Tips for Sewing Leather

Leather Pocket PurseHi there! Today I'm here to share some tips for sewing leather and a DIY of this cute little fringe purse…


-As a beginner, it's best to start with the thinnest material that you can. Choose a leather, vinyl or suede that isn't too thick. Remember that most commercial leather products are sewn with an industrial machine.

-Buy a leather needle for your sewing machine. 
-Consider buying a walking foot for your sewing machine (both this and the leather needle can be found at a sewing shop!) A walking food helps grip the leather and feed it through your machine more smoothly! 
-Change your stitch length to 3-3.5. You don't want tiny stitches when sewing leather! 
-Be minimal with pins. If you use them, test a scrap piece first to see if the pin holes will disappear or stay visible. 
-Test stitch scraps before starting on your project. 
-If your leather gets stuck in the machine, lift the foot and allow the leather to relax for a moment before continuing. 
-Leather, suede and most vinyl fabrics are dry clean and hand wash only, so don't put them in your home washing machine!
Leather pocket purse steps


This small leather fringe purse is the perfect first project when sewing. It's the perfect size to hold makeup or money in your purse. 
Step 1: Cut a rectangle of leather. Ours was a small purse and the piece measured 6 inches x 14 inches. You can make it larger if you want a full size purse. 
Step 2: Fold your leather so that you see where the pocket and flap will be. Stitch three sides to enclose the two sides and stitch down the bottom of the pocket. Trim any excess from the sides of the seams. 
Step 3: Cut fringe on the flap with a pair of scissors. Enjoy! 
Leather Pocket Purse 2
Leather Pocket Purse 3This is the perfect beginner project! Hope you have fun trying something new… xo. Elsie 

This sewing basics series was created in collaboration with Missy Creed of Momentum Fashion. Missy is a talented seamstress who sews for Red Velvet!

  • Your tips are rally useful for me. I read your blog and i get the some valuable tips on sewing leather. I am glad to find it. There are so many developers working on this part but this is one of the best innovative post ever. Thanks for such post.

  • im on a roll, like my cum, while ur just a trollits like when i raped you, ur mad that u lost conltoru tossed my hole, licking my rectum like a lollipopu say some shit but it all sounds like faggy talku messaged me asking me to mail u my used rubbersand talkin bout how u suck juices out of panties, your own mothers?!?ur a sick fuck and jealous is all ur motivationim the hope of the nation and ur a joke of creation

  • Hi, look for the model number on the boottm of the machine and then check ebay or google the words Singer sewing machine power cord I found a place but can’t post the link here -I’ll try to message you with the link. Let’s get that old Singer singing again!! ~Marguerita

  • I am very fortunate .. I buy alot of my fairbc locally.. I have a Walmart, that has a fairbc department in the grocrey store [not very good on discipline..I visit tooo oftn,ha but They put fairbcs on clearance all the time. so I have really built up a nice stash, with not near the amount of money!]I also live about 45 minutes from Hancock Fabrics, Hobby Lobby Fabrics. and they carry nicer fairbcs and notions. And I heard a rumor that JoAnns Fabric was coming soon..[I am excited about this one too]But, I also buy on line from and ebay and Etsy. I just love getting the packages in the mail.. so fun..I buy most of my vintage pattens off of ebay.. Cant seem to get lucky enough to find them at yard sales and thrift store

  • I do a lot of shopping for farbic at a couple of the big name stores Joanne’s/Hancock Fabric’s but you know, my stash has also grown from hand me downs from my mother in law and then just a month or two ago a friend of a friend set up a farbic sale for her neighbors hubby who lost his wife to cancer! Whewwww (got that all!) Anyway the lady was into all sorts of crafts quilting, sewing, etc we went thru at least 50 hugeee tubs of farbic! I paid $40 for a tub that I filled . I probably got around well I’m not sure over 50 yards maybe even closer to 100 I can’t be sure but you know it’s nice that we can help each other out. I don’t go to the store too often for farbic any more unless I need something to accent that I may not have. Thread is a biggie too my MIL gave me a 5 gallon bucket of thread that I’m still whiteling down! I do like to use trifted linens to sew with too great for skirts etc

  • as the makeup atrsit on this shoot i have to agree 100%!Jen was amazing to work with and Elsie was an AWESOME model!I saw these when she was choosing for the book and was so impressed with how comfortable ms.E looked not too mention sexy!

