Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leather Wallet from PANTS! Recyling and Upcycling

The Short Story:


The Long Story: So, I bought these leather pants...
"These" leather pants
I've always wanted to start a blog post with the phrase: "So, I bought these leather pants"

Unfortunately, (or, fortunately) the pants were not for me to wear. The pants were for me to deconstruct and reconstruct. I was thrift store shopping with the husband on a rare afternoon where we were kid free and I came across them. They were $20 but the leather was in really good condition and obviously very high quality (not that I am a leather connoisseur... I wonder, are there such people? Are there "Leather connoisseurs"? If so, please raise your hand.)

I purchased the pants and planned to turn part of them into a purse, part into a new kindle cover, and part into a wallet. Since I am the #1 good-time fan girl of immediate gratification, I chose to do the wallet first.

Scraps used to make wallet.
I found some scraps to coordinate, vintage buttons, small zipper and here is what I came up with:

Starting Dimensions: 8.5" x 6" (open)
Final Dimensions: 7.5" x 5" (open)

Things I learned about leather:
1. You really, really, really need a non-stick foot to sew leather. I did this wallet without one and it super-sucked. I won't attempt any more leather projects without it. The issue is that the sewing machine foot pulls against the leather which makes it stretch as you sew. The leather stretches but the cloth material does not. This makes the cloth bunch/sag when the leather returns to its previous shape. I'll post an update perspective on sewing with leather when I get a chance to use the Teflon foot I ordered from Viking.

2. It is great for inlaid zippers. Since the edge of the leather doesn't fray, adding the zipper was a piece o' cake.

3. Use double sided tape instead of pins: it will stick to the leather and create just enough adhesion to keep the project together. It's not like you're going to wash your finished object in the washing machine so... who cares about washibility of the double sided tape. 

Final thoughts: I love the wallet. It fits my phone, cards, and some change. Very happy with it. Looking forward to making more, this time with the Teflon foot.

If you've ever worked with leather I'd love to hear your tips/ tricks/ thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, I think this is brilliant, and it looks fantastic. I'm so impressed! I have never sewn with leather, only ultra suede which is a different animal (or more accurately, not an animal at all...). Anywho, I hope to get to see it in person next weekend. Yahoo!