How you can sew leather with your home sewing machine

Get those sewing machines working on some exciting leather or faux leather projects!

Before we start, we’re not for a moment suggesting that you can start adding heavy duty soles to leather shoes or making saddles at home (yeah, right), but there are a surprising number of wonderful tasks that can be undertaken with a home sewing machine.

So we’ve scoured internet land to come up with some of our favourite tips and how-tos with techniques and considerations that will demonstrate exactly how much can be achieved.


Tips for sewing leather on your regular home sewing machine

This can be found on the Create Space Adelaide website – there are so many wonderful Australian sewing sites out there!

Good news! You don’t need an industrial machine – a regular home machine will be fine for projects that involve thinner leather such as shoes and accessories. Use a leather needle and consider changing your sewing foot. Plenty of options are included here.

Top tip: “The type of thread you use in your machine is also important when sewing leather. Polyester (regular or upholstery)  or nylon threads are most commonly used for this purpose.”

How to sew leather with a standard sewing machine

Our thanks to Sherri Sylvester on eHow for this one.

This very reassuring how-to really starts off on the right foot “Leather is simple to sew on a standard sewing machine”.

The article continues with ten really sound considerations including “Lengthen your stitch” and our favourite “Use a hammer” – very good when you’ve had a tough day with the kids lol.

Top tip: “Thick leather seams can be hammered to reduce their height, making them easier to sew through.”

9 tips for sewing leather

A slightly older – but no less relevant piece here from Linda Reynolds on the good old Craftsy website.

“Leather and faux leather feels great and believe it or not, sewing with either of them is a cinch” is music to our ears.

Some very simple but highly significant considerations here that will save you a lot of potential grief as you proceed. No hammers unfortunately, but great fun nonetheless.

We love: “Raw seam edges can remain unfinished or can be exposed for a great organic look.”

Tutorial: sewing faux leather bag straps

Rather than leave you with just technique tips, we thought it would be a good idea to finish with a specific project that will enable you to hone your new-found skills. This tutorial comes courtesy of The Lonely Walnut blog and will help you get up and running in no time!

It’s simple and well presented and makes an ideal initial leather sewing project.

Top tip: “Flip the strap over and stitch one more line down the folded edge. This will help prevent the strap from twisting and add some visual symmetry.”

Send us YOUR sewing tips!

We’d love to hear from you! We may even publish details and links on our blog. Become part of the GUR Sewing Machine community by emailing your top tips to

This is just part of our ongoing #SewingTipsFriday event – where we’ll be posting sewing hints, tips and how-tos all day on our Twitter account and Facebook page.

We just love everything to do with sewing!!!

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