Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sewing on Leather

 I've had some old leather boots sitting around for a couple years now... I don't wear them because the soles are broken, and I slip and fall. I couldn't just throw them away though, the leather was still in fairly good condition, other than a couple scratches. Since they were inexpensive to begin with, I didn't feel bad about cutting them apart to use for other things. For a tester project, to see how my sewing machine handles leather, I made a leaf bowl:

  I used this template, but greatly reduced the size so it would fit on a solid portion of boot. Because I shrank it down so much, it isn't as defined as the original, but it still looks like a leaf. =) It was harder than I expected, but not because my machine couldn't handle it. With a leather needle in, my machine worked beautifully on this. The hard part was holding those itty-bitty darts together while sewing them! Wonder clips might have helped, but even with those it probably would have been difficult. To give you a better idea of how small this bowl is... these are regularly sized pins:

  I have no idea what I'll use it for, since I have a lovely pincushion (from my sister) and I don't wear jewelry. Any suggestions? It was fun to make, in spite of the difficulties, and I think a large one from stiffer leather would be beautiful for fruit or as part of a centerpiece.The back is a little messy. I didn't realize my boots had so much going on inside them to retain the structure! There was glue, interfacing, a lining, and mesh support... messy. I managed to peel most of it off, but it still isn't as pretty as I would like:

  Once that was done, I cut some more pieces out and made a soft glasses case:

  At first I made it so all the seams were on the inside, but I couldn't get the back to lay flat that way. So I sewed the gussets at the bottom right sides together, and all the rest of it wrong sides together.

  It isn't perfect, but it is certainly better than having my glasses knocking around the car when I'm not wearing them! (I only wear them while driving. )
  These were both pretty easy to make, and fun. They really didn't take a lot of leather either... I only used about 2/3 of one boot for both. Now I'm curious to try heavier-weight leather, and see what my machine can do. =)

Thanks for stopping by!