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mpeters1200 05-19-2007 12:16 PM


I do not sew, but I know that a lot of people started quilting after they were sewing for a while, so I feel pretty safe asking this here.

I volunteered to add some patches to a vest belonging to someone from church. I love to applique so I figured how hard can it be? The vest weighs almost 10 pounds and it's really thick leather. I have 7 patches, all surrounded by a thick layer of thread. Some are iron-on, but I thought that would be useless on leather.

I purchased heavy-duty (denim) needles and some clear nylon thread. I was thinking about sewing at the edge of the patch right next to the large bulk of thread.

So here are my questions:

Did I purchase the right needles and the right thread?
Is there a trick to speed or consistancy to make sure the needle doesn't break?
Any tips anyone can give me?


Carla P 05-19-2007 02:21 PM

I would go slow and use a walking foot. The needles sound right, but you might end up needing to go with upholstry thread; try it & see. Be careful about ironing on leather; it scorches easily, and doesn't come out.

mpeters1200 05-19-2007 02:27 PM

Can I get away with not pressing the thread when I'm done? I know that some have the iron-on backing, but I didn't think it would work on leather so I wasn't planning on using the iron.

Carla P 05-19-2007 02:38 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't iron it at all if I didn't absolutely have to. If it looks good and is secure when you finish, let it be. I am not sure if it would adhere or not; never tried it. It would be wonderful if that is all you had to do & it would turn out perfectly, but unfortunately, some things like leather no short cuts are allowed. Me personally, I'd probably try my glue gun before I'd consider ironing on it. :lol:

A 10 lb jacket!? For a motorcyclist?

Knot Sew 05-19-2007 02:56 PM

I don't think I would touch this project. If you sew it could leave holes . A lot of machines wont sew on it. Have you done this type of thing before? My neighbor takes his jacket to the dry cleaners to have patches put on and fringe added. good luck

mpeters1200 05-19-2007 05:41 PM

Yes, the vest is for a motorcyclist. I talked to my gramma today. She can sew anything. She said to try a double needle that is made for apholstery or heavy duty work and use same thread for both; either clear or apholstery (I don't know if I spelled that right). I'll start fiddling with it tomorrow. I'm not sure how my love for applique gave way to this nightmare. Here I thought sewing on a patch would be as simple as machine applique....that's what I get for thinking. I'll let you know what happens when I get it done.

Carla P 05-20-2007 04:17 AM

I think I like Ruth's idea better... Take it to the dry cleaner. They usually have industrial machines made to handle such jobs.

Suz 05-20-2007 01:10 PM

Dear "M",

Your first statement reads that you are not a sewer. Immediately, my first thought was that someone is taking advantage of you with a difficult project. I vote for taking it to the cleaners or just return to the cyclist and simply tell him/her that you don't believe you have the skills to tackle such a job. Tell him/her that you want them to be happy with the results and that you are unsure of your skills to make them happy.

Incidentallly, I consider myself an experienced sewer and NO WAY would I accept this challenge.


PS: I love applique also.

Rebecca Chambley 05-21-2007 12:38 AM

My understanding is, that there is a different type machine to sew leather. I'd not use clear thread, I'd go with upolstery thread, But then again I would'nt attempt it, I vote for the cleaners. Think of your machine as well, Don't damage your machine, and I get alot of no's when it comes to using clear thread. Your choice, your call. Good luck.

vicki reno 05-21-2007 05:52 AM

A lot of machines simply cannot sew through something this thick. I'd either take it to a professional or simply tell the person that you don't feel you have the skills and/or proper machine to do this job and would not want to take a chance on ruining his vest.
I too love applique, but would hestitate to take on this project.
Hope I haven't ruined your day, but this is only my opinion. :-)

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