Old Leather Jacket Refashion

Save It By Doing An Old Leather Jacket Refashion

Here you'll find all about this old leather jacket refashion. 

The result turned absolutely fabulous, so grab copy of the #10 Top Tips To Refashion Leather freebie when prompted here (or reload the page) and save your jacket by making your own redesign! Recycling soft leather is actually not hard.

In my project, I first had to enlarge the size of the jacket. And then, to add sleeves and redesign it. And, guess what? I used skinny jeans. At the end, it turned out one of my favourite garment to wear!

Check out all details in the post and the video below.

Old leather jacket refashion - the maker

By Mariana Kirova

Which Leather Material To Recycle

After fast fashion grew into a devastating industry for people, animal life and environment during the last couple of decades, saving leather from the landfill is a must, in my opinion.

I love leather, but following my values I don't buy new. Instead, whenever I visit a charity shop, I always visit the section with the leather items. Besides, checking out my wardrobe and stash of clothing is always on the list while looking for material to refashion.

The main thing when upcycling leather at home is to choose soft leather which usually is a light to medium weight material. It is very similar to a medium weight slightly stretchable fabric. This makes it suitable to sew on a regular sewing machine.

In contrast, to work thick leather which is often used for mens' jackets, for example, you need to have industrial machine, first. But second, the machine has to be special, for sewing thick leather. That means that even regular industrial machines, like mine, can't handle thick hide.

My Old Leather Jacket Refashion Project

It all started with an old black leather jacket I kept for many years. The leather was very soft and I wanted to wear the jacket again. But because got too small over the years, I first had to make it about two sizes bigger.

Well, I got excited and did more than that. I upcycled it completely and changed the look of the style. It turned out one of my favourite pieces ever!

Also, it became my first printed article in my  favourite maker's magazine, Altered Couture, winter 2018 (I'm still over the moon when I think about it).

That makes for two fantastic reasons to love that jacket :)

You can read more about this first magazine publication, plus to check out lots of photos in this initial blog post here

Refashion That Proved Great Over Time

Now, after couple of years have passed by, I can confirm that I love how this old leather jacket refashion turned out. It really proved a good investment of spending time making it and figuring out redesign that suits my liking.

Usually I can't wait for the weather to change to wear it again (it's only a few cold months throughout the year here in Perth WA). Because it is leather, the jacket is perfect for transitional seasons or the milder winters we have here.

Of course, I tried to figure out how to make a couple of versatile looks as well.

But, I'll leave you to find all about this project on your own. Just check the video below.

Video Insights Over This Old Leather Jacket Refashion:

  • 00:37 – Where the materials came from
  • 02:05 – Making it two sizes bigger (a design hack for non-dressmakers)
  • 03:00 – How to ensure you got the right skinny jeans to recycle for the sleeves
  • 03:20 – Easy way to make the sleeve top (sleeve 'head')
  • 03:45 – Options to finish the sleeve hem
  • 04:34 – Focusing on creating interesting details
  • 05:30 – Make it unique using the leftovers

I hope my upcycled project will inspire you to look for suitable old leather jacket refashion yourself (or someone you love).

Don't forget to download your copy of the10 Tips freebie!


Have fun :)

Mariana x

Mariana Kirova

Mariana is passionate about garment upcycling and helping others to make their own upcycled clothing. Graduated with Award in garment construction from WAIFT, Perth WA, Mariana is not a main stream eco fashion designer. She makes unique eco-friendly garments from unwanted clothes and materials and believes that small fashion professionals and DIY sewers can embrace sustainability in garment creation, thus changing the fashion world for good.

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