How to Make a Pair of Boot-Covers from a Leather Jacket
After spotting this editorial in Lucky Magazine back in winter, I decided I wanted a foldover-style boot too! So chic - and it visually slims up your legs, working in both casual and more edgy ensembles. But since I always make instead of buying new unless I absolutely must, I'm not going to plonk down 9 on a boot...especially when I already have a whole bunch of shorter boots that will work perfectly as the base (see below).
Here's how to make your own version, using an old beat-up leather jacket**:
**There are many great options for old leather jackets - I found mine at a Goodwill Outlet store, so it probably cost about total, and it had a huge rip in the back of the jacket (probably the reason why the owner discarded it in the first place!) Charity shops, garage sales, something in your guy's closet he no longer wears...if you can give an old, distressed piece of clothing a new life, I'm all for it! And if you prefer using vegan alternatives, you can also try this with manmade pleathers or vinyl, sold at many fabric or craft stores. The only issue with pleather vs. leather is that pleather doesn't breathe as well, and doesn't have a natural stretch to it as leather does, so trying to push it down over your boot when finished may cause more seam stress. You may have to cut your pleather slightly larger at the bottom to accommodate different boot shapes, and you will likely have to make a lining as manmade leathers usually have a very rough underside that is uncomfortable next to the skin. You could also try fabric, canvas, corderuoy, or denim for an entirely different look!
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You Will Need
Cut off the sleeves of your jacket with the shears. (NEVER use fabric scissors for cutting leather - it will dull them permanently!)
Slide the sleeve (with lining still inside) over your calf, put on the boot you want to cover, and pull the sleeve over it (cuff part at your ankle).
Mark the sleeve with chalk at the bottom where the cuff part is widest in order to accommodate the boot and the amount you want to cover the heel. (We'll be turning about 1/2" under later so the cuff will be slightly bulky - make sure the circumference of the sleeve can accommodate this.)
Take off the sleeve and remove the linings from both sleeves. Draw the chalk line straight across the bottom of the sleeve you marked, and transfer the markings to the other sleeve as well. Cut at your lines.
Slit your sleeves down the seams (I used a seam ripper to salvage as much of the width of the sleeves as possible.)
Cut sleeves straight across at their sleeve caps. Cut the sides of the sleeves straight up from the cuff area to make two rectangles of salvaged leather.
Using a machine needle for leathers, sew the vertical seam in your boot-covers together, at about 3/8". (A Teflon or walking machine foot will help prevent the leather from sticking to the foot as you sew.)
Glue down each side of the seam allowance with leather glue, flattening as you go down the seam.
Secure with tape until dry.
Place the sleeve inside the sleeve lining, matching up the cuff areas, right sides together. Sew about 3/8" from the edge all the way around the cuff. (I was having a MAJOR sticking problem with the leather, so that's why I placed the silky poly lining on top of the leather to sew this.)
Turn boot-covers right-side out.
I wanted to make a very stiff, faux boot cover that would create the illusion of a rigid calf-high boot, so since jacket leather is quite soft and pliable, I had to make an insert to create structure. I used a piece of craft foam, rolled up and inserted between the lining and the leather outside. Push the foam all the way down to the bottom of the boot-cover, making sure the cuff part doesn't reveal any lining on the outside. Once inserted all the way, put your hands inside and enlarge the foam roll so it conforms to the shape of the boot-cover. Also make sure that the foam roll seam overlap is at the back of your boot-covers, so no ugly ridge is seen down the front.
Trim top of foam down in order to accommodate folding the lining and leather over it.
Roll outside leather down slightly and out of the way. Pull lining up and glue edges around the top of the foam, completely covering the foam edge.
Secure with clothespins or tape to allow to dry.
When dry, roll leather outer back up, and fold under itself. Glue folded edge to foam inner, and secure with tape until dry.
These boots are now made for walkin'...the only question is whether to pair them with a cute dress or super-short shorts!