Burda Odyssey Part III

Still chugging along like the little engine that could on this project! At this rate, maybe I’ll be done by next spring! I’m a little more than halfway thru the project but certain parts haven’t been easy! I’m having to read each instruction several times; although they’re written okay, I prefer the slow and steady approach. After all, there are no do-overs with leather!

I already thwarted a near catastrophe – not looking to make another! While sewing the pockets on the lower panels, I unintentionally left a 1-1/2 inch hole between the pocket edge and the horizontal seam which I didn’t notice until AFTER I topstitched the seam!

Poor seaming!

There was some serious handwringing going on! I had to try to hand stitch between the two topstitched layers (yikes!). Surprisingly, it turned out pretty well!

Neatened seams

Still to do:
attach fur to the lining (mom’s job)


Attach lining to the leather

I need to go make something else to curtail my excitement!


Burda Odyssey Part II

I have a new appreciation for the term “patience is a virtue” which I’ve seriously developed since working on this leather project! It took a good 2 hours just to get the right layout before cutting. Some of the skins have imperfections or holes which I had to navigate around for the best layout.

I’ve cut all my pieces out. I’m amazed at the amount of scrap leather left over!

I’m already envisioning small projects from the scrap! Maybe an obi belt, clutch bag (Craftsy has a class on purse making I’m considering buying-perfect timing) and definitely some jewelry elements. I just have to find the time!

Anyway, back to the current project. The leather was not as difficult to sew as I had imagined. In fact, it was a dream to sew! My fear of topstitching has not diminished.

The topstitching really gives it character, aside from reinforcing the seams, of course! Some of my topstitching is not as nice (ok straight!) as I would like it but I’m not going to sweat over it!

Although, I used binder clips to hold the pieces, they still shifted a bit. Thankfully, it’s not a big deal since the lining will be attached to the top and bottom.

So the pattern calls for fake fur, but I decided to use real fur only beause I already had it on hand. My mom and I found two mink stoles at a Salvation Army last year. My mom makes beautiful cashmere/wool capes and adds fur collars.

Mom’s work

Beautiful brocade lining

That was the intention of the $25 (total) I spent on that purchase!

Oh the treasures you find in a good thrift store! I’ve also found very interesting jewelry that I take apart to use in jewelry designs. Brooches and earrings can become pendants with a litte ingenuity! You just have to have an open mind. Besides, there’s a dual benefit in thrifting: the creative aspect but more importantly, the money I spend goes toward helping people in need. Can’t beat that feeling!

The only design element I’ve changed is that my fur collar will be detachable. I figure I’ll get more wear out of this piece with a detachable collar.

Since this project requires such a slow hand and I’m such an exciteable person, I decided to give myself some immediate gratification by making a top

using McCalls 6571

and a bracelet! My creative juices were flowin last weekend! All in an effort to contain my excitement over the Burda project.

What’s left to do: Sew in the pockets, attach the bottom panels, attach the lining, then the fur. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wear it by Christmas! Until next time…

Burda Leather Odyssey

Here lately, I’ve been drooling over some of the BurdaStyle online designs. Actually, I’ve always loved some of them but never downloaded any patterns until now.

Their fur collection featured some beautiful designs. The one that did it for me was the leather tunic with the fur turtleneck.


Leather Tunic 10/2012 #132 – Sewing Patterns | BurdaStyle.com.

Description:  leather tunic of lamb nappa leather, lined with sweatshirt fabric. It features a cozy turtleneck collar and sleeves in faux mink. It is so generously cut that you can wear it over another jacket!

All other projects in the que became irrelevant.  I am in love! In my head, this is a simple enough project except that it’s in leather. I’ve never sewn with leather before. Then there’s all the top stitching with this so called easy project. More angst!  But of course, my confidence lies in the fact that my mother has 40+ years of sewing experience! With her help, I know WE can pull it off!

Step one: Make my best pitch to my mother who will probably have to put her project on hold (once again) to help me.  Part of my pitch included substituting the faux fur for real fur which she’s worked with many times.  More about this acquisition in another post!

With step one accomplished, step two was finding the leather at a decent price. This project calls for nappa leather which ain’t cheap! After researching types of leather online and sewing techniques, I set out to find local factories/shops to make my purchase.

As in everything in life, it definitely pays to do your homework. Do I get a better deal by buying the whole hide and attempt to cut it into skins or just buy the individual skins and hope I calculated the amount needed correctly? This is truly starting to sound like an I Love Lucy moment (aka disaster)! Fortunately, I didn’t have to make that decision because the wholesale shop I found in the city only sold the skins. And based on some of the online prices I found, the price at $5.00 per square foot was decent. The total price paid for 6 skins was $236.00. An early Christmas gift from my hubby! No turning back now!

Perfect like chocolate and peanut butter!

I just finished the muslin and I’m excited to move forward but nervous at the same time. This is the most expensive project I’ve ever attempted and I certainly don’t want it to look like a home ec project (oh the horror!). Well, I just have to put on my big girl pant–s and just do it! (I hope!). Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted of my progress for sure.