So…. I’m sorta obsessed with leather…. kinda always have been. I’ve shared my affinity for biker jackets with you all before, so me finally taking the leap into designing one was inevitable. I was scared though, yall. Lol.
Here’s how the story goes: About 2 years ago, this jacket came to me in a dream… seriously. It was winter, So my favorite heavy duty motos were in heavy rotation, but I kept having these moments of frustration when the jacket I wanted to wear didn’t work with the proportions of the outfit I wanted to wear it with. I kept wishing my longer jackets could magically become cropped to wear with a dress that had a fuller skirt, then go back to normal afterwards – or that my favorite cropped bikers would get longer just for the day because it was a bit too chilly for my taste, and the t-shirt I wanted to wear under it wouldn’t do me much justice. Then spring came and I was like, “DAMNIT, if only this jacket didn’t have SLEEVES!”. Can’t win.
One day, while out shopping for interior fabric, the owner of one of my favorite stores directed me to his leather section, explaining he had just received some exotic hides he thought I’d love… he was right. Honestly, at the time, this jacket was the furthest thing from my mind. I bought the leather without any idea as to what I’d do with it… it was just so prettttyyyy.
I sat with the leather for a few months before it actually clicked, but even after it did… was I really about to embark on crafting my own leather jacket?! I took it to a designer friend of mine to double check the pattern I’d created. I had to be completely certain all of the metrics were right before cutting into the hide. We decided doing a rough draft with muslin was our best bet, but schedules got crazy and time ran away from us and it never got done. A few months later I took it to a family friend. She was a seamstress and her husband a tailor… good hands right? It was also a much better look because they had all of the proper tools for leather crafting… had me and my sewing machine beat, lol. She helped me make the pattern corrections, we did a sample out of muslin and then it was time to make the first cut into the leather… the point of no return… I FREAKED out, naturally.
Things seemed to be going well. We had successfully created the bodice and everything seemed to be fitting well, but everything came to a screeching halt when we came around to the sleeves. You see, I didn’t take into account the grain of the leather when buying it. If it were a solid leather, it would’ve been more than enough, but because of this specific treatment of the hide, there wasn’t enough room to cut full sleeves while keeping with the direction of the grain. Frustration. AGAIN.
It worked out for the best though, because as sooooooon as I saw this contrasting hide, a two-toned jacket made all the sense in the world! And here we are :). I’m happy with it. I’m ecstatic with it. I’m making more. I just needed my hand to be held a bit initially. What I realized after it was completed is… this jacket definitely expresses equally my fear of commitment and my obsession with Transformers. Hahaa. It’s funny…cuz it’s true.
The skirt is also an original. A month or so prior to fashion week I was met with a dilemma: A) I don’t have any clothes. B) I don’t have time to shop. And C) Though I have TONS of ideas, I definitely don’t have time to be sitting at no sewing machine. As I told you in the last post, this season was Harlem’s Fashion Row’s biggest to date! Everyone on #TeamHFR was completely swamped, to include myself. Worrying about having something to wear paled in comparison to having a successful HFR Week, so… what the heck was I supposed to do? …I’m one person. (I hate facing my own mortality… ‘nother post for another day).
Enter Sergio Wonder :). He’s mostly known for his really cool handcrafted jewelry, but he’s actually a pattern-making, tailoring WHIZ! We took a day to go fabric swatching, and over some chai I basically brain vomited everything that was bouncing around up there – this skirt was one of them. I bought the fabric, sketched out the skirt a few billion times (I’m OCD, please excuse me) and boy wonder whipped it up! Life saver I tell ya. Life saver.
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