Project: Leather Vest and Sleeves
Project: Leather Vest, Bracers, and Greaves

 

Project: Leather Vest and Sleeves

Leathe Vest and Sleeves - Materials

Materials:

Tools:

Variations:

Instructions:

WhipStitch

1. Carefully remove the lining from the coat. Cut the thread, not the leather. If the coat has pockets, remove them and sew the pocket openings closed. If your coat has belt loops, remove them as well. The image to the right shows how to do a whipstitch, which is the best way to sew the pocket openings closed, since it leaves the fabric flat.

2. Separate the sleeves from the body of the coat.

3. Remove the collar of the coat.

4. Either:
a) Remove the buttons, and make buttonholes where the buttons were. You can then lace the vest up the front.
b) Carefully cut off the buttonholes and buttons, removing an equal amount of leather from each side. You can either leave your vest with no closures, or add grommets so you can lace it up the front.

5. To finish the edges where you have opened seams, you can either:
a) fold the edges under and sew along the lines from where it had been stitched to the lining.
b) fold the edges under and glue in place with leather glue or fusible interfacing.
c) carefully cut just inside any fold lines, and leave the edges 'raw'.

6. Punch six holes on the top half of each of the sleeves and arm openings of the coat. Set the grommets or eyelets into the holes. Alternatively, make buttonholes instead. Tie the sleeves back into the coat.


Project: Leather Vest, Bracers, and Greaves

Leather Vest, Bracers, and Greaves - Materials

Materials:

Tools:

Variations:

Instructions:

1. Follow steps 1-5 above.

2. Cut the sleeves in half about an inch below the elbow. The lower half of the sleeves will become the bracers. The upper half will become the greaves.

3. Unpick the seam on the lower half of the sleeves (the bracers) and lay them flat.

Padded Bracers

4. Measure the circumference of your wrist, and the circumference of your arm at the widest part below the elbow (measure while wearing whatever sleeves you will be wearing under the bracers). Transfer these measurements to the leather (make your markings on the inside of the sleeve), and cut out your bracer. You should now have a piece of leather the size of your arm. If you want to fold over the cut edges of the leather and sew or glue them, you can do that. Otherwise, trim both edges that you just cut another quarter to half inch - you want the final bracer to have a small gap between the edges when you are finished. This means you have a bit of play if you decide to change your shirt, and also it will prevent the cord from pinching.

5. Punch holes and set grommets every half to three-quarter inch along the long edges of the bracers. Alternatively, sew buttonholes. You will probably need about 2 feet of cord to lace up each bracer. Having some extra length means that you can just loosen the laces rather than unlacing them entirely when you put them on and take them off.

6. Either:
Lower Greavesa) For lower greaves, follow steps 2-5 again, using the measurements from your ankle and calf, and leaving the shoulder curve of the sleeve to cover your knee. Measure over whatever pants and boots you are going to be wearing with your greaves.
Upper Greavesb) For upper greaves, you can either follow the same process, or if the upper part of the sleeve fits comfortably around your thigh, you can leave it whole. Either way, you want to leave the curve of the shoulder to cover part of your hip, and add holes to the top of the curve (either grommets/eyelets or buttonholes) and use a short bit of cord to tie it to your belt.