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...