  • I love it! These are so cute- how did i get so lucky? please come ayitnme and feel free to bring those little helpers who are so wonderfully cute. Can’t wait for Levi to meet his Auntie and lovely cousins- Can’t wait to see what kind of adventures they have together and hopefully when he gets big he’ll give all their boyfriends a really hard time:) Love you sis.

  • – LOVE it and totally love the bird print. I haven’t tried too many crazy qulits but this one is adorable.Yes I’m still working on my tree skirt. Sigh. Hoping to finish this weekend -I need your motivation!!xo

  • Beautiful simple and cute pouch muck beautiful than conventional printed bags.

  • Les grandes lignes du meuble, l’imprimerie lourde, qui se révèle être conçu par Phoebe Philo, Polo Ralph lauren, série 2012 début des vacances de printemps. Lorsque l’industrie de l . a . function tout entier se révèle être rattrapage Polo Ralph lauren le variety de type minimaliste plaine, Phoebe Philo, mais tourner l . a . roue vers l’autre sens, elle en forme de fleurs imprimées l’élan d’une fille great. L . a . boucle de ceinture en métal à partir des “Trois Mousquetaires” et le tissu de couleurs mixtes, not paquet hôpital psychiatrique de program, l . a . couche de cellules gliales, pantalons à jambes larges en cuir, ceinture chaîne en métal… rafraîchissante.

    En outre, il convient de mentionner que, Polo Ralph lauren, any déclenché une circumstance de poignée de principal d’embrayage sac tendance cette saison semble annoncer not nouveau sac à dos tendance se révèle être diagonale! Tendance jamais Polo Ralph lauren.

  • 札幌管区気象台によると、当時、現場付近は雪で、陸上でも風速7.6メートルの強風だった。沢田さんらを救助した登別市の「いぶり中央漁協」所属の漁船「第18幸峰丸」(4.9トン)の飯島弘孝船長は「海が急に荒れ、当時約4メートルの波が立っていた。5人の姿を確認したが、4人を引き上げるのが精いっぱいだった」と話している。

  • I love this little purse! Am very new to seeing and want to try it out. However confuses by instruction: “stitch three sides to close the two sides.” It looks to me like there are only stitches down the two sides. What am I missing? Any help would be much appreciated!

  • I have a suggestion for leather sewing: use rubber cement instead of pins on a project. It holds the leather together very well, without wiggle or pin issues.

  • I’ve tried! 😀

    This is my version, haha:
    it’s a bit bigger has a closingband. I love it. : ) Thank you so much for the tips!


  • For readers using this post as a resource:
    secure leather pieces together using double sided tape or a contact cement as opposed to pins, prior to stitching. This will keep your pieces in place, and won’t leave unsightly holes in your project!

  • Hey Elsie!
    I don’t know if this post can be edited, but leather should never be pinned. It should rather be secured with double sided tape, rubber cement or contact cement (the latter two of which should be used in a well ventilated area/with a respirator) before being top stitched. Think of it as basting with glue :). My advice comes from 7 years of sewing experience, including university training and professionally making shoes for the theatre. If you are ever looking for more advanced projects for the blog, or tips on these sorts of things, feel free to contact me!

  • Great project. I just got a new smart phone and need something to carry it in. How would you insert a protective padding to cushion the screen? Also can you recommend a leather glue in case my sewing machine won’t handle the leather?

  • Nice small purse 🙂

  • So cute! I love little clutches. They’re so versatile. xo, rv

  • Thanks for the tips! Do you have suggestions for good places to get leather? Also, should you use a heavier-than-normal thread?

  • I am so grateful for these tutorials!

