I made a life changing discovery this afternoon. I can stitch leather with my sewing machine!
Beyond thrilled right now. I started working with leather a few years ago, but up until now, I was doing it by hand. It didn't occur to me that my machine could handle it. I thought I would need an industrial one. Nope. Not so. I should have tried this out long ago!
All you need is a sewing machine needle made to work on leather and some upholstery thread. A few adjustments on your machine and you're good to go.
I purchased the needle and thread last week at Michael Levine, one of the best fabric stores in Los Angeles, located in DTLA's fashion district.
Schmetz leather needles, 5 for $4.99. (One is already in my sewing machine.)
Coats & Clark extra strong upholstery thread, on sale for $2.20 at Michael Levine.
I just swapped out the needle I had in my machine with the leather needle, threaded the upholstery thread, and tried it out. Totally worked!
I have three sewing machines, but the one I use the most is my White. This vintage 1960s beauty was given to me years ago by one of my mom's best friends, Esther. She knew I liked to sew and her sewing years were behind her. She has since passed away, but I think of her every time I sew.
When Esther gave me the machine, she also gave me the owner's manual, which came in handy today!
I had to look up how to adjust the tension since I was stitching on leather with extra heavy thread.
This diagram is perfect for me since I'm so visual. My machine was giving me Fig. 17. "When the upper tension is too loose, the upper thread forms loops over the lower thread lying flat on the fabric."
So, I fixed it! Woot!
Now, on to my project! I'm going to make a leather tote bag. Sneak peek of pattern idea below. Stay tuned!