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Cool Tips for Conquering Leather

Ready to conquer your leather fears and create the fabulous Trendsetter Purse we featured in Craft Stylish:Quick Stuff to Sew (Spring, 2008)? Here's everything you need to know to make sewing with leather a snap:

1. To reinforce leather seams, cut 1/2-inch strips of fusible interfacing. Lightly fuse in place using a press cloth and cool iron.

2. Use a Teflon presser foot to glide easily over the leather. Also use a Microtex needle to pierce the leather, but keep the holes small.

3. Cover your stitching area with strips of Glad Press 'n Seal wrap. It allows the presser foot to glide over the leather. (Even a Teflon foot can stick to patent leather.) It also tears off easily and leaves no residue.

4. Instead of pins, which can damage leather, use 1/4-inch binder clips to hold the leather as you sew.

5. Use a longer stitch length, about 8 stitches per inch.

6. Don't backstitch or overlap your stitching, which weakens the seam. Begin and end your stitches in the same holes and pull all threads to the wrong side and tie off.


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