Do try this at home: leather jacket repair tips

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Marc mndt, Aug 2, 2021.

Tags:
  1. Al 916

    Al 916 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    GB
    If you had not told me I would not have known - nice job!
     
    JMax likes this.
  2. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    14,134
    Wish I could get that stuff here. I'd treat the Cal and restore its health.
     
    Jin431 and JMax like this.
  3. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,766
    Stretching up this shearling jacket as we speak. Looks promising but you never know until it's fully dry.
    51A9BA53-9CE5-45E3-990B-D310C68AE190.jpeg
     
  4. marker2037

    marker2037 Practically Family

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    Curacao/NJ, USA
    Did you fully soak this jacket too Marc? Curious how the wool side reacted to that if you did.
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  5. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,766
    Yep, I emptied two spray bottles on it, stretched the leather by hand and then stuffed it with pillows and towels. The shearling stretched really easy without loosing any wool. Afterwards I conditioned it with some beeswax based shoe cream. (I first tried Vaseline but that left dark stains)
     
  6. Al 916

    Al 916 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    GB
    Looking forward to seeing the results
     
    Jin431 and sweetfights like this.
  7. stringer

    stringer Familiar Face

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Illinos
    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead said:
    I had a tailor cut out the biswing elastic because it was worthless after decades and a lot of the material was bunching up behind the arm pit. Instead he stitched it up a little bit to tighten.
    I have a jacket where its only flaw is the biswing is stretched out in back and was thinking about having it sowed closed. Do you have a picture of this alteration. Did it inhibit or restrict movement. Are you happy with the look? Would a couple darts work or does it need to be totally seamed from start to finish. Anyone with any advice, would be appreciated.
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  8. Al 916

    Al 916 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    GB
    As the guys suggested I am having my Black re-elastic(ated) and will do the same on my Brown £15 each. Likely easier and cheaper than the full stitch
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  9. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,617
    @stringer
    So it all depends on whether you need the biswing for movement or it's just sloppy for a lack of better word because you don't need the extra give.

    If you need it, it's a super easy fix by any seamstress and certainly tailor worth their salt. $15-20. They make a small cut in lining, take out old elastic, put in new one, and close lining.

    I've sewn up the action back on 3 jackets. I would never do on the curved gussets say in like this style:

    [​IMG]




    In this case, I think it would not only look funny but would probably break the design and restrict movement. The curve of the gusset would probably be a pain to get exactly flat.

    But on something more straight line and elongated like this:

    [​IMG]

    You can pull it off. Of course, the jacket needs to be slightly big to compensate for that loss of ease. Once you do it, there's no going back because there's going to be a chain of stitch holes all along where it was sewn down. You can get a sense of how restricting by maybe having someone push down on the area while you wear and then move around and see how much tension is going to that area. If it's fighting to come apart, probably not good. A little tension is ok if you're looking for snug, but that person will be able to tell how easily the material wants to separate.

    On my Schott 141, I sewed up the whole line all the way to the top because it was huge on me. A size 40 141 has like a 23.5 ptp, it's crazy, and with the biswing, it's like a tent. So I knew I had plenty of space to give.

    I did the same to my Brooks racer. I didn't like the side silhouette because the elastic was blown out and the material in the back was just sort of acting like a sail. Again though, I probably had at least a half size extra of give, so I knew I could get away with it.

    On my wife's lady version of the 141, I sewed up about 3 quarters, essentially turning the action back into more of shoulder style gusset by leaving those last couple inches at the top open. It was puffing out too much at her waist and mid section, but she needed the extra give up top.

    Mathematically, I guess you could measure the depth of the biswing on each side (probably 1/4 to 1/3 inch), add together, and assume that's how much extra space you're going to shrink. In reality though it's more since you're losing the stretch of the elastic as well. So again, I wouldn't do unless the jacket is at least a half size too big and to be safe, more like a size too big (so long as waist, shoulders, length etc aren't also too big). If you have a friendly tailor, you could also try in phases. Have him/her sew up a quarter way, see what that does, then go to half, etc. But again, once those stitch holes are put in, if you decide to take out, you're left with the holes.
     
  10. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Kauai
    I am thinking about having the elastic replaced on the side gathers of my 50s Sportclad in order to bring it in a bit. Dena was not enthusiastic about doing it, maybe I'll give Johnson Leathers a call. What do you guys think?

    IMG_0846.JPG IMG_0838.JPG IMG_6422.jpeg
     
    Jin431 and Leather Walker like this.
  11. stringer

    stringer Familiar Face

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Illinos
    Thanks, Toomanyhats, that was very helpful. I will get the elastic replaced as it appears to be the least expensive and safest way too go.
     
  12. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,634
    Location:
    East Java
    or alternatively you can replace the elastics with something strong and non elastic like webbing, or canvas/denim. or a very wide elastic (usually used for posture correcting corset)
     
  13. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    14,134
    Remove elastic, add straps.
     
  14. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Kauai
    I kind of like the cuff straps.
     
  15. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Kauai
    I kind of like the cuff straps. I hadn’t thought about adding side straps. Somehow, I like keeping with the original design, not sure why.
     
  16. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    14,134
    Changing the side gatherers elastic is a major pain 'cause the tailor would have to rip half the jacket up in order to get to it & replace it. This sorta alteration involves a LOT of work & it's all for something that would have extremely marginal effect on the jacket so yeah, I can see why Dena would be reluctant about doing it.
     
  17. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Kauai
    I know absolutely nothing about this, but I thought that the lining would have to be opened the old elastic removed, and new elastic with a bit more elasticity stretched slightly, and re-sewn following original needle holes, as in a well dine zipper replacement. then close up the lining.
    I guess that is hard to do.

    I tried on an ELMC Windward at S&S a few years ago and it was really comfortable, bringing the jacket in close to the torso yet giving with moving.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  18. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    14,134
    I'll be guessing here as I'm not 100% sure how elastic gatherers on a leather jacket even work but I'm fairly certain she would have to open both sides around the mid-panel where the bunched up leather is located. Perhaps you can feel the elastic through the lining to confirm this but I'm willing to bet it has been stitched with each end between the mid-panel to front/back panels seams. I don't see what else would kept them firmly in place. Ugh, not sure if I'm making sense here but I think you know what I mean.

    Aside from that, following the original needle holes on a bunched up leather is near impossible. It's hard enough as it is but perfectly restitching something like this... Not sure it's even possible.
     
    jonesy86 likes this.
  19. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,634
    Location:
    East Java
    just slide in a piece of cord or paracord inbetween the leather and the dead elastic and use cord clip stopper to adjust, you might see adjuster from the lining side, and probably X shaped hand stitching to secure both end of the cord, but that's what I think of the least intrusive method. just a samll incision on the liner and similarly small incision on the center or the area from the suede side, slide in any small cord, even shoe lace might do, add some excess length for adjusting loop, hand stitch both end of the cord on the side of each end, clip on that spring loaded cord adjuster over the loop. now you cinch the waist from the liner side.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  20. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Kauai
    Having never used a sewing machine, I would imagine they you pull the leather taught along with a certain amount of stretch to the elastic, and sew. How did they make them in the first place, I wouldn’t know of course.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.