Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Explore the Pleasures of Pleather - and Leather!

Pacific Fabrics just got an amazing new shipment of fun vinyls in textures, colors, and more, perfect for purses, pillows, seatcovers, accessories, or whatever you can dream up. We also sometimes get in shipments of wonderful soft genuine leather hides. I was excited to experiment with my first leather project (little baby shoes for my Annika) but first I wanted to be sure I had everything I needed, and understood sewing with leathers, so here's some tips I found and wanted to share with you!

1. Use a leather needle.  We carry these from Schmetz or Classe - they have sharp bladelike points that cut a neat little hole, letting your thread go through the fiber without shredding.

2. Use a larger stitch length- each hole in the leather weakens the fabric slightly, so less holes is preferable.

3. Instead of pins, try mini-clothespins. We sell these in our craft basics aisle, and they prevent pin holes and creases in your leather and vinyl textiles.  Instead of basting, try Wondertape, a double-sided tape that can be sewn through.

4. If you find your project is not moving easily along your feed plate or presser foot, try using a layer of tissue paper on the side or sides it is sticking on. Easy to tear away when you are finished stitching!  We sell Golden Threads quilting paper, designed to tear easily out of stitches in our quilting aisle, and it works just perfectly for this.  A Teflon presser foot, available from your sewing machine dealer, can also help.

5. Choose your pattern wisely! Patterns designed for vinyl and leather materials are the best, but other simple patterns can be used with a little adjusting. Avoid ruffles,  pleats, small pieces and topstitiching.

6. Stitch slowly and carefully - if you have to take out stitches, there will be holes, which are both ugly and weaken your leather or pleather. Plan carefully, go slowly, and only stitch once!

Now, which baby shoes to make?

 - Anna-Beth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Make the felt ones (second pattern - so cute! And post a pic!)