For ages, leather has been used to make durable, stylish clothing, including fantastic wardrobe staples such as elegant shoes, versatile handbags, and even bold skirts or pants for the adventurous fashionistas. Leather is one of the sturdiest fabrics and lasts a long time. Because of its durability and time-consuming production process, however, leather products are sold at sky-high prices. If you’re going to invest in a leather handbag or jacket, you know you’re going to have to fork over a pretty penny.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to rock this luxurious look, though. You can use your sewing skills to make your own beautiful leather goods. Many sewists shy away from sewing with leather, afraid of working with such a strong, yet easily damaged fabric. At Seams and Scissors, we want you to know that you don’t have to be intimidated. Instead, learn How to Sew Leather with our Tips for Timeless and Trendy Sewing Projects. We have compiled some clever, helpful tips to teach you how to sew with leather. Once you learn these skills, you can put them to the test with our favorite gorgeous, easy sewing projects that use leather. Learning how to sew leather will open a world of possibilities. Check out our tips and get sewing!
Tips for Sewing with Leather
Use the right needle: You should use a needle made specifically for sewing leather. Leather needles have a sharper point that can cut through the thick fabric. You can buy leather needles at your local craft store.
Use the right thread: The best threads to use with leather are nylon and upholstery grade polyester. In general, synthetic threads are ideal because they won’t deteriorate. Use a sturdy, durable thread. For more information on selecting a thread, check out our ultimate thread guide.
Try some test stitches: If possible, test your stitches on a piece of scrap leather before beginning so that you can see which stitches work the best.
Cut out pieces one at a time: Because leather is so thick, you’ll want to cut each pattern piece out individually.
Trace patterns on the wrong side of the fabric: Use a marker rather than chalk or transfer paper.
Do NOT use pins: Pins will leave permanent, visible holes in your leather. Instead, use binder clips to hold your fabric together as you sew.
Use the right foot: A Teflon or running foot works best, but you can put a piece of tape on a universal foot to keep the leather from sticking. If you can, buy a special leather pressing foot.
Leave seams unfinished: Leather doesn’t fray, so you can leave edges raw and exposed for a beautiful, trendy look.
Simple and Sophisticated Leather Sewing Projects