INSPIRATION: TYRION LANNISTER
I wanted to use the sueded side of the leather, because it made more of a contrast with the shiny black. So on the non-suede side, I used silver Sharpie to draw a grid, and used that grid as the basis for my holes. I make sure not to cut holes where the original jacket has silver snaps, because I want to cover them up! This process was time consuming and hard on my hands, but the finished look, while not as ornate as Tyrion's, was pretty unique and cool.
Then, pressing bobby pins into service again, I pinned the leather-lace onto the lapels of the jacket and sewed. This was hard, too, since the jacket was heavy and unwieldy, and the corners tight, but I went slow and steady and got it done. As a final touch, I took some iridescent brown seed beads from my stash and sewed them at intersections of the grid, to add a touch more detail, a la Yoshitaka Amano. You'll see them in a later picture. I had to tack the lapels in their open position to keep them from flopping around.
Then, thinking that the raglan cut of the sleeves too dated to the 1980's, I decided to accentuate the shoulders with sleeve caps or epaulets, and what better material than faux fur? Of course... there's an internal logic to all this madness: fur covering the shoulders is to keep the sword arm dry! ;)
First, I cut the faux fur and some black lining fabric in rounded triangles. Faux fur everywhere! I sewed the pieces right sides together along the bottom points. When I turned them, the fur was trapped in the seams.
So I used a pin to pull the ends of the fur out of the seams. Below, some in-progress pics:
Then I took some black suede and hand-stitched it to the top of the fur, adding brown suede details (cut-out bits from making the lapels). I think they ended up looking like lacing, like the thing was sewn with brown suede strips.
Now, the edges of the fur were choppy and unnatural looking, like a fresh haircut always is, so I spent some time with my scissors, thinning and layering until they looked like the fur had grown in that shape. This was finicky work... I didn't want any strand of fur on the edge to be the same length as its neighbor. Eventually I got the edges to match the center in terms of how they reflected light.
The front being still open from when I removed the zipper, I went into the lining to get at the shoulders, and discovered an interesting surprise: the raglan shoulder pad was sewn to the inside through the use of a strip of lining fabric actually piercing the pad, and being sewn to the seam allowances of the jacket on either side! Hopefully, these pictures make some kind of sense, since I don't think that sentence did...
In order to get to the leather of the shoulder top, I had to unsew one end of the strip and remove the shoulder pad. Then I was able to hand-sew the epaulet in place:
It was tough on my hands, trying to pierce the leather so much, but there was little hope of getting Boudica's head into that leather beast! When I was done, I put the shoulder pad back in its impaled position.
As for the inner layer, the final closure, I used some neat clasps for the front:
I re-sewed the front shut, and criss-crossed the top to make a more aristocratic high collar. My client had selected several metal or metallic buttons he liked, and I used one large one to close the collar. I hand-sewed the buttonhole with waxed thread:
A final rub with some leather conditioner, and it was ready to go. I think the final effect is quite nice!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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