Hot! The “Alex does Alexander” Hoody and Trackie Daks

The Facts
Fabric: Recycled Leather Samples, Sweat Shirt Fabric from an Op Shop $7
Pattern: Simplicity 7020 and 7064
Year: 1985
Notions: Thread
Time to complete: 5 hours plus
First worn: For the photos
Wear again: For the fashion parade at school, and yes, though perhaps not together if I have any input!
Total Cost: $7

Meet Alex, he’s 9. He likes Remote Control toys, Scooters, Soccer, Playing X-Box and Reading. And after this weekend, he likes Sewing! Yay!!!
You’re looking at his Year Three Term Project, which is an investigation into Materials and their Properties, using recycled stuff.
He drew a fantastic sketch and I was determined to make it a reality, an On-Trend reality!
We started out with some burn tests to examine the properties of the different fabrics – he totally loved that and was very astute in his observations.
I have noticed a trend for garments with leather sleeves. How fabulous is this great Alexander McQueen sweatshirt??!!

Source: via Trish on Pinterest

Leather – for a beginning sewer? Why not!
I had these leather samples stashed since B.C. (before children) when I used to work for a furniture company. They were throwing them out when a new seasons range came in. I have moved house with them twice now and have a whole box – they are really heavy, and I am super stoked to be reducing my stash.
We had extensive chats about how to make the design.
I used the pants from Simplicity 7020. Adding the essential knee patches. If you have boys, you know what I mean about the knees!!
The hoodie was from the shirt pattern on Simplicity 7064, using the hood from Simplicity 7020.
I had made the pants one evening after school, and had left all of the Hoodie till Saturday morning so I was having kittens about it. Turns out my industrial sewing machine eats leather. And for the first time in ages, it didn’t break a needle mid project.
Alex cut out the paper pattern for me, drew the pockets and marked up the sleeves on the leather (with ball point pen – the best way to mark up leather) as he is left handed he had trouble making my huge right handed shears cut.
Turns out, this pattern is great. It just flew together. The leather was not quite wide enough to get the sleeves out so I just added a strip to the underside of the arm.
The back yoke and the pockets are in leather – no need to finish them properly.

I used a leather needle for every seam – which was a mistake as it left some pretty big holes in the jersey fabric. It probably will not stand up to too much washing (neither will the leather). So if we get a handful of wears of it – it will have served his purpose!
Isn’t he cute? I was so pleased he was totally into this project and I had him sitting with me on my chair lifting the foot up and down, turning the work as we sewed around the pockets, while we talked all the time about winding bobbins, and how the machine works. He put his foot down on the pedal once, early on, and got a big fright from the big noise the motor made (think 1970’s Coronation Street – remember that clothing factory??). I just suggested he rest his foot on the pedal was I am controlling it so he could get a feel for it. With industrial sewing machines – learning to control the speed is one of the biggest things to learn. He was very helpful about turning through the sleeves and trimming the threads.

He is trying to be very cool for the photos – he is a sweetheart actually!

I hope he gets a good mark for with this project. He deserves to – he was so enthusiastic and I really enjoyed sharing some sewing time with him.

More on my blog



Trish lives in Sydney and has way more thrifted patterns and fabric than her fair share. She studied fashion design in her former life and sews while trying to not to burn the dinner.


Comments are closed.

  1. He looks really cool, and what a great school project! School seems more interesting these days, or maybe it’s just me :)
    The Coronation St factory was still there when I last watched only a few months ago. It’s called Underworld and makes underwear. It is most dystopic and unrealistic to have any manufacturing and what it’s supposed an inner city in the UK, but alas soaps aren’t realistic!
    There was, however, a great textile tradition up here in Lancashire, and I do wish they did more than just tv programmes like this ( to revive it, give people jobs and not lose skills.

  2. I love this! Love the leather-love his cool poses. I’m glad you got some quality time in sharing something you love.

  3. Congrats on involving your son in such a fantastic project. My step-son is 10. After seeing this, he may take the helm for the next sewing project.

  4. This is awesome! You both deserve A’s!

  5. It is a wonderful thing to have your son want to learn something like sewing, a “traditionally” girl craft. My dad taught me how to use tools and work on cars, I learned how to sew from his mom. If he ever starts to see sewing as something “girly” just tell him a sewing machine is a power tool that used thread : ) And I think his whole outift is fabulous! Good job to the two of you.

  6. I agree with Joelle, you both deservs A’s.

  7. Aw I spied this little cutie on Instagram, he looks so cool, awesome outfit, I bet he’ll hit a home run with this project. I hope he gets into sewing :)

  8. I love to see the boys into sewing and design! What a very cool project for him. You are a very cool mom too! Kudos to the both of you!

  9. Looking very cool indeed, hope he gets an A for this one! Don’t tell him I said so, but what a little cutie! Bet you had a terrific time sewing with your guy.

  10. Loved seeing this come together on your instagram – I had no idea your fun family leather working project was going to turn into something this cool! He looks fab, love the sunglasses and not smiling! (I actually like your version to look at more than the McQueen (is that sacrilege to say that?) I do love how much this Sew Weekly journey is teaching us and opening us up to new experiences we might not otherwise encounter.