    I just got a sewing machine for christmas and was going to start looking for some tutorials, and now I found them!

    Thanks Elsie! <3

  • Hand stitching leather is also a great option. Use the saddle stitch technique and your leather will be much stronger than with a machine!

  • Very cute! I would never have thought I could even attempt to sew leather! Thank you!

  • Such a great idea! I’m going to have to give it a try!

  • soo cute.. love all of your posts 🙂 so inspiring :):)

  • I’ve been dying to make a pretty pleated vinyl midi skirt like one I saw on the Dior runway several years ago, but it’s so ambitious! I totally appreciate these tips. I’m gonna use them to start small and work my way up to that project. Thank you!!!

  • WOW. i just thought about sewing on some leather straps on a bag last night but questioned if it could be done. THANKS FOR THIS!

  • This is so cute! And thank you for these tips, I just made a little leather bag by hand, but I want to make more on a sewing machine so I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind!

  • thank you so much, its really helpful! and amazing!

    with love,
    your opinion is VERY important for me!

  • Thanks for your amazing blog with all these helpful posts and great ideas! Your style is amazing!

    Actually another little tip for sewing leather is using masking tape instead of pins… I’ve tried that on my bag that I made out of my boyfriend’s old leather jacket.

    Thank you so much for your inspiration!

    xx Krisse

  • Aw, thank you for this tutorial. Now I feel encouraged enough to finally sew leather. And I got some inspiration too. 🙂
    Have a nice sunday!

  • Very cute and helpful! thanks 🙂

  • thanks for the tips. i made my own leather clutch but used leather glue beccause i was afraid to sew it! i must try and sew a clutch soon!

  • thanks for all the helpful sewing tips lately! this looks like it would be really fun to do!

  • Oh I love it! Can’t wait to create my own version.

    xoxo, Jjanga

  • This will come in handy when I finish my black leather pencil skirt! Thanks Elsie!

  • Super cute little purse. I’ve been looking to buy leather for a few different little projects lately, but it seems so expensive to me!

  • I love love love this series of sewing posts you have done. I am just getting started and interested in the whole sewing thing, and I am trying to figure out what sewing machine I should buy.

    PLEASE can you do a post about sewing machine options? Is that dumb? Maybe I’m the only one in this boat, but it would be awesome to see your recommendations. 😀

  • You are amazing! Those DYIs you are sharing are the best for inexperienced but creative people 🙂


  • So cute, I just put a bid in for some leather online! Will you be doing a tutorial about your super cute moccasins sometime soon too?

  • I love this!

    It would make a great makeup bag for on the go.

    Thanks for sharing so many lovely DIYs, I love seeing all of your creative ideas come to life!

    Much love, Vivi

  • I like this one!
    Is this also possible hand sewing? because i don’t have a sewing machine :o(
    Maybe when its a thin leather?
    You can ad studs and stuff Love it! ;o)

  • Yes, I agree with the others! I have been interested in this and even picked up some leather pieces of various colors at a garage sale this morning—$1 each!!!— You are such gems to share with us! THANK YOU, ELSIE, EMMA and MISSY!!

  • Cute idea. You could add beads or ric rac! I love this…
    Thank you for another inspiring project!

  • Loving these tips so much. Such a fantastic feature! Must give this a go soon, we have some gorgeous purple suede fabric that is going to waste, would be perfect for a project like this!

    much love

    R&L xx

  • I love all the leather projects you do! I need to find some leather and make things out of it!!!

  • I’m really loving all of these sewing posts – its been a while since I dragged my 40 year old sewing machine (!) out, but I think I’ll have to tomorrow 🙂

  • This is so so so adorable! I can’t express how much I love your blog and how inspiring it always is 🙂 Definitely need to try this little purse sometime!

  • I’ve actually been really interested in sewing leather lately and this is such a huge help!

    Can’t wait to use it as a reference for upcoming projects 🙂

    a cup of subtle tea

  • Cute post! But what I really like is the blue dress in the back round! Unless my eyes deceive me it’s vintage 😀 Loves!

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