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Leather sampling

educo | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hi again!

I’d like to make my first pair of leather pants, no extra details, just slant front pockets.
I’ve worked with leather before and make a nice handbag, but since this is a garment and fit is of critical importance, I’d like to ask some of you what would you recommend as a fabric to run some fit samples in before I go to the leather?

Would I purchase Ultra Leather? Wouldn’t that be just as expensive?

Any help would be appreciated!


  1. damascusannie | | #1

    The problem with leather is that it doesn't have the give of most fabrics. Remember that episode of "Friends" when Ross got stuck in his new leather pants? I'd try a heavy canvas and make sure to allow enough ease--you'll need more than you would for denim or other pants.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #3

      That was so funny!  I love that show!  Mary

    2. educo | | #4

      Hmm, well I'm planning to purchase stretch leather, I looked at it at the store it has some kind of fused backing to it as I'm making a pair of narrow pants. Would you recommend getting a stretch woven instead? I asked what percentage the stretch was and they didn't answer. I'm going to another source and ask them before I make a decision. I always thought that leather, at least lambskin has some natural give and it will stretch over time, which is why you needed seam stabilizers and such.Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it!

      1. damascusannie | | #5

        Leather is just a whole different kettle of fish than fabric. I have a girlfriend that makes motorcycle leathers, chaps for horsemen, and leather clothing for re-enacters. If you want to e-mail your questions to me privately, I can forward them to Annie (Yes, we're both Annie) and let her answer your questions in person.

  2. cycler1729 | | #2

    I sewed a pair of heavy suede (cowhide) slacks many years ago and the waist kept stretching out until it was too big to stay on.  I'm sure that there is a way to prevent it but I didn't know how at the time.

  3. Teaf5 | | #6

    Unless you ride motorcycles or horses, there are not a lot of places to comfortably wear leather pants.  They must be lined and are extremely warm indoors, even in a cool climate.  While natural leathers feel nice to the touch, they don't breathe, bend, or stretch well; perhaps that's why they are more often made into vests, boots, jackets, and hats. 

    A soft, buttery suede, though, is another matter; I wore an unlined, sleeveless top of buttery suede for years and loved how it matched my skin temperature in warm and cold weather.

    If you decide to make the leather pants, try using tablecloth or upholstery vinyl for the muslin; it has some of the similar properties but is often on sale for quite cheap.  Some of it even looks like leather, allowing you to get a better idea of the look of the final garment.

    1. educo | | #7

      Thanks again for the advice. I do know that there are difficulties in sewing garments in leather which is why I had to ask about sampling because even though it's a "simple" pant, it does not negate the importance of getting this right.I have thought about vinyl as a testing alternative. I know places that have them for cheap so I will go ahead with that plan.I also plan to make one in a buttery suede as well, but it's my nature to tackle the more difficult ones first.Annie, it would be nice to ask your friend some questions and for tips. I know very little about leather and I have a couple items planned to make in leather, so it would be nice to speak to her.

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