Just a quick post to show you the leather top I recently finished. Seeing all the leather on the runways and in the fashion magazines had me chomping at the bit to add some more leather to my wardrobe. For this top I took a leather/wool jersey top I made last year and was never in love with, and used the leather for the center panel (light tan). Deep burgundy leather makes up the sides, sleeves and back. I was able to sew this up rather quickly because I used a tried-and-true pattern, Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2192, which is a bateau-neck, pullover top with no darts.
This top is actually very comfortable to wear, kind of like a lightweight sweatshirt. It looks cute with the sleeves pushed up and worn with jeans and a bold necklace. I may decide to convert the sleeves from long to short, but I’ll wait until I’ve worn it for a day (too warm here in NYC to wear it yet).
– lambskin leather from Mood NYC (Dmitry from our leather department is a font of knowledge about sewing leather and I go to him all the time; he’s pictured below)
– used regular sewing machine needle and good old Gutterman thread
– switched to a teflon foot to help the leather move easier with the feed dogs
– had fun pounding seams with my rubber mallet (seriously, this is my favorite part of working with leather)
If you have a pattern that works for you again and again, why not think about sewing it in leather? Leather behaves like a dream fabric and is not at all hard to sew. My best advice is to set your machine speed to turtle, and set your seams so the only adjustment you may need to make is to take your seams in, not out. (Needles leave permanent holes in leather; you want to avoid that.) You can sew leather for garments perfectly fine with your current sewing machine. The only investment you may want to make is in a teflon foot, but those are less than $10.
Mood NYC and Mood LA both have leather departments with ample selections of leathers from designers like Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta. But if you aren’t ready yet to try the real thing, we have loads of faux leathers online here. So tell me, have you sewn with leather before? What did you make?