Chances are you’ve been eyeing leather jackets, skirts, or bags and you wanted to buy them but can’t afford them.
You know you have a sewing machine back at home but you’re wondering “can I sew these jackets or bags at home with my regular sewing machine?
The answer to this question can be a yes and can be a no!
Well, if the leather garment isn’t beyond the capacity of your machine you can sew it and most leather garments used in clothing and bags are soft leather, meaning your typical sewing machine can deal with it.
On the other hand, there is leather embroidery your sewing machine can’t handle even if you make a replacement with all the necessary tools needed.
We’re talking of leather that’s thick and hard, even thin leather sometimes can be difficult to pierce through with long needles.
Chances are the leather material you bought at the store can be used on your sewing machine because most of them don’t have the original texture as the ones used by companies to create high quality accessories.
I am sorry to say this but most of the leather in stores including online stores is fake.
But who cares if it looks great and feels real, most people hardly tell the difference especially if you come up with unique designs.
If you learn how to stitch leather on the sewing machine you can create a complete outfit or small accessories like peplums, sleeves, and collars or you can do anything that can make you stand out from the crowd.
You have lots of options when it comes to choosing leather, you can use faux or real leather.
If you want to work with light and soft leather you should consider real leather. It will not strain your machine and you don’t really need to replace most of your tools.
And as a beginner at working with leather, it’s better to stick with soft leather since it’s easier to stitch, as you practice more you can work on multiple layers or thick leather.
Whatever the case might be, after choosing leather of your taste there are some techniques you need to employ in order to ensure you successfully sew leather on your sewing machine at home.
Use The Right Presser Foot
If you are lucky the presser foot on the sewing machine might work on the leather but most of the time you have to replace it with a better foot that doesn’t stick to the leather while you’re working.
If your regular foot doesn’t work you need to change a Teflon foot or roller foot, they work well on leather than any other presser foot.
Changing Your Needle
This is a must because you’ll hardly find a needle that works the cotton and at the same time work smoothly on leather.
The heavy-duty needle is required with a sharp tip that pierces through leather with less resistance.
Get as many packets as you can if your project demands dealing with multiple layers because you will be breaking needles every now and then.
But if that happens too often it means the needles aren’t fit for the leather garment.
Adjust Stitch Length
The normal stitch requires a small length while leather demands increased length, the setting when working with leather is about 3.5. This isn’t a rule but your length has to be longer than the normal stitch.
The Best Thread To Use
Since you’re dealing with different needles you know that the thread should also differ.
The thread to use is either silky or polyester threads, the former is the best but expensive, it isn’t used by many.
Polyester or nylon is more popular and cost-effective for sewing leather.
It isn’t a must to use heavy-duty stitching thread, but it looks better on your patterns.
You should however make sure the needle holes and your thread fit together or else you know how things are going to look like.
Holding Your Pieces
Holding your cutting pieces together is something you must do when dealing with leather and you can’t use a pin on the leather since it will end up leaving permanent marks.
You’ll have to use tape or clips to hold your pieces together.
The latter is a better option because it can be removed faster than tape.
They all work well; you just choose the one you’re comfortable with.
Test Before You Start Working
Sewing leather is unforgiving, wrong stitch can’t be undone since the marks and hole can’t be repaired.
You can’t fix your mistakes when working with leather and for this reason, you need to test until you’re sure you can stitch the exact pattern you want on your final piece.
After making all the necessary adjustments to your machine you need to test with a scrap out of your leather to ensure the settings will work smoothly on the leather material.
Before you begin everything you need a plan where you lay out what you want to accomplish.
If you want to design a bag or a jacket make sure to take the proper size so that you can buy enough materials to finish your project.
You don’t want to frequently visit the store always buying more stuff for your project.
Have a training guide by your side to help create any pattern you like, having all the necessary tools and guidance will definitely help you create better designs with fewer hassles.
Give It Some Time
Things aren’t going to happen overnight, if things didn’t work at the beginning it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
It just means you need more practice and work harder.
You have to be persistent if you want to be good at anything, so don’t give up easily.
I believe everyone can stitch leather using a regular sewing machine and you don’t even need to be a professional tailor to accomplish this goal.
Once you know the basics of operating a sewing machine you can get started right away keeping the technique we’ve shared in this article.
If you’re serious about sewing leather, I recommend you check out my guide to best leather sewing machines.