Vintage Leather Jacket- renovation

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This is a project I actually completed a little while ago. I was putting together a gallery of my work and whoops (!), discovered that when I had transferred my blog across from “The Art of Costume” this post had not come with it. So this is a reiteration, please forgive if you have read it already.

Have you ever seen an item of clothing and it sticks in your mind forever? When I was working at the Victoria State Opera many years ago there was a woman who owned a vintage leather jacket that had a belt just like this one. For some odd reason, I loved that belt and coveted a vintage leather jacket with that belt. So when I saw this one in an opportunity shop, I bought it. However it was in pretty sad condition and so I decided to give it a facelift.

Here is an abbreviated representation of the work.

The lining had previously been replaced and was inappropriate fabric for the purpose, soiled and worn out and actually didn’t fit the jacket properly. So I needed to remove it and cut a new pattern for the lining. I was very lucky to find some great, vintage lining from a film costume designer selling off some of her collection, which was just perfect.


The leather needed to be well stripped to remove old paint, dirt and any substance that would inhibit the adherence of new paint. I ordered special paint from my favourite supplier (you know who you are!) and got to work.

It took several coats of paint, and cans of paint, but we got there. This is not a project to undertake to save money! This is about wanting to achieve a specific look, practice skills, learn and have fun.3-repainting

The jacket had lost a button and a very unusual choice made and some of the buttons had been stitched replaced without their supportive button at the back. All buttons needed to come off for repainting so I removed, and replaced properly with new buttons.

The jacket was a bit too long to be this boxy on me so a little extra shaping was required. Fortunately I have the skills and equipment to work with leather although this jacket is sheepskin so it is very forgiving. The bull dog clips may look silly but are helpful to get the exact placement and fit.4-repainted-thinking-about-shape

Check out this gorgeous lining! It’s perfect, I love it. Such a lucky find.


All of this for a belt?

Yep ‘fraid so. But I also had a lot of fun.

P.S you can see I changed my mind about the shaping…bull dog clips, useful. 6-finished-jacket

Hope you enjoyed.


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