Weekend Worktable

On my table to begin work are a few more custom travel journals and this salmon pink leather sweater/jacket. A friend of a friend received this as a keepsake when her aunt recently passed away. The style and colour are too outdated for her to wear the garment. So rather than have it hide in a closet, my friend suggested that I could use the leather to make a journal which would be useful, and remember her aunt each time she used it.

I intend to make something along the lines of my fabric softcover journals, but aside from that I don't have a firm plan. If anyone has any tips on deconstructing leather garments or using repurposed leather, I would be most appreciative.


  1. I'm afraid I'm kind of like a bull in a china shop when it comes to dismantling things but I've used vintage leather gloves for a mini journal and simply cut the leather up, as needed, and then applied it as I would any other kind of leather over book board. The seams could be used as decorations or you could use a seam ripper to remove them and separate the leather.

    You'll likely need to remove the lining, of course, and I suspect your leather is much thicker than a vintage pair of kid gloves are so you'll have to deal with that aspect, as well. With the very thin kid gloves, I could easily paste them to book board. Not so sure how you'd do this with a thicker garment leather. Perhaps use the leather for inlays on a fabric-covered journal?

    You're gonna end up with one really large book with that much leather ;) Hope the project goes well for you--it's a great idea!

  2. Hello, I recently used a re-purposed leather handbag, to make a diary and notebook cover. They looked great and I was so pleased. It gave me the courage to use a piece of lovely brand new leather to make a wrap-round cover for another diary (see my blog post here if you are interested in these - http://lizziemade.blogspot.com/2010/12/two-new-handbound-books.html )

    I would think that the leather of this jacket will be thinner and softer than the handbag. You may want to line it with some strong, fine paper (lokta springs to mind - so many wonderful colours available!). That would support it and help it not to stretch (it does stretch, a bit like fabric). Of you could be adventurous and make the fabric lining of the jacket into bookcloth (use that "wonderweb" stuff that bonds fabrics together, with a fine tissue-type of paper - v fine mulberry or thai paper etc). Then you could line your book cover with that, for a really special memory item.

    Leather doesn't fray at the edges, though I have come across some that sort-of sheds bits from its edges. I would think that lining it would help to prevent that problem too.

    I am not an expert on working with leather, but I have recently obtained a couple of garments to re-purpose and have been thinking what to do with them. I think the wrap-round style of softcover journals that you sell are lovely. Maybe that would suit this leather project too?

    By the way, I love the decorative detail on the front of the jacket. If it was mine, I would try to use it, perhaps on the spine, or as a wrap-round tie fastening...
    Good luck! I'm sure it will be fab!

  3. Thanks so much Eva and Lizzie! I really appreciate all your helpful advice.


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