DIY Faux Leather And Knit Top: BurdaStyle 113 11/18

DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top

This DIY faux leather and knit fabric is a hacked version of BurdaStyle 113 from November 2018 and is actually my first ever go at sewing faux leather, to be honest, I have no idea why I haven’t worked on it before but better late than never eh?

Texture Play With Faux Leather and Knit

So the idea behind this make was to make a basic slim-fitting top but with a design twist. I wanted a neutral-toned versatile piece that went with a lot of wardrobe items and wasn’t too plain.

The cream knit fabric is the same one that I used in this fur-trimmed top it’s a wool-blend single jersey from Sherwoods Fabrics and I bought it in two pieces…one was a remnant and the other was off the bolt..1m and 1.10m respectively. For the fur-trimmed top, I had to break into the second length of fabric so it left me with a bit of an odd amount. It was a no-brainer to use the faux leather (bought from Girl Charlee … I just found out that the UK website ceased trading in January so only the US website is still going) that matched it perfectly. It’s the right weight and even has some stretch too. 

The Ideal Pattern

As I said I used BurdaStyle 113 11/18 which I first sewed up in olive green and I embellished it with a ruffle across the diagonal yoke seam. I find it soooo hard to make a pattern up just as it is and that yoke is just crying out for colour-blocking or should I say texture-blocking…or something! 🙂 Before I got started I sketched out a few combination ideas and in the end decided on some angled sleeve panels in the faux leather to complement the yoke shape.

DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top

Sewing Angst…

I stitched all the seams up on my overlocker and it went together really well, quite easy in fact! Where I struggled was on the hem of the left sleeve which is all faux leather fabric. I tried using a Teflon foot but the face of the leather seemed to stick on the footplate of my sewing machine even though the Teflon foot went along nicely on the top, so everything twisted…ugh.

Next, I tried a walking foot and had success when I tried it on a sample but when I tried on the sleeve itself, which was tricky to get at because it was in the round, I got skipped stitches. I sewed along an inch or so and then stopped before I realised I would be ruining it so ‘Plan B’ was used instead… in other words I hand-sewed it. Annnd it looks ok 🙂

DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top

The advice that I’ve since received is to try proper leather needles (I used a universal size 80) and maybe a roller foot as well. I’m not totally put off by that glitch but I am a little wary about future projects. I have two lots of jacket weight faux leather and would love to feel confident about tackling them…we will see.

The other bits of finishing for my top went smoothly. I did a straightforward hem at the bottom and used a narrow jersey binding on the neckline.

DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top. Neckline detail

The Fit

A final word about the fit though…I feel that it could have been better around the armhole by the bust. I’d cut a size 38 but I think that it works up a bit snug around the bust on this design. A bit of an FBA may be needed. I could absorb a bust dart on the side where the leather is seamed along…maybe even add more gathers…and I could add a dart to the other side. At the same time, I could rotate the fullness from the lower armhole bust area into those darts. I still love my top though and it won’t stop me from wearing it. I love the clean lines and the easy silhouette it’s also really comfy, so I consider that a win :).

DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top
DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top
DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top
DIY Faux Leather and Knit Top

Have you worked with faux leather before? Throw me some of your tips for it in the comments, they’d be much appreciated. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read, I really appreciate it and I’ll catch you soon.

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  1. Su
    March 19, 2020 / 3:08 pm

    Great top! Subtle yet stylish.

    I’ve only sewn faux leather in slightly complicated bags, when it can be a beast 😀 I got away with denim needles, but found I needed to use tissue to prevent indentations from the dogs/feet.

    Seldom comment, but never miss your blog for the beautiful sewing.

    • diane
      March 19, 2020 / 8:28 pm

      Thank you so much, Su! I appreciate your support and kind words. The denim needle and tissue paper sound useful…thanks!

  2. Joan
    March 30, 2020 / 3:34 am

    Hi Diane,

    I think your top looks great around the armholes and bust in the first two photos. There is, perhaps, a little rippling here and there in some of the photos, but the faux leather certainly won’t smooth out as well as your knit fabric. I would be interested in seeing this top again, if you sew it with darts! But you did a beautiful job with this top and its detailing is subtle but special! Really lovely. Thanks for your excellent blog. I feel that the clothes you create are similar to my wardrobe needs, and you have an eye for detail and an interest in quality, so I am very pleased to have found your blog!

    • diane
      March 30, 2020 / 11:21 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely words, Joan! And I’m glad you’ve discovered my blog :). I think you’re right regarding my top, the leather never will lie as smoothly as the knit. I did try to stand well and smooth my top out more for the photos but I’ve worn my it a few times now and I feel I can live with the little wrinkles. We can sometimes be too self-critical, can’t we?

      • Joan
        April 16, 2020 / 4:33 am

        “We can sometimes be too self-critical, can’t we?”

        TOO TRUE! A real problem with clothing I make for myself. My standards for purchased clothing is much lower…
        It is much easier to look at others’ projects and be objective!

        • diane
          April 16, 2020 / 9:51 am

          Yes, that’s very true Joan. And I’m just the same with RTW clothes. Funny but now that I’ve worn my top a few times I’ve relaxed into it and it’s fine, so I think when I’m right in the middle of a project and just after it’s finished I become way too critical because I’ve put so much of myself into it. A step back always helps.

  3. Zeynep
    April 22, 2020 / 11:50 pm

    Çok güzel

    • diane
      April 25, 2020 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you!
      I used Google translate 🙂

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