Dec 1, 2015

denim and leather experiment

For something fun and new... I've been experimenting with sewing leather. Not sure where these ideas come from... but I recycled some old jeans and made my own pattern for a patchwork denim purse. Then I trimmed it with leather and made leather handles.

I kept the jeans pockets intact for the pockets inside the purse. No need to reinvent the wheel! They're perfect for keys and a smart phone. I quilted the purse interior to soft and stable batting, then fused the outside denim layer to it.

I actually sewed this leather trim twice. Here's the first attempt. 

I didn't like the color of the leather... its a blue/gray dusty dyed leather and it just didn't look right. Too close to the color of the denim. So I ripped it off and redid it in the fuchsia trim. This was all an experiment to learn how to sew leather anyway.
I tried a lot of different threads. I ended up with Isacord polyester in the top and bobbin. Anyone have any experience sewing with leather? I'd love to hear your tips!!! 

I purchased this leather roller foot for my Bernina and tried to use it. I thought it'd be especially useful on the handles by gripping the leather in a tight area. Turns out... after experimenting with it over and over, I could NOT get it to work. It just never gripped anything (even when I turned the foot pressure ALL the way up) and the stitching looked awful. So I ditched it and used my trusty zipper foot and the teflon foot. Both of which worked fine. Sadly, this was a waste of $95! Anyone know any tricks to using this foot?



I ended up purchasing my first Craftsy class on how to sew leather. It was a Black Friday sale and the class was only $20. Of course, I watched the class AFTER I had sewn this bag... would have been helpful before. But I did learn a lot and I am geared up to sew an entire bag of leather. Can't wait.

More to come.

3 comments:

  1. So fun to see this! I liked the blue handles when you showed me your bag in Houston, but I love the fuschia ones even more!! The bright color really does pop off the denim. I still need to try doing some leather work.... Glad to know you don't need the special foot, but I'm sorry you learned the expensive way.

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  2. For your first, or I guess 2nd try at sewing leather it's fabulous! Love the pockets on the inside. I never use anything but a narrow pipping foot to do the piping on the handles, and a plastic roller foot like you would use for sewing vinyl. See if you can return that foot. Because you can't use pins with leather make sure you have wonder clips, I don't use the metal office clips they leave marks on the leather. If you have a leather that marks easily, use a piece of fleece to cover the leather then clip it. Make sure that you are using a new (for every project) leather needle for your machine. And last but not least, don't be afraid to trim closer to your stitches, leather doesn't fray.

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  3. The leather rolling foot was designed for sewing around tight curves such as glove fingers. It does a good job of curvy quilting with the feed dogs up. Look at Feetures or ask your Bernina dealer for a demonstration of how to use it. It is not for regular sewing!

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