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Finished: Leather and Rayon Jersey Zip-Front Jacket

Black leather and rayon jersey zip-front jacket made with Mood fab

Ta daa! The end result of a month-long sewing project that looks nothing like what I had originally planned.

About 18 months ago Denis (salesperson with the silver long braid in our NYC store) pulled me aside and said I had to buy some of this beautiful black rayon jersey we had just gotten in. Now when Denis tells you to buy a fabric, take his advice because he has the most exquisite taste. And this was no ordinary rayon jersey. This fabric was lustrous, thick, heavy and expensive-looking.

But it sat in my stash for months while I thought about what to make with it. Last month I saw a simple collarless jacket with a tie belt, from designer Ralph Rucci, that I thought I’d use as inspiration. But that first attempt ended up looking like a bulky mess.

Black leather and rayon jersey zip-front jacket made with Mood fabrics.

Long story short and I’m not even sure how I got here, I ended up with this rayon jersey and leather jacket.

Guess which material was easier to work with, rayon jersey or the leather? The latter by far. This rayon jersey is so heavy that a scrap practically makes a thud when it falls on the floor. And it scorches when ironed. So I had to do a lot of stabilizing around the neckline (combination of fusible interfacing and organza) and at the shoulder seams (petersham ribbon on the seam’s wrong side to prevent stretching), plus very careful pressing.

But even though the rayon jersey was challenging to sew, I’m really happy with the results. The jacket feels sleek and contemporary. I love how adding a touch of leather can make a garment look more polished and less loving-hands-at-home. Plus, leather is so easy to sew and pleasant to work with; it’s fast becoming my favorite “fabric.”

Black leather and rayon jersey zip-front jacket made with Mood fabOther construction tidbits:
• The leather section of the coat is lined with black ponte, which I used as a lightweight alternative to the rayon jersey, fearing the rayon jersey would be too heavy.
• The two-way zipper is by Lampo and I bought it from and had it custom-cut at Botani Buttons and Trim on W. 36th Street in NYC.
• The inside zipper area is faced with some lightweight silk taffeta I had in my stash.
• The seams were pressed open and the edges serged. (Serging two layers together resulted in a too-bulky seam.)
• I’ll probably store this jacket flat rather than hang it, just to prevent stretching.
• Before I even began to sew this jacket, I spend a couple of hours testing seams and finishes. I highly recommend test-driving first any fabrics that are new to you before you cut your first pattern piece.
• I wish I could tell you what pattern I used, but I ended up diverging so much that this barely resembles the original starting point.

While that heavy rayon jersey I used is long gone, here’s a black rayon jersey we have online, and here’s a black faux leather. (Don’t you wish we sold leather online?)

Next up: a wrap vest made from menswear suiting. Until then!

7 Responses to “ Finished: Leather and Rayon Jersey Zip-Front Jacket ”

  1. Charlotte

    It’s so beautiful, even if the rayon was a bear! A. looks fashion-forward and très, très chic.

    1227 days ago   |   Reply
  2. JoanneM

    Very chic indeed. The young lady AND the coat. Love the combo of fabrics.
    I dunno Meg, looks like you may not be wearing that coat at all……going back to college with a young lady?????!

    1227 days ago   |   Reply
  3. Laura L

    GORGEOUS! I am dying to get my hands on some of that rayon knit. And I love the two textiles together – really lux! Thanks for the tidbits and tips! Oh and the model is awesome!

    1228 days ago   |   Reply
  4. Nancy K

    It’s really gorgeous Meg, and yes I wish you guys sold real leather online.
    She’s certainly ready for working in NYC next year! Very chic.

    1228 days ago   |   Reply
  5. Elaine

    Wow, you did a super job on the jacket its beautiful. Is this going to be share situation…..mother ,daughter???

    1228 days ago   |   Reply
    • Meg at Mood

      Hah! That wasn’t my plan but she put it on and said “I would totally wear this.” I guess it’s a good thing she’s away in college?

      1228 days ago   |   Reply
  6. Lori


    1228 days ago   |   Reply

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