Leather is being called "The New Denim" for Fall/Winter 2013, because it has become just that common. And I'm loving it and wanting to add it to every project possible. This year, I'm wanting to work with real skins, but real hides ain't cheap! So, I'm rationing out the way I'm going to be using leather this season as to not blow my fabric budget. And a great way to do this is to make a leather and wool panel dress.
This is Vogue 1251. It's described as: Fitted through bust and waist, semi-fitted through hips. Fully lined and underlined. And it suggest fabrics such as Crepe de Chine, Charmeuse, Lightweight Jersey. Lining/Underlining: China Silk. I used black wool/lycra suiting from Mood Fabrics. And I lined and underlined with lingerie tricot from Hancock Fabrics. The leather is a deliciously buttery-soft lambskin from Tandy Leather Factory. I used a single 8 sq ft hide. And my gold metal zippers are from Jo-Anns.
I cut the size 14 and graded to the 16 from the waist down. If you notice the pattern envelope, this dress is meant to be VERY short. It would've been a barely butt covering tunic on me! I added 8 inches to the length (one of those at the waist). And I added an inch to the sleeve length. Probably could've gone with 2 in order to have a full-length sleeve. With the addition of length, the dress flared to an a-line. I had to peg in the bottom to create a sheath dress.
I'd been wondering why I couldn't find any reviews on this dress. Even though it was short, you can always lengthen it. And I'd always thought it had great lines and would be a great candidate for color blocking and such. So when I started cutting out all 18 pattern pieces, I understood. With the fabric, lining and underling, I had about 83 pieces of fabric sorted out.
I know a lot of people aren't fond of exposed zippers, but I love them. And the addition of them to leather just makes a garment really "badass". But if you're going to do an exposed zipper, you better do it right. And my favorite reference guide is from Threads Magazine: #162 - September 2012.
And my personal tip is to always, ALWAYS interface the area when installing a zipper... for any kind of zipper.
This dress was a labor of love. And it's going to be a great LBD addition to my fall/winter wardrobe. And no, I won't be making this one and it's almost 100 pieces ever again! But it's just so awesome to be able to make a dress like this. The RTW versions made with real leather start out at $1,000. Mine was only 10% of that to make.
Wearing: dress: Vogue 1251; shoes: Steve Madden; bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target.