DIY FRIDAY: LEATHER DRESS TUTORIAL

Happy Friday! The last few weeks have been crazy over here, mostly with the end of summer, and mostly with the start of school, but in huge part because there are some big changes I’ve been working on that are coming to Merrick’s Art, one of which is DIY FRIDAY, which will now be a permanent thing! So if you’re looking for my tutorials, make sure you stop by every Friday, because I’ll have something new for you to make every single week!

To kick off DIY FRIDAY, I have a super fun tutorial and giveaway for you! Last month, during the Nordstrom Sale, I ran across this amazing leather Halogen dress, and instantly wanted it. It was a little too short for me, and a little too expensive, so instead I teamed up with Leather Hide Store and made my own, and today I’ll show you how!

I had some serious doubts about this dress up until the very last seam, and sewing through this thick leather was not very easy, but I feel so proud of this dress and learned a ton while making it. I’m so excited to share it with you!

dress made by me (tutorial below) — fabric c/o leather hide store 
similar bag — splurge or save
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANA LAURENE
Find the full tutorial after the jump, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the very bottom!


note: I have received some amazingly helpful feedback over the last few months regarding my tutorials and have decided to switch back to step by step photographs rather than my illustrated tutorials. I hope this gives you clearer instruction and makes it easier to follow even if you are a beginner seamstress! Also, video sewing tutorials are coming soon as well so get excited!!



Materials:
12-15 square feet of pigmented leather (mine was from their remnant section)
1/2 yard black ponte knit
20-22″ heavy duty zipper
leather needle for your machine (very important!)
matching thread
Step 1. Cut out your pieces. You will need 2 LEATHER BODICE pieces, 4 LEATHER SKIRT pieces, 2 LEATHER SLEEVES (cut on the fold), and 2 KNIT BODICE BACK pieces, as shown below. 
I used a boxy tee and a fitted pencil skirt as my pattern, and then adjusted the angled side seams on my own. Also, when using your clothing as a pattern, always cut the pattern out of pattern or parchment paper and then use that as your pattern — don’t lay your clothes directly on your fabric and try to cut. (A tutorial for making patterns out of your clothes is coming soon!!)
2. First you need darts. Take your LEATHER BODICE pieces and mark your dart placement in three places, as shown. 
Then hold mark #1 in place and fold your BODICE in half so #2 and #3 are touching. Pin in place and then sew from #2/#3 and slowly angle up toward #1 until you run off the fabric. Repeat for the second LEATHER BODICE piece. 
Now your two LEATHER BODICE pieces should look like this: 
3. Take your two LEATHER BODICE pieces and, with right sides together, attach them with a straight stitch along the center edge. 
4. Next, take your BACK BODICE pieces and attach them to your FRONT LEATHER BODICE at the shoulders with a straight stitch. 
5. Once both of your BACK BODICE pieces are attached at the shoulders, sew up the side seams of the bodice with a straight stitch and right sides together. 
6. Take your SLEEVE pieces and fold them over with right sides together. Sew up the inseam with a straight stitch. Repeat for both sleeves. 
7. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves to the bodice. Find the very top of the SLEEVE piece (where the red dot is) and, with right sides together, insert it into the arm hole, lining up the “red dot” with the bodice’s shoulder seam (the other red dot). Once those are lined up and pinned in place, pin the rest of the sleeve into the arm hole. 
Then sew around the entire arm hole with a straight stitch, as shown below. Repeat for the second sleeve. 
8. Now let’s move to the skirt. Take your two FRONT SKIRT pieces and, with right sides together, sew them together at the center seams. 
9. Now take the BACK SKIRT pieces and attach them to the FRONT SKIRT at the side seams. 
10. Now it’s time to attach your bodice to the skirt. Lay them flat on the ground on top of each other with right sides together and line up the center seams. Pin in place and sew across the entire waist with a straight stitch. 
11. Now sew up the back seam from the neck to the hem. 
Then insert your zipper up the back of the dress using the instructions on the zipper package.  
12. Now it’s time for the neckline. Cut two pieces of ponte knit that mimic the shape of the back and front of your neckline (as shown), but make them 1-2″ shorter so they have to be stretched to reach around the entire neckline. This will be the neckline LINING. Sew them together on the sides to make a full circle, then cut the back down the middle (as shown). 
Pin the LINING to the neckline, matching up the side seams, and stretching as you pin so the lining fits all the way around. Sew around the neckline with a straight stitch, attaching the lining to the neckline. Trim your seam allowance. 
Now fold the LINING inside the dress and pin in place. Then sew around the entire neckline with a wide straight stitch to secure the lining in place. Make sure you tuck in the ends of your zipper if necessary! 
13. (not pictured) Hem your sleeves and the bottom of your dress, if desired. I didn’t want a bulky hem on mine, so I just used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut the edges super straight and clean. 
And you’re done! Can you believe it? You just made a leather dress!!
Now on to the giveaway! Leather Hide Store is giving away $50 to their shop so you can pick up some leather too — you don’t even have to use it to make this dress! Add it to a t-shirt for some edgy embellishments, make a bag, make a pair of moccasins, make a pillow…do whatever you want! 
All you have to do is like them on Facebook through the Rafflecopter widgetfor an entry, so enter below! Good luck!