In my world ‘ideas’ just come from odd places. A favourite image, a lustrous media and before you know it… Another unique project. The story of the leather leaf is one of those; just way too easy.
For the love of leather:
How can anyone just toss beautiful leather?! Alright I may fondly blame my mother for my tendencies; as she had an appreciation for certain fabrics in her line of work as a milner. She would save leather and alter or make things. I now do the same, especially knowing that some may just end up in the landfill.
This beautiful top grain leather jacket was strong and thin enough to sew with my home machine(s). I have vintage Kenmore machines that are all metal & always step up to the challenge. The old garment is carefully disassembled and yields some nice large pieces, much cheaper than buying hides.
If you are concerned of cleanliness, the pieces or the coat can be washed. Hand wash in cool water with a bit of Murphy’s oil soap. Let drip dry and condition with a leather conditioner. (more on that soon)
When I embarked in this web-venture I actually never had a distinct direction. It has just evolved on it’s own per se. My love of nature led to eco printing and that led to the leaf motif. I am in the process of designing purses currently and these became embellishment (skip ahead of you like)
Such Simple Shapes:
The oblong shape of a leaf is perfect, it has a centre line and so many options of edge and vein designs. No perfect rules here… TIP: If you want to make sure that you have success, don’t pick too complicated shapes.
Sewing leather sometimes means that it will not slide under the presser foot. Some ‘magic’ tape under the foot, a bit of talcum, or a ‘walking foot‘ do help. Another TIP: Why have the stress of sewing to an exact edge? Sew first and then cut afterward, especially when making a double layer leaf.
If you need to keep pieces in place, a few pieces of double sided tape will hold it, and also a rub a bit of soap on the needle for extra slide.
I don’t like plan too much, just figure out as a I go. Line down the middle, back and zig zag some veins… You will get to see the purse soon, I promise.
After sewing it’s easier to cut along the sew-lines. Each is unique and super quick.
These leaves can be sewn to fabric or leather or even made as hang tags. I think they are the new replacement for tassels! Yes, you guessed it! I have my own anvil! (ok you NEED one for these)
They make great zipper pulls tabs.
Cut a small strip and don’t forget to insert the ring (d-ring or split ring) and then hammer will the tool for the domed rivets. You can also use a pull type pop-rivet as I used in my no-sew purse.
I am always looking at the details of designs. It can make such a difference. Yes, a sneak peak of the eco printing on leather that I have been working on.
Since the leather was not very thick the leaves add some thickness and shape to the purse.
I’m so excited to get some great prints on leather and ‘yes’ there will be some info available soon.
This cream upholstery leather is some small remnants that I could not resist…
…especially on my latest achievement; an Eco Printed purse. Go practice sewing some lovely little leaves and get ready for some serious purse designing.