This tutorial is for those who have purchased a Leather Ida Clutch Kit from my online store or if you’re just looking for some tips on sewing with leather.
Included in the kits:
* Leather for outer, some extra will be included for pocket and tassel
* Canvas fabric for lining
* 1 x 10″(25cm) YKK zipper
* Set of magnetic closure, either sew-in or button style
* Sew in Interfacing
* Craft Fuse Interfacing
* Schmetz Leather Sewing Machine Needle
* 5 X clips (to hold leather while you sew, you cannot use pins!)
What you’ll need:
Ida Clutch Pattern printed and cut (download here)
Sewing Feet: Zipper Foot and foot for topstitching the leather (roller, walking foot, or teflon foot)
Universal Sewing Machine Needle
Thread, multi purpose and upholstery/topstitching thread (optional)
Iron and press cloth
NOTE: I highly recommend making an Ida Clutch out of found materials before cutting into your leather kit. For full sewing Instructions see this post
When sewing with leather, there are some steps which are slightly different to the original instructions, and they are outlined below.
The first set of instructions are for use with thin leathers, like lamb nappa – it pretty much performs just like fabric.
The second set are for use with thicker leathers.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEWING WITH THIN LEATHER
Cut out your pieces PATTERN PIECE A – 2 x Leather, 2 x Lining PATTERN PIECE B – 2 x sew-in interfacing PATTERN PIECE C – 2 x Craft Fuse
Fuse the interfacings together using the instructions included, use a press cloth to protect your iron
Mark the darts
Slide scissors in between the two fused layers and cut into the fusible interfacing
This will help to reduce bulk, do the same for all of the darts
Use the clips to hold the leather and interfacing together for the next step
Fold the dart in half and line up the markings, use a clip to hold in place, position it so that it won’t be in the way when you sew.
Sew the dart
Sew to the apex and backstitch into the dart to secure
Press dart towards bottom of clutch with your fingers
Top stitching time!!! I prefer to use Upholstery thread (left) because it is slightly thinner than the Topstitching thread (right) but either way, use regular thread in your bobbin!
Topstitch the dart and backstitch a few stitches
Topstitching this dart really gives a nice detail to the clutch.
Do the same for all 4 darts. At this point I will decide which piece is going to be the front and the back of the clutch, sometimes it can be because of the grain of the leather, or which darts are the most perfect looking 🙂
Let’s add the magnetic buttons (if your kit has SEW-IN magnetic buttons, those instructions are here)
Poke a hole in the centre of the marking on the pattern and mark a hole on the outside of the front leather piece.
The backing of the magnetic buttons is also a handy template for marking the slits. Place over the dot you’ve marked.
Mark two slits using the template
Pinch leather (and interfacing) and cut two slits through all layers.
With a small leather off cut, mark two slits and cut with scissors.
Push the magnetic button through from the outside, this is the inside view. Thread the leather off cut onto the two prongs.
Thread the backing on, push with your fingers to make sure it is compressed and tight.
While holding the back circle, bend the two prongs AWAY from the button and press hard to secure
Do the same with the top button
There is an extra piece of fusible interfacing in the kit for reinforcing the lining fabric to support a pocket. Fuse to the wrong side of the fabric where the pocket will be positioned. Keep in mind the clutch will fold, and steer clear of the darts too!
There is extra leather included to create a pocket too, cut to size which size pocket suits your needs. Sew onto the lining (the fusible interfacing is on the reverse side of the lining)
Continue assembling the clutch as per the original sewing instructions, found here. Continue reading for some more instructions involving slightly thicker leather..
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEWING THICKER LEATHER
Fuse the interfacing together like in above step 2, sew darts but DO NOT topstitch
Sew Darts in outer and lining pieces but DO NOT topstitch the leather darts.
Sew an internal pocket
Baste Zipper onto lining, RIGHT SIDE lining to UNDER SIDE of zipper, with a scant 1/4′ seam
Press lining away from zipper teeth
Trim the seam allowance (1/4″) from the curved edge of the leather.
Lay the leather over the zip, the lining and leather will be WRONG SIDES together
Carefully line up the curved edge so that the line of basting stitches is concealed by the outer layer. Use the clips to hold leather in place.
Sew a line of topstitching close to the edge of the leather with topstitching or upholstery thread
See how in the middle its a little uneven, I will carefully trim that!
Continue to do the same for the other side, baste zipper onto lining, tucking the zipper tape ends towards the lining.
Press lining away from zipper teeth
Lay the leather over the zipper and topstitch in place. Looks really neat 🙂
The rest of the construction is basically the same as the original version, except that the darts will be finger pressed in opposite directions to reduce bulk.
Reminder to leave zipper at least half open for the next steps!!!!
Which direction you choose is up to you, just make it the same for both sides, then use a clip to hold in place.
Use the remaining clips to hold the leather together, try to keep inside the seam allowance just in case there are some pressure marks left behind.
Using your zipper foot, sew the two ‘joins’ together (where the leather and the lining meet) right where the zipper ends are, Sew as close to the zipper as possible.
Sew as close to the zipper as possible… for me it was just over 1/4″, so now that will be my seam allowance for the leather outer.
Change to standard presser foot, sew around the leather outer at same seam allowance as previous step. Still use the 1/3″ seam allowance for the lining. This will ensure the lining fits comfortably inside the leather without buckling. Remember to leave an opening in the lining for turning inside out.
Reinforce the curved area with the darts by sewing an additional line of stitches on or close to the first seam line.
Trim seams down to reduce bulk, I like to use pinking shears on the fabric lining
Turn right side out, push out the corners with your finger, sew up the hole in the lining.
The nestled darts from the outside
As always, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions!
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