Classic Cool LBJ…Little Black (Leather) Jacket

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The little black leather jacket

what could be more wearable?  Our new client came by with her favorite…

Sadly, the jacket had been solidly wrecked in dry cleaning.  Left limp, lifeless, dulled out, and more than a bit raggy.

She asked if it could be recreated  – it’s not something I like to do,  but this jacket had a bunch of specific details she’d grown to love over the all years she’d had it.

Most people want something all-new and might bring in photos of individual details or shapes they like and want to incorporate into their vision.  Regardless,  we are always happy to help,  no matter what.

I always develop the pattern from the ground up for the client’s body. “Rub-offs” are never a solution since all the flaws in the original fit are transposed over and often amplified.  In leather particularly,  a rub-off can be disastrous because, on top of all that, a very worn leather jacket has invariably stretched out and become distorted.

Besides,  if I can’t massively improve a garment’s fit and line, what is the point? It’s not interesting nor fulfilling as a project at that point.

There was nice potential with the basic shape and details of the original.  Even though the jacket was very wrung out after the indignity of the dry cleaning. We decided to hew as closely as possible to the original.

I need to re-iterate here how important it is to get personal (experienced) recommendations re: any dry cleaner which claims to dry clean leather. I have seen way too many disasters over the years. Honestly, a black leather jacket should rarely require dry cleaning – if at all!  Airing it out regularly and spot-cleaning the lining usually does the trick.

After creating the initial muslin, off the retrievable measurements,  all the problems came to the forefront.  There were more issues than initially expected in the limp original.  I made a lot of changes to the cut to be able to fit it properly and personalize it to the client’s figure over the course of 2 muslins.

The leather used has since become one of my client’s favorite choices.  It’s called Mona Lisa and comes in a range of classic colors, including grey, cognac, expresso, red, and burgundy plus a couple of others. I also used it to create other variations on the black leather jacket here and here.

Our client’s new & improved “little black leather jacket” looks fabulous on her!  She already loves it more than the original and is now planning future projects – I’m excited for the one that will match her hair!

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