Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hand embroidered Yodahosen- Project Run and Play

Yup, I bribed him to have his photo taken.  Obviously.
If you're a follower of Pocket Fox on Facebook you'll know that about a fortnight ago I suddenly remembered a project I was supposed to have made, but forgotten.  I was hanging out the laundry and got to thinking how cool it was one time when I pegged out the laundry whilst wearing my dirndl.  I know, I know, we've all been there, right?  In case this is not a familiar scenario for you, here's a photo of when that happened:

Excuse the state of the garden.  We had builders in at the time...
Anyway... that led me to thinking that maybe I'd take my dirndl to Austria this year and wear it up in the mountains.  And that made me think how cute it would be if the boys had some teeny little lederhosen, too, and then I remembered that I had intended to make them some in time for our trip to Austria this summer.  Which was in 5 days' time.

I went inside and ordered a metre of leather with next day delivery.  It's hard to order leather when you can't see and feel it in person, so I didn't want to spend too much, and in my searching I discovered eco/recycled leather from Yorkshire Fabric Shop.  It's where (as far as I can work out) they take a load of leather offcuts and mush them all up to make it into new leather fabric.  So it's made of real leather, but it's a lot cheaper and you buy it by the metre rather than bits of a hide.  It's pretty cool, and even has a bit of the real leather smell still. 

I couldn't find a PDF pattern for lederhosen, and ordering a paper pattern would have taken time I didn't have, so I set about creating a pattern.  The result it not especially authentic, but it is cute!  I started with the Oliver and S Sailboat Pants pattern, because it has a front flap-type construction, similar to that of proper lederhosen.  And I'd made it before so I already had it printed out, and knew how it went together.

I did make a good few changes to the pattern- I made the front flap narrower, added some lederhosen-style detailing, added straps, and got rid of things like facings, some seam allowances, and hem allowances where they weren't needed (because leather doesn't fray, so a lot of the edges could be left raw).  I cut size 6 for my 5-year-old, because I figured the fabric is pretty heavy and stiff, and I wanted him to have room to move.
Comfy elasticated waist.  Traditional?  No.  Practical?  Yes indeed.
You can ride a bike in these!
Or hop on one leg.  Whatever you want, really.
The really special bit, and the bit which ties in with this month's Project Run and Play sewalong, is the little cross stitched Yoda.  Big Cub loves Star Wars, so a pair of Yodahosen seemed very appropriate for him.  I found the pattern by googling 'tiny cross stitch yoda' (or something similar).  I found images of this same pattern in a few different places but couldn't find out where the pattern came from or who originally made it, so if it was you, please let me know!

So, yes, in case you were wondering... this is indeed Yoda, hand cross stitched onto actual leather.  Leather, I tell you! 

So how did that work?  Pretty simple, actually.  I made a grid on the back of the leather by holding a piece of plastic canvas on it and poking through a felt-tip pen to make marks.  Then I just treated it more or less as a normal piece of cross stitch, except for using a nice sharp needle to pierce the leather.  When I was sewing a stitch from the front I used my grid to see where to pierce, and if I needed to stitch from the front I pre-pierced the spot from the mark on the back, which was a bit time consuming... but worth it.  The sharp needle also split the threads in some places but the end result is not too shabby.

I wanted to do some more hand stitching on this, but didn't have time.  My fabric arrived on Tuesday and we left for our holiday on Friday, so it's a miracle that these got made at all!  I did add some decorative topstitching in green with my machine, which looks cute.

I didn't take my dirndl in the end, so no pics of that being worn in Austria.  Sorry!  Maybe next year.
Talking of next year, there is a super cute lederhosen pattern in the current Burda magazine (Sept 2015)... I will definitely try to make some for next summer!

And just to finish:  these were his Star Wars poses...


  1. Oh my gosh, these are awesome--definitely a one-of-a-kind piece!

  2. Fantastic! We were in Austria this summer too, but just shortly - on our way to Italy :).