Now the last bunch of steps to making a leather jacket are the most complex. Not because they involve a lot of stitching but because they require a lot of finesse. The more time spent on a jacket and the farther along that you get, the more dangerous the cost of a mistake. With leather there are few second chances. Unlike fabric, any holes sewn in leather cannot be undone. A very skilled tailor can often resew in the holes previously made but the reality of leather jacket production means that any errors are difficult to undo.
Attaching the sleeves requires a very strong hand. This horsehide is tough, and the tougher the leather the harder to manipulate the sewing. Once the sleeve is attached allowing for the seam allowance the leather needs to be notched. In order to turn out the sleeve and top stitch it, the notches allow the easy turning and rotation of the sleeve and the nice flat arm hang. It requires constant awareness and attention to not make any mistakes and ruin a nearly finished garment.
The collar must be attached the right way round. There are many types of collars but the two typical ones for a jacket are the stand-up collar and the turndown collar. This jacket typically has a turndown collar. That means that the collar should be attached with the top stitching showing when the collar is folded over. I had no idea there were so many different collar types when I researched it. For our jackets, turndown collars are typical.
The really hard parts after completing the sewing of the leather are the installations of the linings, zippers and snaps. All of these require super careful placement in order that the jacket fits nicely. The two sides of a zipper need to be level, button holes must be sewn in on a completed jacket, snaps for collars need to be adjusting because real leather expands and contracts when sewn and adjustments have to be made at the end. It is a very difficult and stressful process! If the liner isn’t sewn in tight enough it will hang down past the leather of the jacket. If it is too tight it risks tearing or limiting the mobility of these tight fitted styles. A 1930s A-1 may appear to have a simple design but in reality the techniques are very advanced working with the best materials.