Leather jackets are highly sought after, but can be expensive. A quality leather jacket can cost hundreds of dollars, and a custom-made one can reach over £650. But with a little patience and knowledge, it's possible to design and make a leather jacket for less than half the cost of purchasing one or having one custom made. Find out how to use your creative imagination and sewing skills to make your own.
Design the jacket you want to make. You can sketch a pattern yourself or purchase one, and make alterations to suit your needs. You might even find a pattern you like that requires no alterations.
Take measurements for your jacket. If you're making it for someone specifically, measure arm length, chest, and overall length. If you're not making the jacket with someone in mind, you will make the jacket according to sizes notated on a store-bought pattern or to a size you determine.
Cut your pattern out. The arms, front, and back of the jacket will be cut as separate patterns and assembled later on.
Pin your pattern to your leather material and cut around the pattern to produce the material you will use for your leather jacket. Use a razor knife to cut the leather pattern out.
Sew the front and back of your jacket together using special leather needles equipped with teeth to help get through the leather. You can purchase these needles at leather sewing supply shops or most hobby and craft stores (see Resources). Use heavy waxed thread, available where leather needles are found.
Sew the arms together and then sew them to the jacket. Try the jacket on yourself or another model before attaching the arms. This will make it easier to make adjustments to the body of the jacket if necessary.
Try your jacket on someone after you attach the arms. Make any further alterations, then sew on any buttons or collar to complete your jacket.
Purchase leather that has been pre-tanned and treated to save time.
Tips and warnings
- Purchase leather that has been pre-tanned and treated to save time.