Finally Working with Leather

In my last post I talked about how excited I was to finally able to work with leather. When I was in school at the Fashion Institute of Technology I worked with leather all the time since I was working on industrial sewing machines. But when I left and started working at home on a home machine I couldn’t find a machine that could handle leather, even lambskin though thin, would as I added layers the machine would always bind up or just totally skip stitches.

I bought a Singer Heavy Duty thinking it would work on the leather, but again no go… So try, try again.

I first test the machine on the thin Lambskin, ran into some simple problems that you don’t get with fabric. First no pins, since they would leave pin marks. I remembered in school we used something as simple as rubber cement. If used carefully it will not stain the leather and when dry rubs right off. When the glue dried it didn’t gum up the machine and held the pieces in place nicely. Also one could use clips if worried about staining lighter leathers.

Looking to get the wrinkles out of the leather before cutting, I found a great video that will show you how easy it can be done.

I decided it would be best to start small so I decided to make a clutch with a simple leather upper:

Zip Clutch Black Sparkle Black Leather Silver Circle Handle Wristlet

ZipClutch_blackleather_Sparkle_side ZipClutch_blackleather_Sparkle

As you can see the bag came out well, though again I ran into another issue with sewing with leather.

Since the clutch has a zipper, I needed to keep in place while sewing, an again rubber cement came to the rescue.

That bag came out so well, I decided to try a thicker leather on a shopper tote bag.

Shopper Tote Bag Shiny Black Leather Shimmer Canvas Silver Eyelet Handle

toteleathershinyblack_silverhandletoteleathershinyblack_silverhandle_folded

The bag has leather on the outer and the inner to add strength, so this meant I had to sew through two layers of leather. I also wanted to add some detailing so I made a simple thin strip of leather with a rick-rack edging. That added more layers of leather and the machine handled it nicely.

I found some tutorials for making leather handbags, so get sewing with leather. The results are spectacular and the leather has durability one likes in a bag.

http://sewbon.com/2014/02/27/buy-or-diy-leather-tote-bag/ 

http://cladandcloth.com/?p=719 

http://transientexpression.com/tutorial-tuesday-leather-foldover-clutch/ 

There are also some great blogs for working with leather:

https://thesewingdivas.wordpress.com/category/leather-sewing/

http://bagntell.wordpress.com/

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