49-Cent FAIL!!!

I was so excited to find out that there was going to be a leather-themed refashion for Season Two’s Refashion Runway Competition.
I’ve never sewn with leather before, but I was lucky enough to have found a pair of leather pants for 49-cents at Mel Trotter (my favorite local thrift shop), several weeks before even knowing there was going to be a leather theme.
Leather refashion fail | Diary of a MadMama

Now, after getting home from the thrift shop, my 14-year-old decided to be helpful and take all of the clothing we had just purchased down to the laundry room and wash them right away for me. (What a sweetheart, right?)
The problem was, he wasn’t aware that you can’t just throw leather clothing in the washer and dryer. (Oops!)
So imagine my surprise when I noticed them in the laundry basket (washed and dried) along with all of the other clothes. 😦

To make myself feel better about the situation, I just told myself they were probably too tight to begin with and that’s probably the reason they were donated in the first place, because somebody else made the same laundering mistake.

I know in the above photos the pants look like they fit just fine, but let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Leather refashion fail | Diary of a MadMama

I am not even going to tell you how ridiculously long it took me to get these things on! (It took even longer to take them off.)

I thought it would be cool to refashion them into a cute skirt, kinda like the one I refashioned from a pair of purple sweatpants.

Unfortunately, these pants were so stinking tight, there’s no way the skirt would fit if I used the same technique I did in that refashion.

Now here’s where the FAIL part of this post comes in…

I decided to add a gusset to the front and back of the skirt to loosen it up a bit and make it more wearable, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out well at all. 😦

I definitely underestimated what a pain sewing leather would be. I even went out and bought sewing machine needles specifically for leather, but the fabric kept bunching up and it looked incredibly weird when I finished sewing the gussets on the front and back of the skirt.

So it’s back to the drawng board for me. I still have a definite image of how I want my skirt to turn out, I just need to figure out how to achieve that. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to finish it in time for this week’s Friday post.

My sweet daughter turns 10 on Monday and we are leaving this weekend to celebrate her birthday, my husband’s birthday (which was last Sunday) and my big brother’s birthday (which is this Sunday), with my parents. I’m going to be making 3 different kinds of cakes for the occasion! So I will be busy celebrating (and eating cake) this weekend, but I will definitely post my refashion as soon as I figure out how to remedy it.

If any of you sewing superstars out there have any advice for me, I would love to hear it! πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend!



28 thoughts on “49-Cent FAIL!!!

  1. I know this wouldn’t be your regular refashioning technique . . . but maybe you could disassemble the pants and use the leather to make some nonclothing items . . . a tote bag, some luggage tags, some flower pins or hair barrettes, that sort of thing! Just an idea! πŸ™‚

    • Great ideas! πŸ™‚ I was thinking about just redoing the whole thing and still refashioning it into a skirt, but I think now I’ll try out some other ideas! πŸ™‚ (I don’t know how often I’d wear a leather skirt anyway!) πŸ˜‰

  2. I know you usually make yourself an article of clothing; but why not make a skirt for your 10 year old daughter instead? And oh by the way you must have been 12 when you had your son. I can’t believe you have a 15 year old. Have a great weekend and good luck with whatever you decide to make with the leather pants.

    • Thanks! I was barely 20 when I had him! He’s only 14, but he informed me that he will be able to start driver’s training in March! EEK! He won’t even be 15 until June!
      Thanks for your sweet comments! Have a fantastic week! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you. I’m feeling better about it now! The best advice when I’m struggling with something, is to put it aside and come back to it later for sure! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

  3. I enjoy your blog but the GIFs are really distracting and headache producing. I wish there was a way to stop the movement. Anyway I couldn’t read this post – I tried and now I have to go and take an Advil

    • Hi Gail.
      I’m so sorry you got a headache while trying to read my post. 😦 I tend to be prone to motion sickness at times, so I feel ya’.
      I’ve just learned how to do GIF’s, so I was having fun goofing around with it, but didn’t know how to stop movement on them, so when I read your comment, I did a little research and came up with this…


      Hopefully this might help! πŸ˜‰
      In the future I’ll keep the GIF’s at the bottom of my post so you can read through it without getting seasick! πŸ˜‰
      Have a wonderful week!

  4. I know how you feel! I recently got into sewing with leather and broke four needles on one seam. It is frustrating, but so worth it in the end. I think you should try making some kind of satchel or tote. Less complicated techniques, plus they’re totally awesome. πŸ˜€

    • Ooh! I like your ideas! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚ I think I’ll definitely do several accessories instead of my original plan! That way I can get practiced up on some smaller projects and maybe tackle a big one sometime in the future! πŸ™‚

  5. I love your GIF’s!! Oh my goodness…I was laughing! πŸ™‚
    Ugg, I’m so sorry your leather project didn’t turn out! I had some of the same problems while sewing my leather this week (luckily I had some extra pieces that I experimented on). Here is what I did to fix the bunching up etc. I read that you really should use a ‘walker foot’ or a Teflon foot for the machine to reduce the drag and bunching up. I didn’t have either, but I read another post where the person used baby powder (I used corn starch instead) to powder the surface of the machine, the bottom of the foot, and the top of the leather you are sewing on. It makes a mess (!) but it really did help it slide things along better. Also, reduce the pressure of the feed dogs, that gives the leather more room to slide through under the foot. I also reduced the thread tension and bobbin tension. Thread tension (at least on my old machine) was between a 1.5-and 2. I still had some annoying bunching and teeny-tiny stitches in some places, but all of these tricks helped a whole lot! I hope this helps you, and good luck! πŸ˜€ Enjoy your cake!

  6. Jen, your second GIF is hilarious! I love it!

    And I like that you’re telling about your sewing problems – you’re keeping it real, and my hat is off to you πŸ™‚

    -Jo H.

    • Thanks Jo!
      I’ve learned so much from other bloggers out there, since starting this blog. It’s really nice to have a great community to turn to when I need help! πŸ™‚
      Take care!

  7. Totally what Desarae said. I was researching sewing with leather the other day and learned there are feet that will make it easier and fixing the thread tension is important as well. Probably having a few scraps around as you work it out would be wise! Definitely think you can make something out of what you have remaining! I have seen you come up with some pretty amazing stuff!~ Laurie

  8. Did you use tissue or tear away between your presserfoot and fabric? You can also get a Teflon presserfoot. These two things can really help or completely eliminate bunching.

    You could consider scrapping your original idea and use the leather as shoulder/ elbow/ or knee accents. That’s also very hot right now.

    Love the Gif!

    • Thanks so much Joanne! I do not have the cool teflon presserfoot (I didn’t even know there was such a thing!) And I also didn’t use tissue or tear away paper. (That probably would’ve helped a ton!) I was actually planning on making a skirt and using some of the scraps to do shoulder patches on a gray shirt I planned on refashioning along with it. I’m still going to do the shirt, but I think I’ll forget the skirt and do some other cool things with the rest of the pants instead! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your awesome ideas! πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: 49-Cent Friday: Refashion Runway Sew Along: Week Four – Leather! | Diary of a MadMama

  10. I think you can still make this into a skirt for yourself. For the sweatpants, it looks like you used only the material on the thighs, not the whole pants. This time, you’ll have to take material from lower in the leg and bring it up. Cut and sew vertical panels alternating between big panels from the thighs and smaller panels from the calves.

  11. Pingback: Me-Made-May ’14 – Day Eleven | Diary of a MadMama

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