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Revitalizing a Leather Purse

Revitalized leather purse from Tuesday Stitches

I bought this worn leather purse at the thrift store thinking I would cannibalize it for the pretty hardware. And when I got it cleaned I noticed that the inside had crafty pocket construction so I set it aside thinking I’d wait to cut it apart until I could take some time exploring how the pockets were constructed. And after it had sat in my WIP pile long enough I decided that it was worth seeing if I could perk the leather back up and give it a second life as is. I think she’s looking good and ready to live her second life! I’m certainly no expert, but I did do a fair bit of reading to figure out the best approach to bring old leather back to life and the following was my approach. Clean the bag. I had already given the purse a thorough cleaning with soap …

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10 Tips for Sewing With Leather

Leather is the oldest material used for clothing and yet is always au currant. It can seem like such an exotic material to work with, and while it certainly can bring its own challenges, those challenges can be overcome. Here I share some tips that I have learned through my experiences in sewing with leather (for some recent examples and inspiration, see my Cooper backpack, my giant leather snail and its smaller friend). Some of these tips I was taught in the PopUp Britex class where I sewed my burgundy leather clutch. Preparing your sewing: 1) Lay the entire skin out on a table and lay all of your pattern pieces out on the leather before cutting to ensure that they all fit. Remember that leather doesn’t have a grainline so you can get creative with your pattern piece placement. 2) You can use a fine tip permanent marker to draw on the …

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Little Stuffed Leather Snail

My giant leather snail had babies. I had some scraps left of the leather coat that I used to sew my giant size Shelby the Snail pattern by Abby Glassenberg and decided to sew a couple of snails that were actual pattern size. I gave one to my soon-to-be-nephew Burke (along with the Northwest Baby Sweater I designed for him) and have the other earmarked for another friend’s baby. I thought that leather made for a great baby gift – sturdy, appropriate for teething, and quirkily unique. I sewed the snail on my sewing machine using a denim needle, stitching the stuffing holes closed by hand. On the giant snail, I sewed everything right sides together, as instructed, so all the seams were hidden. For these little guys, I decided to sew them wrong sides together so the that all of the seams are visible, making it a bit more …

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Burgundy Leather Clutch

Last week I went to another PopUp Britex. The first one I attended was about textiles. This one was a leather workshop, with Melissa Fleis, an SF  fashion designer known for being on Project Runway Season 10. It was at THE NWBLK, a gallery and workspace. I hadn’t been inside before, although I often ride past their big black warehouse door.  Being nosy, I peeped around a bit before the workshop started and saw some really interesting furniture and lighting in their display space. The workshop started with Melissa giving a bit of her background and a discussion of why she loves working with leather. She walked us through the the supplies available to us, and then gave a demonstration of cutting out a rectangle of fabric using a pattern, marking the leather, punching holes for stitching, and assembling a clutch. Britex supplied a lovely burgundy cow hide for us. They …

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Giant Leather Snail Stuffed Animal

I sewed a giant stuffed leather snail. Why? I got a harebrained idea and of course I had to follow up on it.  Not too long ago I saw that Nette had sewn a leather pug and I thought that making a giant leather stuffed animal was a great idea. The Shelly the Snail pattern is by Abby Glassenberg, a stuffed animal designer and blogger who I have long followed for her blog posts about running a small craft business.