leather dopp kit

i’ve been eager to try sewing leather for the longest time, and i decided to finally make that happen for myself. i was gifted some leather from someone’s old couch a few months ago, found polyester thread in my grandma’s old sewing kit, and i bought some leather needles, leather glue, and a mallet. i made some time on a saturday before my soccer game and got to work.

i didn’t have wash away tape to hold my zipper in place, but i made do with binder clips. i found that sliding a piece of paper underneath the leather and sewing through that sandwich helped get the leather through my machine. afterwards, the paper ripped right off! i can’t remember where i came across this trick, but it was very helpful.

lesson learned: don’t rush!

then i goofed. i sewed the zipper to the wrong side of the leather! i still can’t believe i did this, because the right and wrong side of the leather is so obviously different. i panicked for a second, then started thinking of a solution. i ended up unpicking my stitches and using the other side of the leather for the zipper end. i trimmed off the hole-riddled strip of leather, and all was well. only annoying bit was that i was fighting the time before my soccer game so i sped through finishing the rest of the bag. success! and i made it to warm ups only a few minutes late (i blame it on the tourist traffic leaving town).

i had to wait for the leather glue and mallet to arrive; once it did, i finished off the edges of the pouch and burned the loose threads. it was an oddly therapeutic task that i quite enjoyed. i turned the pouch right side out, fell in love, and gave it to my dad – who brought the bag to work for the coworker who gifted me the leather. i’m definitely going to be making more.

only modifications to the pattern i used from my beyond cotton book (also got all the leather sewing tips from these wise pages) would be to add a leather tab at the zipper ends so that it is easier to open the zipper without holding onto the entire bag. minor mod, but i think it will make using the bag much easier. all in all, super satisfied with my first attempt at sewing leather!

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