Leather Sewing Techniques - Part 2

Leather Sewing Techniques – Part 2

Leather Sewing Techniques – Part 2

In this lesson, our master craftsman will demonstrate advanced leather sewing techniques. You will learn how to sew a zipper welt pocket and a zipper raw edge flap pocket, as well as how to create a decorative topstitching. Leather Sewing Techniques Part 2 is the second in our leather series where we demonstrate the process of sewing a stylish leather jacket designed by New York manufacturer Andrew Marc. The techniques used in these lessons can be applied to any leather garment, whether it be a leather pant, skirt, top, dress or coat.

Once you master these techniques, you will want to move on to Leather Sewing Techniques Part 3.

Module Description Step
1 Leather Sewing Tools & Tips 1-2
2 Welt/Zipper Pocket 1-11
3 Flap Pocket & Zipper 1-11
4 Multi Topstitching Rows 1-8
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MODULE 1 • Leather Sewing Tools & Tips

Step Description
1 This lesson builds on two of our other leather lessons where we have demonstrated how to interface and stabilize the seams of this Andrew Marc leather jacket and our leather sewing techniques Part 1 lesson.
2 When sewing leather there are several tips to consider:

——-Tools & Tips When Sewing Leather———

1. Sewing Machine

  • For this lesson we are using an industrial walking foot machine to assemble the leather jacket pieces.
  • Another option is an industrial bottom-feed lockstitch machine, though it may not be able to handle thicker leather layers.
  • If you are using a home sewing machine be sure that it can handle the weight and thickness of your leather layers otherwise you could seriously damage your machine.

2. Thread

  • Use either a polyester core spun or a bonded nylon thread when sewing leather and suede. Recommended brands include Coats & Clark, Gütermann, Gunzetal and A & E.
  • Seams: a fine, yet strong thread is used on the top and in the bobbin of the machine when assembling a leather or suede garment. The recommended size is a Tex40/TKT 80 thread.
  • Topstitching: A strong and thicker thread is used on top of the machine only. The recommended size is a Tex105/TKT 30 thread.

3. Stitch Length

  • Seams – set your sewing machine’s stitch length for 7 stitches per inch (2.5cm). If you make more stitches per inch than 7, you will run the risk of tearing the leather at the stitching line.
  • Topstitching – you can keep you stitch length at 7 stitches per inch (2.5cm), the same as for your seam stitching, or you can go for 5 stitches per inch (2.5cm), for a more dramatic effect.

4. Needle Size

  • Use a tri-point or diamond point sewing machine needle. Use a size 16 for suede and either a 16 or 18 for leather.
  • For leather hand sewing use a glover’s needle. These needles range in size from 2-8 and also have a tri-point tip, making it easier to penetrate the leather. The perfect size for sewing buttons onto a leather or suede garment is a size 2.

5. Machine Foot/Plate/Attachments

  • Change your sewing machine’s presser foot, teeth and plate to a Teflon® presser foot, teeth and plate. This will make the leather glide more easily through the machine.
  • A sewing machine gauge attachment used as a guide for sewing seams and topstitching.

6. Glue

  • Certain portions of a leather garment will need to be glued, like seams, hems and certain layers.
  • We use Barge Cement that we pour into a glue gun.
  • You could also use a white glue that dries clear such as Magna-Tac 809 or Sobo glue.

7. Tools

  • Ball Peen Hammer – with a small smooth head for flattening seams.
  • Awl – for hiding threads and turning corners.
  • Cold Tape – for keeping seams from stretching while they are sewn.
  • Screwdriver – for changing machine feet and used when sewing certain areas of a garment.
  • Roller Tool – for smoothing and flattening seams after gluing.
  • Fabric Shears – for trimming areas of the garment while sewing.
  • Iron with Teflon Shoe and Ironing Board – to press the garment and garment parts as you sew.
  • Brown Paper 7” (17.8cm) Square – for pressing leather


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