The Refashioners 2013 – Liz of Cotton & Curls

When Portia asked me to join in with these talented group of ladies, I was so excited! I feel so honored to be among this group. And challenge-wise I thought “no biggy”, refashioning is second nature.  Then her package arrived. 2 words – Leather pants. Thats when I started to worry!! Not only have I never really worked a lot with leather, but there is NO room for mistakes and I’m the kind of woman that is glued to my seam ripper.  But I will say I’ve ALWAYS wanted a real leather skirt, I love the edgy, yet feminine style. It has always been a little dream of mine to make a leather pencil skirt, and now, thanks to Portia and this refashioner’s challenge, I can finally make one! Now that I knew what to make, I didn’t know exactly how to go about making it. Making them into a skirt…easy, doing that with leather is the HARD part. In the end I was surprised how easy this split leather was to work with and found this skirt to be perfect! My machine didn’t have a hard time sewing it, because the leather was soft and thin split leather, and I bought a special needle for the task. Here’s how…
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk

1. Seam rip open the inside seam of the leather pants. Make sure to seam rip the top stitch and seam that is just under the zipper flap area.

Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk


2. Turn the pants inside out matching the side seams together in the middle. The front seam will be on one side and the back seam will be on the other side. Mark where the new seams will be with marking chalk or whatnot. It will be a fairly straight line on both sides.

Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk


3. Sew along the new back seam marking only.  Then cut the extra fabric off. Don’t sew the new front seam together just yet, just cut near the soon-to-be seam (allowing for the seam allowance).
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk

4. (Optional) – if you need it taken in, you can you take it in the back (be careful of the butt pockets-you don’t want to take it in too much that they get too close) or the side seams. It can get pretty thick, so I cut the waistband (instead of just fold) first then sewed it together the size I needed. You may have to do this on both sides if it is really big.
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk

5. Cut the skirt to the desired length. I wasn’t planning on hemming because leather doesn’t fray, so I made sure to cut the bottom very even and straight.
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk

6. Now, on the centre front seam, fold under the top side – mimicking and following the topstitch (that follows the flap coming out from under the zipper) that you seam ripped previously. 
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
7. Topstitch it down to the other front half side of the skirt.
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
8. Looks like this! I left a 5 or so inches in the front not sewn, if you do this then you can hem or not. If you want the edges hemmed under, do this with an iron and some no-sew fusible tape or just hand stitch it in the inside without going through the leather. (look at number 10)
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
9. Topstitch the back seam by sewing down the seam allowance while you do it.
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
10. Optional – If you want to hem the bottom, you can do it with no-sew fusible tape and an iron. I just cut the bottom very straight.
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
Overall, I really love how it turned out and already have some plans for it in some future posts. I’m excited to wear this in the real world! 
Refashion Inspiration! Don't miss out on the new upcoming series of The Refashioners at www.makery.uk
I find it to be totally versatile in that I can make it feminine or edgy, casual or dressy or a mixture of all the above. Thanks to Portia for including me! 
OH – MY – GOSH! Unlike Liz, I have never wanted a leather pencil skirt; but somehow she manages to make it look like a fantastic idea! This looks uber cool, and as Liz says, super versatile; and all from a £2 thrifted pair of leather “pants”. (One of those words that means something completely different on this side of the pond!) I know alot of people that have been hesitant about sewing with leather. But really, most standard machines can handle it. As long as it’s clothing weight leather, you use proper leather needles and, in my experience, using a walking foot helps avoid slippage! Dodgy leather and suede garments crop up all the time in charity shops and the leather or suede they’re made from is great for bags, purses, wallets, cuffs, leather bound planners or books etc. Or with a little tweaking, as wearable garments once more!  Just goes to show, those dodgy 80’s trousers needn’t be overlooked in future….!! Stunning job Liz! 
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

13 Comments

  1. Marie June 12, 2013

    This is one HOT refashion and very clever too! Thanks for such clear steps Liz, you’ve definitely re-awakened my desire to try sewing with leather!

    Reply
  2. Helen Le Caplain June 12, 2013

    Wowzers! Amazing price in he first place but what a stunning transformation – looks great! (I want one now!!)

    http://www.mancunianvintage.com

    Reply
  3. Carolyn June 12, 2013

    this is amazing! so stylish and on trend- replicas of this skirt retail for hundreds of dollars. secondhand leather clothing sounds like a cheaper way to get my hands on this pricy material.

    Reply
  4. Lori June 12, 2013

    Very cool skirt, it will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe.

    Reply
  5. milenasews June 12, 2013

    I love how this challenge has helped me discover new (to me) bloggers. I love this skirt and her style, consider me a new follower!

    Reply
  6. Lisa June 12, 2013

    Fantastic refashion! I can’t quite believe I will now be out in thrift stores looking for leather pants 🙂

    Reply
  7. charityshopchic.net June 12, 2013

    It’s gorgeous and very fashion forward, I love it! Will be keeping an eye open for leather trousers from now on (which is something I never thought I’d say)

    Reply
  8. Tasha June 12, 2013

    So cool! I have never been very excited about leather pants, but you just made those 100 times more awesome as a skirt! And so versatile since it’s black. You’d never know that great skirt started off life as pants!

    Reply
  9. nicola lynde June 13, 2013

    Visiting from C&C. I love this project! Such a fun way to interact with other bloggers, creativity and clothing. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  10. dixie June 13, 2013

    so stylish! and leather hides are hard to find around here. i’d have to buy some online sight unseen. refashioning a thrifted leather/suede piece is probably an easier way for me to get the fabric i want, anyway. great idea portia and great result Liz!!

    Reply
  11. Zoe June 14, 2013

    What a classy garment! So cool, I could never pull this off! Liz’s step by step was really useful and could be applied to all sorts of thrifted trousers, thanks! Zoe xxx

    Reply
  12. Elisalex June 15, 2013

    This is amazing and looks so adorable on you! I think dodgy leather pants like that are just about the last thing people go for while thrifting, but I’m sure that’ll change after this refashion!

    Reply
  13. Leslie Ortiz February 17, 2014

    this is a great idea!,I have a pair of leather pants that need to be refashioned.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *