Tuesday, May 15, 2012

leather gorget

And now for something different. Onto the next show and its designs. The designs include making
some leather gorgets. A gorget being a leather or steel piece of armour worn to protect the throat. From the french word gorge, for throat. On a suit jacket you have the gorge line,  which is specifically the  seam line that joins the collar to the lapel.

 I started by draping a shape in muslin on the stand. After that is done, I transfer my muslin to the table and carefully mark the seam lines and matching points before taking it apart and tracing through to paper. The I recheck the shape and walk all the seam lines so they can be sewn properly, correcting the lines at the top and bottom edges.
For my mock-up or toile, I found a scrap of heavy overcoat melton, fused some canvas to it and cut out all my shapes. The seams were butted together and zigged instead of using a traditional seam allowance. This keeps everything flat, and reduces bulk.
 I did a bit of playing around with possibly using cording as a detail as well as using wide twill tape to stand in for strips of leather. I'm not sure which way the designer will want to go, so for the next fitting, I will return with this toile, but I cut some leather for one side of it. This is a weight of cowhide suitable for boots, and I am not sure if it should be heavier. Well, I don't want to waste leather, so I will just leave it like this and see what the designer thinks. I'm sure this will get some decorative studding as well.


  1. What's fascinating here is that your muslin's vertical seaming has been translated into more or less horizontal/diagonal seams in the leather. Care to comment?

  2. It's funny but that didn't occur to me at all. I needed a basic shape to start with so I could go in whatever way the designer wanted to. It just seems to make the most sense to drape with vertical seams to start with. I suppose in theory you could drape it horizontally or once it is a three dimensional shape, cut it apart in any variety of ways and get really interesting pattern shapes. Check out the sewing divas blog post on Shingo Sato, there are some weird pattern shapes created there, it is really fascinating.

  3. Oh, THANK YOU! I desperately wanted to know how you fashioned that GORGEOUS gorget with the vertical seams...I need something to keep my neck warm in the winter and when I saw your stunning gorgets I instantly WANTED THAT PATTERN! Fat chance that they are for sale, though! But seeing this, I think I feel brave enough to attempt to draft my own pattern on my dress form just as you have done here!

  4. The pattern is a one off, and for a man too! You are much better off trying it for yourself for a variety of reasons. You get to make the rules and change the shape to your liking, and explore whatever materials you want to make it out of. That's the most fun! Good luck too!