As I promised a couple of days ago, I’m here to tell you the story of my red leather coat. It’s a tale of love, disappointment and rebirth. You’ll love the ending – it’s a happy one.
Years ago, I was a loan officer at a credit union. Those were my skirts and heels days. At the time, there was a clothing chain called Lerner’s. This was also before the internet, so I used to get their catalogs in the mail. One day, one of those catalogs landed at my house with a long, red leather coat inside. I was in love.
I ordered the coat and waited anxiously for it to arrive. When it finally did, I was pretty disappointed. The coat was so stiff, it could stand up by itself. When I put it on, I couldn’t even move. But I loved the color and just didn’t want to admit I’d made a mistake. I hung it in the closet.
About 18 years later (not kidding!) it still hung there. I pulled it out every couple of years or so, tried it on, remembered why it was there, and put it back. A few months ago, I moved it to my craft room. I decided you can’t really ruin something that’s been with you for that long and NEVER, EVER worn.
I decided to start by shortening it to a jacket. I cut a large chunk off the bottom, then hung it back up for a few more months. Ok, maybe I was still a tiny bit intimidated.
I did a little research on altering leather, but in the end I cowboy-ed it. Big time. I pulled the stitching out of the lining enough so I could fold the bottom up an inch.
I clipped it up with binder clips. I stitched from one side to the other, overlapping the top of the leather with the folded-under edge of the lining. I didn’t take photos of any of that, probably because even I was afraid of what I was doing.
I’ve never sewn leather before, but my little sewing machine was a beast. Even the parts so thick I could barely fit it under the foot.
I don’t know why, but my crazy attempt actually worked. Close inspection of the inside gives me away, but I love the way it turned out!
Because of the cut of the original coat, the jacket ended up with a bit of a peplum effect in the back, which I really like.
Cutting off all that extra leather really helped with the flexibility of it. This, I will wear! See, I told you there would be a happy ending.
Now, you may be asking, what happened to all that leather you cut off the bottom? Here’s a sneak peek:
I’ll show you that, and one or two other reincarnations of my red leather coat, next week!