Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sewing With Leather

I did some online research before I started sewing with leather.  Here's what I discovered worked for me.

1. I used my domestic sewing machine.  Now, I do have a button that adjusts settings for sewing leather, but I don't know that you necessarily need this.  I think that if you can quilt on your machine, it can probably handle leather.

2. Leather sewing machine needles.
They have a very sharp point and blades on the edges to punch through leather.

3. Binder clips.  Use these in place of pins.  Pins will leave holes that won't go away.
 You can also use tape to hold things in place.

4. Thread.  I read about using a heavy duty thread, so that's what I started with.  My machine didn't like it at all, and I found that as I sewed it was shredding through the leather.  I ended up using good old Gutermann polyester thread.

5. Where to get your leather.  All the projects that I showed were using 'recycled' leather.  I used an old leather coat of Mr. Riley's and also purchased three leather skirts from the thrift store.  I paid $3.00 each!  The leather used for clothing is not the thick leather used for making shoes and belts.  It is easier to sew on a domestic machine.  It really does act just like fabric.  If you are looking for large pieces without seams, I'm sure there are many online sources.  I just went with what was easiest (and cheapest).

 6. Cutting your leather.  I found that a rotary cutter worked quite well.  The leather could lay flat while I cut around pattern pieces that were held with weights.  Remember, no pins.  I wouldn't use the blade you used on leather to go back and cut silk, though.

 If I missed something, or you have any questions, just let me know and I will try to answer them.
Here is a list of things I made out of leather.
Boot Cuffs
Sword Belt Attachment

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