Whats been happening

Whats been happening

Whats been happening? Well I’ll tell you its been a busy few months over here in BTT HQ! I’ve had sparkly sequin bridesmaid outfits on the go which are all ready to be posted out for a December wedding.

I also had a custom jacket for a Beetlejuice themed wedding which I made back in September… I mean how cool is that.

The bride made a definite decision that she want red and a black and white striped lining to be involved, so for the back patch we went for a red glitter heart and a pearlised white leatherette for the ‘wifey’ writing, both elements are all cut out and handmade specially to use on one of my jacket which are also handmade from scratch. 

I found this awesome black and white striped fabric online and knew it was a must to use for the lining, everything was starting to team up really well and went with the theme of the wedding deliciously. 

The shape and style of the jacket was cropped which meant the length was cut shorter, with this style sits nice and fitted into the waist. This is also a perfect choice if you didn’t want to hide any detailing you had on the back of the dress. 

Last week I received this awesome picture of the bride who had finally eloped to Vegas to marry the man of her dreams. Don’t you just love the whole look and how rad does the jacket look with her kickass red dress – Goals right there! 

Here are some more close up shots for you to feast your eyes over. My 2018 books are now closed but if you are looking for your very own personalised handcrafted leather jacket for 2019 then contact me today so we can discuss! 

Embrace your style

Embrace your style

There is something so therapeutic about sitting at a sewing machine and creating a garment, it’s always been in me to make people feel amazing especially in the clothing that they wear.

It’s a big thing, right? In what you choose to wear, you should be feeling fabulous everyday so that’s where Born to Thread steps in and helps you.

This is what I pride my business on the fact that all my products are handmade from my off the peg items (which can be found in my shop page) to my bespoke made to measure items. I make them for you! I help you create confidence in the outfits you wear.

I think there is so much pressure for people to fit in and look a certain way. ‘You should be wearing this, or you should be wearing that. Oh, you’re into that music so therefore you should dress like this! Bollocks I say.

Embrace anything, your style is your style and if you want to wear that pink shirt with leopard print trousers and listen to Celine Dion, the why the hell not!

So now I’ve got me preach out of the way here few little photos of a jacket I’ve been working on this week.

The bride is going for a black sleeveless jacket with an epic backpatch which I have spent the weekend drawing out. It’s been a tricky one as the surname was quite long, but I got there in the end and looking forward to the finish product.

I love the fact that my jackets are so diverse from wearing them at weddings, festivals and even everyday wear. Also, did you know that I ship worldwide, yes that’s right. So, no matter where you are you can still order one!

Creations from the studio – The biker jacket

Creations from the studio – The biker jacket

This month I’ve have been working on making my very first real leather jacket. A client came to me with very specific detail of how they would like the jacket to look. Taking the basic template, I have already I set to work creating the different panels for the jacket to and made sure that they all lined up right.

When I was happy with this I made up a toile of the jacket and fitted it to the client to make sure they were happy with the panels and how they fitted with the shape.

You want to make sure everything is spot on when it comes to leather as it can be a nightmare to correct. After all my double checks, I could finally cut out in the fabric. This was exciting and terrifying at the same time as I had never worked with real leather before so it was kind of like been lead in blindfolded, also praise to You Tube for the handy video and tips and techniques on how to handle it.

Once I had all my panels cut out I could then see how the line of the jacket was going to look. I was pretty happy with how it was looking so I could set about making it up.

The sewing parts!

If you have never sewn leather before I would highly recommend reading up about it first, there are lots of tips online on how to. You will need a Teflon foot (usually white) and leather needles for your sewing machine. These are a definite investment as they will make sewing a 100% easier and you won’t be tearing your hair out!

Before I can actually sew it altogether I had a couple of panels which needed the top stitching detail on first, so I had a back panel, 2 panels at the front and the top of the sleeves which needed the diamond pattern and the sleeves just straight lines across.

When doing these patterns, you need to make sure all measurements are spot on! i.e. the spacing in between each line and stitch length, although there is no right or wrong way to it just take your ruler and create but for this jacket I needed all the measurement to be exact.

You can see from my photos the pattern starting to take shape.

Once all these panels are in place I could then go ahead and sew it altogether, I usually start with the back panel and work towards the front. One thing I learnt whilst reading up about leather is to roll the seams flat, obviously you can’t iron them or you’ll end up with a melted jacket… I mean if that’s the look you’re going for crack on!

I had a handy little roller from a lino printing set, so I just used that and it did the job fine. You could probably pick on up off eBay. It just helps to get flat clean seam and also sets you up for when you do the topstitching.

