Sometimes I read something or see a post that I just cannot get out of my mind. One of these such posts was about a particularly HOT pair of leather jogging pants, created and styled by the ever-inspiring Nikki on her blog, Beaute J’adore. Now to put this all into perspective, the thermometer here is currently wavering around a sweltering 30 degrees on most days, and yet, I still couldn’t get these pants out of my mind. So these are my version.
Now you will have to forgive me a little for the eclectic get up in the photos. Apart from these leather pants, my wardrobe is somewhat lacking in the winter-wear department. So I found it a little difficult to put together an entire outfit. Nevertheless, I will certainly have warm legs this winter (in about six months time mind you)! And on the side, the top I am wearing is made from a little leftover modal from hubby’s birthday present. The ruffle is black silk chiffon…oh, I do feel so very chic wearing leather and silk together!
But back to those fabulous pants now. I decided to make a wearable muslin first using Vogue 8909. I chose View B because of the elastic leg bands and slightly cropped look. My plan was to make a wearable muslin first, using some cheap chambray fabric I found online.
I chose a size M based on my measurements, but I am slowly learning that when I make unfitted or knit garments, I really need to choose a size below my measurements or the item turns out way too big, as I found out with these pants. So, I ditched the ankle bands and relegated these delights to my pyjama drawer! They are ever so comfy but a little too baggy as you can see in the photos. They were also a little too short for the pants I had in mind.
This particular fitting mishap did teach me a few things though. After fiddling a lot in front of the mirror, I estimated that I needed to lift the crotch seam by about 1cm and take the sides in by about an inch each. This was basically the same as going down a size, so I chose this option instead and it worked out a treat.
This was my first time working with leather, and perhaps that was also part of the reason why I was so excited about making these pants. I purchased the leather lambskin from Tandy as this was the same leather used by Nikki for her pants. I know I could have found a similar product in Australia, but given this was my first leather project and I had no idea what texture, feel, look, or weight I was looking for, the shipping expense was well worth it for the education.
I chose to interface every single piece in the pattern. I attended a lecture on interfacing a while back and recalled the speaker saying all leather should be interfaced. I ummed and aahed over this for a long while, because the leather was just divine as it was and I really didn’t want to change it’s hand at all. In the end, my fear of a baggy bottom and knees won out and I chose to interface it with the lightest possible knit fusible I could find. It seemed to stick well and didn’t affect the feel of this gorgeous lambskin too much, if at all.
I partially lined the pants with rayon lining fabric. I also added an extra two inches in length for version B and added a seam in the front legs and an extra two seams in the back legs. (The extra seam in the back legs was purely an accident after I attached one to the waist seam by mistake and had to trim and re-cut pieces to solve the problem!) For each seam, I opened it up and edgestitched both sides before trimming. This worked beautifully in keeping the seams flat and neat.
Although, this was very nearly irrelevant as I nearly tore the leather when making the holes for the drawstrings using metal eyelets for the very first time. But I am very pleased with the professional result in the end.
The most difficult thing about this project was inserting the elastic into the casings. In hindsight, I should have increased the casing sizes a bit in the waistband because I forgot to account for the fact that leather is a thicker material. I actually had to pause this project overnight because my poor fingers and hands were hurting so badly. But I have to say, the end result is well worth it.
Would I sew with leather again after this? Absolutely! I have to admit, it isn’t my favourite material to sew with. I much prefer fabrics, but I am still so pleased to have expanded my skills.