Hey guys and HAPPY SATURDAY!
I am so excited to be sharing a project of mine for the Gleeful blog hop going on right now! The Leather Hide Store contacted me a couple of months ago and wanted to work together. I jumped on board because 1. I have never sewn with leather, and 2. I’ve always wanted to sew with leather .. so, yeah! It was the perfect timing!
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I saw that Willow and Co Patterns were going to be releasing a new bag pattern for their collection. I just about died when I saw the design of the bag: I had to have it. The design features a contrasting bottom portion of a sturdy, good-sized bag, so I thought about the leather that was on its way to me and BAM I had an idea. So I purchased the pattern and started cutting and sewing that very same day!
Let me speak about the pattern to start. This is a s t u r d y bag: three layers of fabric each with interfacing. I tried my best to not purchase any supplies for this project, so the inside of this bag is full of different weights of interfacings scrapped together (I am sure it looks pretty funny on the inside, really). But on the outside you can’t tell, and I tried to layer the lighter interfacings to make them seam the same weight as the others– you can’t tell at all when handling the bag. In fact, I nearly succeeded in my task of not purchasing any materials and just had to buy a matching zipper. HOORAY!
The bag consists of an inside pocket and two outside pockets. The front outside pocket (I used a contrasting scallop print fabric) is smaller and the back outside pocket takes up the entire back of the bag. It would have been great for storing books, magazines, etc. if I hadn’t accidentally sewn the straps on all the way through – oops! Minor details 😉 The only change I made to this pattern was the straps. I used two 1 1/2″ x 38″ strips of leather for each strap. I sewed them wrong sides together (left the leather edges raw) and used those for my straps instead of using regular fabric.
On to the leather. I suppose I am a bit biased when it comes to leather, since I’ve never handled or sewn with it before.. but this stuff from Leather Hide Store was amazing! It is soft to the touch, like your favorite worn in handbag, and it sewed easier than I had expected, with only a few frustrating moments. Those moments, however, were easily remedied when I would change my needle! That was the key, guys: changing that needle! when it would start to skip stitches or just go really slowly, or make horrible noises, I switch that needle and all was right again. I sew on a Janome 4120 and although it isn’t a powerhouse machine, it sewed through the leather just fine: no problems here! ((PS- I just upgraded machines and absolutely love this one. It is JUST what I need for the kind of sewing I do))
A couple of tips for sewing with leather:
-Use a leather needle (be sure to have several on hand and change your needles as they get dull)
-Sew using a teflon foot- this helps the leather slide through
-Go slowly and increase your stitch length if you need to
-DON’T BE SCARED! It’s fun and feels very rewarding afterwards!
Ok so on to some photos. Oh, and be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the GIVEAWAY with Leather Hide Store!
Oh, and I wanted to mention this cute necklace my friend Megan at Flawed Perfection Jewelry made for me that coordinates with my Gleeful line of fabrics! So cute, right?! Thanks, Megan!!
Now, WHO wants to win $50 credit to The Leather Hide Store? Their remnant bin is da BOMB and is where my leather hide of fabric came from!