Now I don’t have a leather machine but I have a heavy duty industrial machine called Betty and she did the job just fine when it came to topstitching, don’t be afraid you’ve got to handle the leather, don’t let it handle you!

So, I bossed all of the seams and topstitching on the jacket and was pretty straight forward as I was used to doing it on my leatherette jackets. I could then move on to creating the jetted pockets (the ones you see on all biker jacket) I’m not going lie these pockets scare me a little as they always look so complicated and I haven’t done one since I was at uni which was like 10 years ago…

Anyway, many You Tube videos and samples later – so I made sure I nailed it first go because once you stitch the leather it marks it and you can’t really correct it so you’ve got to be super spot on when doing them.

First of all, you’ve got to prepare all the pockets by stitching the facings onto the zip then the pocket bag (what you put your hands in!) onto the zip as well. Make sure you measure your zip first (the opening bit of the zip) and make sure that measurement matches the opening you make on your jacket where the pocket is going to sit.

See photo for what it should look like, accuracy is key!

Once this is all done you can stitch your zip in to the opening you made, make sure you practice your topstitching as the layers of leather can be a bit thick when it comes to this bit.

I had 3 pockets in total to do and each one I did I got better and I was really happy with the result of them.

The next mission was to take the same process as above and repeat it on the sleeve hem (see picture) so you get the opening to make the sleeves wider at the bottom. This was exactly the same just you have the open section at one end. Make sure you get the zips the right way up too! Nothing worse than stitching it in and realising it is the wrong way…

Once they were in place I could then attach my sleeves to the main body, this is where it all starts to come together and start looking like a biker jacket.

I could then attach the collar making sure to roller all those seams so it looks clean.

After this process, the actual jacket is all ready for its lining to be sewn in. We went for a black and white satin polka dot fabric which complemented the leather so well and really made it look finished off.

After all the lining is in place the final topstitching can be done around the edge of the lapels, it’s one of my favorite details on a biker jacket as you can be experimental as you like or just keep it simple.

One final check that everything is in place and looking fine diddly dine, I added my guitar Born to Thread guitar plectrum to give it a seal of approval that its finished.

I do take order for real leather jackets, please contact me hello@borntothread.co.uk for a quote.

Tailoring Skills

Tailoring Skills

Winter Coat – Linton Tweed

A few years ago, I made myself a winter coat using a black and white dogtooth check fabric from Linton Tweed (the original fabric suppliers of Chanel) I shared a photo of this coat on Instagram the other day for throwback Thursday and the response was amazing, so I thought why not do a blog post on it to show the process of how it was made.

I wanted to push and teach myself tailoring techniques along the way, which was a learning curve to say the least but I am so grateful I did.

Fabric Stage One

First step was to source the right fabrics, as soon as I saw the black and white on Linton Tweed I knew that is what I wanted straight away and ordered it without even seeing a sample first! the black thread running through it has a sparkle to it so that suited me even more.

Cutting Out Stage

For me to create the tailoring effect on the coat I had to source a tailoring canvas which would line the inside of the coat to create a weight and structure, thanks to MacCulloch and Wallis for their fine selection of canvases I couldn’t go wrong.

The design of my coat was straight loose fitting, knee length with roll collar but I wanted the collar to be the statement piece so when cutting the pattern, I made it quite wide. The coat was quite a straight forward style but I knew the hang and pattern matching had to be spot on to show it off to its full potential.

Hand Sewing the Canvas

Cutting the actual pieces out of the fabric took careful time with making sure the pattern matched. I like to start with my two front pieces down the center front of the coat to work out how the pattern will run, then I would cut those two out to help when matching and cutting of the other pieces.

Pattern Matching

Canvas in Place

Once all the pieces were cut it was then ready to sew together, the time had come to use my hand sewing skills and sew the canvas to the inside of the coat, which was timely but so worth it and thanks to the many tailoring websites and YouTube to help me along the way! When this was all in place I matched up all my checks and hand basted the seams together ready to sew, one final check of the pattern matching and I could sew it altogether.

 

Adding the Lining to the Coat

Next step was to cut out the lining, I used a heavy black and white polka dot satin to complement the colours, it also added weight and gave the coat a nice hang. I’m used to putting lining’s in so this part was a walk in the park compared to the coat fabric.

Polka Dot Lining!

All in all, the coat itself took me a good week and half to make and I am so happy that I took this challenge on as it’s defiantly become one of my favourite coats to wear when it’s cold and I know it will last me lifetime.