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Topic: sewing a leather bag  (Read 932 times)
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« on: March 12, 2008 11:48:38 AM »

Has anyone created leather bags?  I'm hoping to use some leather duster coats I got at the thrift store to make my husband and i bags for on our motorcycles but i'm totally paranoid to cut the leather.  i'm pretty experienced at making bags but figured i'd make a demo first to work out kinks.  is there anything i should know about sewing leather before i start (aside from use leather needle, no cotton thread)?  Does it sew pretty much like a heavy fabric?  Would i have to line it?  what technique should i use to turn seam allowances since an iron won't really work?

thanks for any help anyone can offer.
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Too lazy 2 work, too honest 2 steal, jst rt to sew

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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008 08:58:43 PM »

I'm on a public computer and running out of time;  I did the same thing Bought duster Leather coats at a thrift store. Other than what you mentioned, I found that it does sew up like heavy denim. But you have to be careful to not pin your pattern together. (Use paper clips) Otherwise you'll end up with pin holes.  Further, I'd suggest that you do make a toile of whatever you're going to make from the leather (A toile is a couture word for a trial copy.) and work out whatever kinks there might be in your pattern or your sewing or learning (if you have anything to learn) And, I too was very nervous of  cutting the leather. My only suggestion is make sure for certain that you have the right pattern pieces, double check the pattern pieces, cut carefully, and sew neatly. (If you have to rip a seam out, the holes will stay where they were put.) Further, if you haven't paid that much for your duster coat, chances are that you have gotten a huge bargain on your "fabric". Go for it and don't worry too much. Bonne Chance.
I checked out all my magazines and found the one I was looking for (Vogue Patterns magazine Oct/Nov a few years ago: it has an article about making handbags)  They suggest gluing the seam allowances down. I thought that was a lot of foolishness, but when I tore apart my leather dusters, I found that the seam allowances were really glued down. I was surprised.  I tried it and it worked just great.  (I just used a glue stick. It's still holding just fine) For leather, rather than doing to back up and go ahead to strengthen the end of a seam, leave the ends of the thread long and tie a double-knot and then cut the too long threads. Bonne Chance (b.t.w. that's French for Good Luck)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008 02:46:54 PM by hat-and-bag-lady » THIS ROCKS   Logged

A.T. Morel
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008 06:58:04 PM »

The nice thing about leather is you don't have to have the 'raw' edges hidden, you can lap the pieces instead. So where a fabric seam looks like this:

a leather seam can be done like this:

ok not the best representation but I hope you get the idea Smiley
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