Red Leather Coat, Round Two

About a year and a half ago, I cut into a long red leather coat that I’d had for almost two decades but had never worn.  I ended up with a shortened jacket, a purse, a phone case, a loyalty card holder and, of course, a coffee cup sleeve

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 1
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 1

My friend Patty, whose office I volunteer for at my son’s high school, saw all of the transformed items first hand.  It got her thinking about a red leather coat that had been passed on to her from another friend.  That coat turned up at school one day a few months ago in a plastic bag with my name on it. 

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 2
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 2

I decided two things when I saw this coat.  The first was that whatever I made from it was going right back to Patty.  The second was that I was going to try to keep those slash pockets.  The logical choice to reform the coat was a into bag, but rather than draw up a pattern, I decided to let the coat’s shape speak to me as I went.  Very Zen.  I started out by removing the lining and interfacing.  If you ever want to learn a thing or two about clothing construction, try some deconstruction.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 3
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 3

After I’d gutted it, I started cutting.  I originally thought I would keep the button placket but noticed there was some damage around the buttons, so I cut it off.  I also cut across just below the arm holes and just above the fold for the bottom seam.  At that point I was just aiming for the largest piece of leather I could get, but I liked the shape of it, so I stitched the middle together to create the basic bag shape.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 4
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 4

The next step was to cut out the lining, so I used the leather piece as a guide and added a seam allowance.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 5
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 5

I sewed patch pockets onto one side of the lining and added a zipped pocket to the other.  I wanted some reinforcement for the magnetic closure, so I also added an extra strip of fabric to the area where they would be applied.  It also gave the top of the purse a little more body.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 6
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 6

I realized my purse still had a waist, so I gave it some belt loops.  This would also solve the problem of my seams not matching up perfectly in the front because I could cover the area with a belt.  I considered using the original collar as an accent at the top of the bag, but decided even my beast of a sewing machine wouldn’t survive that many layers of leather.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 7
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 7

I finished stitching up the lining and added it to the inside of the bag.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 8
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 8

Rather than make the strap entirely from leather, I used one of the lining fabrics instead and added a strip of leather down the middle as an accent.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 9
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 9

I couldn’t have been happier with the way this bag turned out.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 10
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 10

Of course, I added a couple of little accessories for the inside.  All that remains of the coat at this point is one sleeve.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 11
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 11

This is Patty.  Does this photo give you some idea of how she felt about it?

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 12
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 12