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Topic: Leather vs. Lazy Machine- can it win?  (Read 2483 times)
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Aryante
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« on: February 09, 2012 05:47:29 PM »

So, I bought a pair of leather pants, the leather feels extremely thin and soft (Like amazingly soft), to make into a bodice. Then someone mentioned that leather requires all these special tools im order to work it.
I have a little sewing machine, it serves me pretty well considering the machine's quality. But I'm wondering if the leather will be safe if i just force in through the machine anyway. The pretty side of the leather won't be touching the dogger feet, therefore won't be damaged.

Will a machine cope though? Or should I start counting my pennies for all those special tools even though I'm sure I'll never use leather again?
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amazing_784
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012 07:39:38 PM »

Is there a small piece of leather you can sacrifice to test out your machine on it?  There's no way anyone can really answer your question as it is now, since we don't know what kind of machine or what the leather is actually like. 
Check out how well your machine works on a little bit of the leather, and that will answer your question.  However, leather machine needles aren't that expensive, and that might be the one cheap thing you can do to make sewing with leather a little easier.  Good luck!
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JHall
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012 07:09:53 AM »

I agree with the above. I have a low-end machine and the one time I used it with leather, it was fine. But, I credit the small investment in leather needles for my success.
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Alexus1325
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012 07:09:14 PM »

Like JHall said, leather needles are absolutely essential, because they're thicker than universals and the hole is actually lower down the shank to avoid skipped stitches. Don't forget to set your stitch length to much longer than usual to avoid having the stitch-line tear the leather apart.

If you're sewing leather together shiny side to shiny side, you shouldn't need any special tools or sewing machine feet. The feed dogs can grip the suede side quite nicely, and it's also a rough enough texture that it won't stick to the foot. I find a walking foot (even-feed foot) to be useful for sewing leather and vinyl, but it's not absolutely essential if you're careful and pay attention to your stitching.

If you need to topstitch or sew shiny-side-out for some reason, put a piece of tissue or tracing paper in between the leather and the foot to keep it from sticking, or between the leather and the feed dogs so they don't mar the shiny finish. I use wax paper, but it can be tricky to get out of the stitches.

Avoid having to sew over more than two layers of leather. If you have a seam where 3 or 4 layers meet, set your machine to turtle or even hand-crank it over the seam. It doesn't hurt to wear safety glasses, either, because the needle can and does break if you abuse it enough.

Best of luck, and have fun!
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Aryante
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012 07:29:10 PM »

So, I cut all my pattern pieces so that I could have scraps to practice with and I have learned that my machine ( a Brother LX3125) will handle the leather smoother than cream. It won't sew through twill, but leather it likes Sad

Where do you recommend I get a leather needle? The local JoAnn's doesn't carry any and the Quilting stores couldn't answer.
And I noticed when I was practicing that the leather slips against itself with the shiny sides together, is there a way to fix that?
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JHall
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012 07:34:26 PM »

Joann doesn't have any? I purchased mine from a Joann. Hancock should have them, too. An upholstery fabric store might carry them? If the leather is slipping you could try using tape.
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Aryante
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012 07:42:44 PM »

The only Leather needles they had were from Schmetz(Sp?) and the woman at the counter said she didn't know if they would fit my machine. And tape sounds brilliant!
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JHall
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012 07:46:45 PM »

I think that's the brand I have, and they fit in my Brother just fine.
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edelC
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012 05:07:18 AM »

try a glue stick to 'tack' the pieces together, just a tiny blob here and there, or double sided tape well clear of the seam line so you can pull it off afterwards
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Alexus1325
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012 05:26:47 AM »

I noticed when I was practicing that the leather slips against itself with the shiny sides together, is there a way to fix that?

Paperclips. Just like pins, remove as you sew Cheesy
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steiconi
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012 06:45:31 PM »

leather needles are sort of wedge-shaped so they cut, not tear the leather.  Get them on ebay if not locally available.

Don't use glue of any kind with your sewing machine.  Use paperclips as edelC suggested or bulldog clamps made for holding papers together.
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rottenlittleboys
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012 10:31:21 AM »

The only Leather needles they had were from Schmetz(Sp?) and the woman at the counter said she didn't know if they would fit my machine. And tape sounds brilliant!


I realize this post is old, but may I?

Schmetz needles are a good brand of needle. I have used them almost exclusively for years, including the leather needles, in both my Brother and Bernina sewing machines.

A needle not fitting your machine would be rare. That part of the sewing machine has not really changed much in the last 120 years or so.

This is a very good bit of info on different needle sizes.

http://exuberantcolor.blogspot.com/2008/07/sewing-machine-needles.html
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012 10:41:54 AM by rottenlittleboys » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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