First it was felt – and now it’s leather! Everyone is loving handmade leather jewellery and accessories at the moment, so we decided to find out more about this fun trend and pick up some tips for sewing with leather…
How can I start sewing with leather?
Sewing with leather is remarkably like sewing with felt as you don’t have to worry about fraying edges. However, leather has a more professional finish than felt and is generally a more durable and hard-wearing material. It’s easy to have a go, as you don’t need much specialist equipment.
To start sewing with leather all you really need is a piece of leather, some scissors, topstitching thread (like Gutermann Mara 30) and a leather needle. Leather needles are thick and incredibly sharp with a triangular tip designed to pierce through the leather, so be careful when using them! It’s important to use a special leather needle, as standard sewing needles won’t be strong enough. If you intend to make lots of things with leather, you may also benefit from a leather punch and a thimble (to protect your fingers when pushing the sharp leather needle).
Leather can be expensive to buy, so it’s worth hunting around for a bargain. Spend some time searching for a good online supplier, but bear in mind that softer leather will be easier to work with. You can upcycle leather from old clothing and bags too, so keep your eyes peeled in your local charity shop. If you like the look of leather but aren’t keen on using the real thing, PVC leatherette makes a great cheaper alternative too.
What can I make with leather?
With the help of a few jewellery-making tools and findings, you can transform your leather creations into earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches, keyrings and hair clips. You can create a case for your mobile phone or digital tablet, and you can even embellish existing leather items (like shoes and gloves) with appliqued designs.