Friday, May 25, 2012

For leather lovers

If you're like me, what you dream up as summer approaches can only be ready for the fall, at best. Budgeting, planning, studying... I don't "whip" anything up anymore.

Friends, making things with leather has always intrigued (and scared) me, and earlier posts of this Shop the Garment District blog has mentioned a few great sources for leather, skins, and related trims... but unless you are particularly inspired, I don't think you're just gonna start cutting into a $60 skin to "see what happens". Especially when you consider that a trip to Leather, Suede, Skins (one of my very favorites) involves an elevator, ringing a buzzer, maybe a bit of scrutiny before they even decide whether to let you in! Who wants to endure that, only to ruin what you purchase there? Hmmm... Maybe I have a bit of a complex about these things?

I can hear your inner voices mumbling as you read this...
"But... There's so much I don't know...What tools do I need? I can't iron skins... how do I manage the seams? What type of needle do I use? How do I stabilize? Leather isn't forgiving... so what if I make a stitching mistake?"

So I have curated this post, deferring to the best examples and advice I can find for the leather enthusiast. Come along!

Now... let's say you take a gander at (or study!) this book... I have a copy, and I just adore it.

Or Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide (yes, I am recommending it again... I just can't say enough about the quality of this book), which gives 30 pages of information, tools, and techniques for sewing with leather, suede, faux leather and fur.

Or read this post for some great tips..

Or visit this website... for inspiration. Just take a look at one of the greatest leather jackets imaginable! (sigh...)

Or this page of the same website for additional inspiration... but, inly if you really love over-the-top stylish, animal printed things... and who doesn't?

Or this page of the same site...which is responsible for my leather hoodie lust at the moment.

Or see the video below...which gives me exciting ideas for straps, belts, and embellishments. Hmmm...I'm thinking braided leather cuffs on a distressed brown denim jacket...

You might just get inspired!


  1. Hi Mimi, just a note to say thanks for keeping this fabulous blog alive and for your informative and interesting posts on the NYC Garment District, that I hope to visit IRL one day :) Not sure why I chose this post to let you know, as leather scares me too! However I have friends about to start a leather project so will pass on the link.

    1. Thank you! Any day you choose to say it is great!

  2. Thank you, Mimi. I've long wanted to try sewing leather. I have an old copy of the Claire Shaeffer book and will take a look at it.

    I was once reading a blog that suggested an inexpensive muslin material that was closer to leather than cotton muslin. I believe it was a vinyl-like material. I wonder if anyone has had experience with that.

    Or failing that, I wonder what the hierarchy of leather is. In other words, what should you start with first?

    New York Sewer


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