If you want to sew your own leather bag, then there are a few things that you need to learn before you go shopping for supplies and pick up a needle. While sewing leather bags may not seem difficult, if you are not careful, then you can easily make a very expensive mistake, making it clear why preparation is so important.
By understanding how to select a pattern for your new leather bag, as well as the best techniques for sewing, you can make sure that you end up with a leather bag that is functional and attractive.
What Goes into Choosing a Pattern?
Choosing a pattern is very important, especially since there are so many different types of leather bags that you can make. Rather than wasting your time or money on a bag that won’t really meet your needs, when you carefully choose the best pattern for your use, then you can make sure that you will end up with a bag that you love.
To learn more about choosing or designing a pattern that will work for you, Alana Brajdic, a product designer, shares some insight on Medium.
We agree with her that the first step in choosing or making a pattern is to decide what you want your bag to accomplish. If you need a work bag that can hold your laptop, as well as some files that you are working on, then you will need to look for a different design than a bag that is perfect for going out with friends.
Consider the size of the bag, how many pockets there are, and how long the straps are so that you can be sure your bag will be really comfortable when you wear it.
Why Should You Sew by Hand?
While you may think that sewing your new leather bag with a machine will make the process a lot faster and easier, the opposite is actually true. On Martha Stewart’s site you can easily learn not only about the different tools that you will need to sew leather, but also why sewing it by hand is much faster, easier, and will result in a higher quality product.
If you want to make a bag that you are proud of then skip the machine and pick up a quality needle. When you sew by hand, you will have a lot more control over the tension of the thread that you are using, which means that it is much less likely that you will have to remove your stitches and replace them additionally.
Since leather is often very thick and can easily break your needles, when you sew by hand, you can make sure that you only insert your needle into holes that you have already made in the leather. This will ensure that you have perfectly spaced stitches and that they are even and look their best.
How to Sew Thick Leather?
If you want to make a bag out of thick leather, then there are extra steps that you will have to take to ensure that you don’t run into problems. Purchasing quality tools are important, and the experts at High on Glue provide this list of items that you will want to buy before you start trying to sew your leather bag:
- Leather pieces for practice
- Leather for your final project
- Stitching Wheel
- Sewing Awl
- Stitching Groover
- Waxed Thread
By using the stitching wheel and stitching groover you will be able to mark in the leather where your stitches are going to go. While this is important to do on any leather, it is imperative if you are working on thicker leather, as having your stitches marked will give you more control over your needle and prevent it from breaking.
You can use the sewing awl to help punch holes through your leather so that your needles won’t break. If you want to sew a leather bag and are interested in making sure that you have the best possible outcome from your efforts, then you need to make sure that you buy quality leather, use a great pattern, and have all of your necessary tools.
Taking your time and practicing on a piece of scrap leather will give you the confidence you need.