Faux Leather Pants

Posted by Its Sew Blythe
Recently I had the opportunity to sew with an unbelievably fabulous stretch faux leather from Lush Fabrics.  It was thicker than your average faux leather, far stretchier vertically and horizontally that any faux leather I have ever sewn before, and it was also lined with fleece, which is great for a couple of reasons.  As someone who has worn faux leather on stage in the past, I am well aware that it does not breathe and there were many nights where I peeled out of sodden faux leather pants and needed to mop my legs dry. A fleece lining makes it easier to slide a faux leather garment on, and it also has a slightly absorbing effect, making it feel less like being in a sauna.

I had been wanting a pair of leather pants for ages, and I’d had plans to sew a non-stretch pair using one of my tried and true patterns for wovens, but when I felt this faux leather, the incredible amount of stretch made me change my plans and I selected a different favourite sewing patterm, Jalie’s Eleonore jeans.  The Jalie Elenore jeans are supposed to be sewn in a stretch woven, but almost all of my Eleonores are made of some kind of knit, usually cotton lycra.  I don’t need to make any fitting adjustments except for sewing the centre back seam a little closer for a swayback adjustment.  I felt confident that my faux leather Jalie Eleonores would be a simple sew.


My sewing machine- NOT Husqvarna- had other ideas.  It just detested the faux leather.  There is a lot of topstitching on the Jalie Eleonores, and I wanted this topstitching to get a really professional-looking finish. My sewing machine’s feeddogs just couldn’t grip either the faux leather or the fleece side of the fabric.  I am not sure if that is an issue that a walking foot could fix, but since I don’t have a walking foot, I moved over to my coverstitch machine.
My coverstitch machine- again, sadly, not Husqvarna- went a little better than my sewing machine, but it still struggled.  Faux leather is not forgiving when it comes to ‘struggles’; everytime the needles pierce the fabric, it leaves permanent holes, which is fine when these holes are filled with perfect lines of topstitching, obviously most undesirable when you need to remove snarls and loops of thread and then decide not to even bother continuing with topstitching.  The holes do not close up; they remain open, a sad reminder of stitching which went wrong.  I had planned to topstich every single seam, but I ended up minimizing the amount of topstitching I did, only doing it on the back pockets and the front faux fly.  I needed to use tissue paper on BOTH sides of the fabric before the sewing machine would sew. 

Thankfully, besides the topstitching, attaching the back pockets to the back leg pieces, and hemming, I was able to use my Husqvarna overlocker for the entire project. Unlike my other machines, my Husqvarna did not skip a beat or miss a stitch.  It gaily sewed all those long seams, and I don’t know if I have ever loved it as much as I did throughout this project.
End result is one of my all-time favourite home-sewn projects.  These pants are so comfortable- I reckon I could do the splits in them.  If I could do the splits.  And I think they look great.  I have been googling lots of images of leather pants, and these are basically exactly what I was wanting.  I feel like such a rockstar.  I can’t wait to wear them out performing.  

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