How To Make A Leather Vest

Here are instructions for how to make a leather vest. Make a leather vest to make a fashion statement all your own. Leather is durable and will last for years with the right care. Make your own leather vest and make it just the way you want by choosing the color and texture.

To make a leather vest, you will need:

  • leather
  • vest pattern
  • sewing machine with heavy duty needle
  • thread
  • sharp scissors
  1. Decide what leather to use. Choose leather light enough that you can sew it on your sewing machine or borrow a heavy duty sewing machine to sew the leather vest.
  2. Trim the vest pattern. Buy a vest pattern that you like and cut it out. There should be two front pieces and a back as well as facing pieces for the front that get turned in on a vest that is meant to be made with fabric. A normal vest pattern that is meant for use with fabric will have seam allowances in areas that are not needed when making a vest, such as around the armholes and the front and hem at the bottom. Keep this in mind and adjust the pattern for your vest. You can simply leave the edges and the hem raw, therefore the facing and hemming will not be necessary. Either turn under the seam allowance part of the pattern if you plan to use the pattern again to make a fabric vest or trim off the seam allowance portion of the pattern. Set aside the pattern pieces.
  3. Read the instructions. Read through all of the vest instructions and make mental adjustments for making the vest with leather. Also consider jotting notes on the instructions where you will sew the leather vest differently than you would a fabric vest. Look at the pattern pictures of the vest to help figure out how it will go together.
  4. Lay out the vest pattern on the leather. Set the leather on a table and lay out the pattern pieces. Look at the instructions for clues on the best layout. Do not pin the pattern pieces to the leather to avoid making holes in the leather. Ask someone to help you hold down the pattern while you cut out the pieces of the vest.
  5. Cut out the vest components. Use very sharp scissors to cut the leather. Make good, clean cuts or if needed, trim the edges later that will not be hemmed.
  6. Sew the vest. There should only be a few pieces of the vest to sew together:  the two front panels and the back. Sew the shoulder seams then sew the side seams. Trim the thread.
  7. Add fringe. If you want, add trim such as leather fringe or beads to the leather vest.
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