The “Two Birds, One Stone” Ensemble



School Projects, or home work for parents I call them.

This term project is an investigation into Materials and their Properties, using recycled stuff.

Alex wanted to make a glove, I thought we could do better!

I encouraged Alex to make a whole outfit!  Using leather! of course – it’s the prefect material to use for your first ever attempt at sewing!

He did a fantastic sketch and I was determined to make it a reality, an On-Trend reality!

We started out with some burn tests to examine the properties of the different fabrics – he totally loved that and was so astute in his observations.

I had seen this great image of a garment with leather sleeves in a Vogue mag – I think it was USA April edition.  And how fabulous is this great Alexander McQueen sweatshirt??!!

Source: via Trish on Pinterest

Leather – for a beginning sewer?  Why not!

I had these leather samples stashed since B.C. (before children) when I used to work for a Furniture company.  They were just throwing them out when a new colour range came in.  I have moved house with them twice now and have a whole box – they are really heavy, super stoked to be reducing my stash.

We had extensive chats about how to make the design.

I used the pants from Simplicity  7020, Adding the essential knee patches.  If you have boys, you know what I mean about the knees!!

The hoodie was from the shirt pattern on 7064, using the hood from 7020.

We  had made the pants one evening after school, and had left all of the Hoodie till Saturday morning so I was having kittens about it.  Turns out my industrial sewing machine eats leather.  And for the first time in ages, it didn’t break a needle mid project.  He helped me sew the patches on the knees.

Alex cut out the paper pattern for me, drew the pockets and marked up the sleeves on the leather (with ball point pen – the best way to mark up leather) as he is  left handed he had trouble making my huge right handed shears cut.

Turns out this pattern is great.  It just flew togeher.  The leather was not quite wide enough to get the sleeves out so I just added a strip to the under side of the arm.

The back yoke and the pockets are in leather – no need to finish them properly.

I used a leather needle for every seam – which was a mistake as it left some pretty big holes in the jersey fabric.  It probably will not stand up to too much washing (neither will the leather).  So if we get a handful of wears of it – it will have served his purpose!

Isn’t he cute?  I was so pleased he was totally into this project and I had him sitting with me on my chair lifting the foot up and down, turning the work as we sewed around the pockets,  while we talked all the time about winding bobbins, and how the machine works.  He put his foot down on the pedal once, early on, and got a big fright from the big noise the motor made (think 1970’s Coronation Street – remember that clothing factory??).  I just suggested he put his foot on the pedal was I am sewing so he could get a feel for it.  With industrial sewing machines – learning to control their speed is difficult for beginners.  He was very helpful about turning through the sleeves and trimming the threads.

I hope he gets a good mark for with this project.  He deserves to – he was so enthusiastic!

The Facts
Fabric: Recycled Leather Samples, Sweat Shirt Fabric from an Op Shop $7
Pattern: Simplicity 7020 and 7064
Year: 1985
Notions: Thread
Time to complete: 5 hours plus
First worn: For the photos
Wear again: For the fashion parade at school, and yes, though perhaps not together if I have any input!
Total Cost: $7

2 thoughts on “The “Two Birds, One Stone” Ensemble

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