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Thread: Sewing Question.

  1. #1
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    All,

    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?

    Thanks...
    ~M~

  2. #2
    Carla P's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Carla P's Avatar
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    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?

  5. #5
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    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

  6. #6
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    Carla P's Avatar
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    I think I like Ruth's idea better... Take it to the dry cleaner. They usually have industrial machines made to handle such jobs.

  8. #8
    Suz
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    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.

    Suzanne


    PS: I love applique also.

  9. #9

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    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.

  10. #10
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    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. :-)

  11. #11
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    It seems to be the general concensus that perhaps I shouldn't do this. I don't tend to disagree. I do however have an extremely heavy, heavy duty metal machine that my hubby promised to dig out for me. I'll try it on there, one of the smaller patches so I don't cause a lot of damage. If I can't get it to work on that, then I'll give it back to him and explain that I jumped the gun.

    Thank you all so much, you definately saved me a big headache and perhaps a broken Janome, which would have made me sad!!

    M

  12. #12
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Good Luck!

  13. #13
    bbwalkup's Avatar
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    I wouldn't try this either!! When I was in high school (long time ago) we had to sew the patches on our school jackets. One teacher recommended going to a shoe repair shop. Some kids took that route, it worked perfect for them. I had a Grandma that too could sew thru anything, but she did it by hand. I've never tried sewing leather on a machine. I'd vote for hiring someone to do it for ya!! Good Luck

  14. #14
    Catherine's Avatar
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    In my past business I sewed patches on lots of leather jackets.
    It's best just to use a standard machine, the ones with bells and whistles have no guts to handle leather. It isn't a hard job. I used a medium weight needle the larger ones will make bigger holes, not good, and tend to break. i know that sounds strange but it is true. I did use a little heavier weight thread, or the nylon is fine, just stitch along the inside
    statin stitch of patch. Be careful of any lining, make sure it isn't twisted. Once you sew on leather thats it...so don't make any mistakes, like accidently sewing it on upside down or crooked, taking it off you'll have to match it back up so holes don't show. Believe me, customers and friends will frown on that..holes don't come out of leather. PLEASE DO NOT IRON PATCH ON....that's just digging your own grave!!! Hope this helped.
    Good Luck!!

  15. #15
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Thanks Catherine..I appreciate it!! Will be able to get larger machine out on Friday. Hubby can haul it out for me as it is kinda heavy. But it has no bells and whistles like my normal one does.

    Thanks again!

    Melissa

  16. #16
    Norah's Avatar
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    I have sewn a lot of leather by hand and by machine, so let me help you. First of all, you have to have a walking foot industrial or heavy duty machine to machine sew nand really heavy needles, size 16 or 18, and I used nylon thread called nymo.
    By hand you need leather or glover's needles, they are three sided on the tip and very sharp, available at someplace like Tandy Leather or in some craft needle selections. You can use nymo thread which has a twisted ply or heavy cotton or polyester. If the leather is cowhide, you may need a sewing awl, which may have that type of needle already. Without the awl or the right needle, it is next to impossible to get a needle through the leather. If it is elk, or something softer like that, it is easier to sew. If you make a mistake, the hole will be there forever. I would not try it if the person is picky. Leather is fun, but a whole new game in sewing. Hope this helps.

  17. #17
    Member imak's Avatar
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    mpeters All very good advice PLUS---Please make sure you don't make the stitches too close together! If you do it will make a complete hole in the jacket!

    Been there!! Have real good luck if you decide to try it!!

    imak

  18. #18

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    Nylon thread would probably do ok. Use a thimble because it will probably be hard to push the need through the leather and patch. Stick the needle from behind and through the patch and it should hide the knot. You could spray the back of the patch with 505 adhesive spray and temporarily adhere the patch to the leather so it won't move around while you sew it on, but 505 if kind of expensive. It won't be fast to hand sew them on just so you know.

  19. #19
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Well, I finally got it done. You don't even want to know!!! I won't do anything like this again for anyone! I couldn't get my good heavy machine out of my storage unit as hubby as blocked it all off with heavy stuff I couldn't move. Had to use my newer machine. It's not happy. I'm glad it needed maintenanced anyway. It didn't break anything, but I'm sure the machine needs therapy. I spaced the stitching pretty even and even though I used a walking foot it was still #@&% to do. I'm just glad I got it done. I can't get over how nice it looks though..

    Thank you everyone for your advice. For all the girls that said they wouldn't do it...you were right..won't do it again!

  20. #20
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Good for you! I know that it can be so frustrating to work so hard on something! Especially when every stitch is a challenge. Glad you were able to get it done.

  21. #21
    Catherine's Avatar
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    Good for you...yes, working with leather is a challenge. I sewed patches on leather school jackets every week for a year. it was a great contract i had with a School Sports shop, I don't miss that . Sometime the patches would go way down the sleeve and I didn't know what would break first, my machine or my sanity!!!!

  22. #22

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    When I sew with leather, I use a needle made for leather. It has a different point on it so that it goes through the leather. I hope this helps.

  23. #23
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    I agree with Catherine--I've used my Bernina (not a real fancy one) to sew patches on leather just like she described and I had no trouble. I didn't even think about not being able to do. Guess I was lucky but it worked fine.

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