Where’s my leather needle?

For someone like me who normally stays away from leather alterations it has been a busy season. There have been garments I have not featured but this one deserves sharing.

This woman didn’t know what to buy for her husband this Christmas so she brought in this very old leather jacket with a very well worn back lining. I agreed to remove the old lining panel and replace it with a new one and she could buy the new fabric to match or contrast with the old brown one. My one reservation as with all leather projects is the thickness of all the layers and whether my machine will be able to go through them even with a leather needle. Looking at the gathered waistband I suggested that she ask a leather store if they would be able to use their machines to do the top and bottom of the new panel if I attached it on all the sides. Once she got a positive response she dropped off the fabric for me to start. I removed the old lining and made a new one.

I serged all the edges and made a pleat and seam down the center as that would be the only way the other leather shop would be able to get inside to do their stitching. Things went pretty well attaching fabric to fabric and then I thought about who was going to manhandle/attach this panel at neckline and elastic waistband hem. Would they be careful with my seams? Would they manage to pull the elastic just right to ease in all the lining hem? Then I decided to just try doing it myself using a zipper foot and not stitch through all the layers but right up against the seams near the collar. It worked great and then for the hem part.

I grabbed both ends of the waistband and the lining and held them together taut, also held my breath and slowly let the leather needle pound/slice it’s way through 4 layers of leather and elastic. Using a Teflon coated foot helped too and with the needle in the far left position everything worked well.

After taking a Diet Dr. Pepper break I noticed that the lining inside the sleeve cuff area was shredded for about 4 inches from the cuff edge half way up the zipper. Great….no one mentioned this little fact. Since my motto is this is not just my sewing room but a Clothing Clinic I had to get to work and make some extensions to the sleeve lining and figure out how to attach them as well. The zipper foot to the rescue and some hand sewing with a leather needle where it needed attaching to the sides of the zippers and it was done.

And what was left to do???

Spray that whole jacket with a leather conditioner and hang it up to dry.

After a good morning of sewing I rewarded myself with a trip to the grocery/department store to buy underpants for my husband as they had a coupon in the newspaper…buy one get 50% off….how could a girl pass up such a bargain? Not me!

Well my friends I hope you have a good day off tomorrow and all your relatives behave themselves….OK…one can ONLY hope!


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One Response to Where’s my leather needle?

  1. John Yingling says:

    You do amazing work! I am just starting to read through your blogs. One of the best in the inter web, and this comment coming from a fellow professional. And as a fellow colleague, a suggestion-how about buying a leather machine? For 20 years I had a Singer 111 walking foot with no reverse, but that machine could sew just about anything you put under it’s compound feet. I recently sold that and purchased a heavy duty Brother that can sew belting leather. Both machines have more than paid for themselves. The Singer can be found on your local Craigslist for $300; you probably paid more than that for an inexpensive home serger!

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