hot! I have that exact same sewing book btw!
    Px

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    1. Shucks, thanks Portia! Have you ever used that book? The most use mine has had is to weigh stuff down! I bet it's brilliant though, but I just always tend to favour online/video tutorials as I'm definitely more of a visual learner!

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  22. This looks amazing! And I'm going to read all your tips for sewing with leather as I have some and want to use very soon.

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    1. Excellent, glad my tips are helpful! Be warned though that if you are working with real leather, it might be better to stick to the tips that I've linked to on Pinterest ;o)

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  23. I love it, what a great idea and you make it look so easy! The Readers Digest book is great btw, that's where I found out about the zip secret! I often forget about it and look online first but there is so much handy info in there.

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    1. Thanks Kerry! It actually was pretty easy though, as the skirt is such a simple shape...the longest part was drawing out and stitching the ruddy 'quilting' lines! Haha! I really must actually look at that book now and again, I'm in no doubt that it contains some absolute gems!

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  24. OMIGOD I'm copying it! It's gorgeous! Well done!

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  25. Marie, this is a gorgeous skirt! I love the 'quilting' lines, they provide a really interesting dimension. I also love how you wear everything I tend to shy away from!

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    1. Thanks Claire! Trust me, this is not a look I'm usually attracted to or thought I could pull off, but it goes to show that it's worth a try. So go for it in future and you may be pleasantly surprised ;o)

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  26. I'm so away with the (work) fairies at the moment I didn't even comment on it Tuesday night. I had no idea you made it. It looks like a proper expensive designer number! Well I guess it is really! Amazing work Marie. It did indeed look incredible on you. But can I just ask did you mean you prewashed the pleather? Do you wash pleather in the washing machine? xx

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    1. Don't be silly Janene...there were so many beautiful handmade creations to admire on Tuesday and relatively little time...we barely got to speak really! And yes, call me crazy, but I pre-washed my pleather. It's not the 'done' think but I threw a scrap in a 30 wash to see what happened and it was fine. So I chucked it all in next time and it was fine again. Though I wouldn't recommend it I guess...just in case?!?

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  27. This whole look is glorious. You could be on a steal this style page in any of the big fash mags. Loving your work xxx

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    1. Dude, you are way to nice to me! Thank you so much!xxx

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  28. Great skirt! The fit looks perfect and the faux quilting is a brilliant effect.

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  29. You look so freaking fabulous!! I don't know what you are talking about - but I personally LOVE you in skirts! Hello hourglass!!! Love the rock chic vibe of your leather skirt. I'm a big fan of working with leather and pleather - it's really not all that difficult! Plus, how much fun is it to glue down your seams??

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    1. Aaaw, thank you Sallie...you're such a cutie pie! And yes, working with pleather wasn't hard at all and gluing seams down was a blast...wish you could do that with all seams!

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  30. very cute skirt and it looks great on you! I love a good leather skirt, it can be so chic! It's funny I just finished a sweater project on which i did quilted side panels and added an exposed zipper for more interest :) these must definitely be on trends. Thank you for the tip on the leather glue, one of my next project involves real leather so I,m sure this will be pretty handy

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    1. Thanks very much and I'm glad the glue tip came in handy!

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  31. Loving the top, liking fox prints at the mo.

    Hannah.
    http://surfjewels.tumblr.com/

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  32. This is absolutely gorgeous! I'm somewhat tempted to try it out!

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  33. This is gorgeous Marie!! It's so flattering on you, and paired with that awesome fox top, you look like a sweet rocker chic :)

    I've never sewn with pleather, but I'm tempted to give it a go now!!

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  34. OMG your faux quilting idea is genius. Awesome skirt, you look great in it. Love the whole outfit.

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  35. This is, hands down, the coolest skirt ever. The shape looks killer on you, Marie, and that fabric is so chic. Love it! You are totally rocking this.

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    1. Hah, you're too kind my dear...thank you!

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  36. This is freaking amazing!

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  37. I like the quilted stitching very much. I had assumed the fabric was bought that way until you explained.
    I too have a large bust and a high waist, I can only really wear A line or circle skirts and with fitted tops. (I also have a 6 baby belly to hide). I must say, I prefer dresses for those very reasons.

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    1. Thanks Jeanette and trust me, your '6 baby belly' is not at all apparent!

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  38. Love this! You are right about the higher waist/cropped top combination. I've recently discovered it myself, too, and am excited about it. The faux quilting is super cool!

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    1. Thanks Liza! Glad you're excited to explore new style options too ;o)

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  39. This is FABulous! What a cool outfit.

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  40. This is so stinkin' cool! You look amazing!

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  41. The skirt looks great!!

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  42. those are binder clips, not bulldog clips. If you google for an image of bulldog clips you will see their mouth is perfectly flat and that is why they are recommended working with leather. They also make superiorclips for potato chip bags.

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  43. Pair your dressy leather skirts with simple casual wear. Think white t-shirts and cardigans. Anything that you would have thrown on with your favorite pair of jeans, thrown them on with your leather skirt. Casual wear is a great option to tone-down your stand-out leather skirt.

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