I’ve sewn the You Sew Girl! Flat Cap at least twice before, but the previous versions were in fabric (as per the pattern). This time I sewed one in leather.
My dad is one of those guys who always wears a hat. As soon as he leave the house, a hat goes on his head. In summer it has a broad brim (skin cancers are rife in our family) and in winter it provides some warmth and a little protection from glare. Dad has worn his denim and wool versions of the flat cap quite often, and when his purchased leather cap started to look the worse for wear I figured that I couldn’t put it off any longer. It was time to sew with leather.
I have sewn with pleather and vinyl and other tricky fabrics before, but found that I faced some different issues when sewing real leather. After watching a leather bag class on Craftsy, googling sewing with leather, drawing on the power of the Instagram sewing mind, and simple trial and error, I determined that for my machine to sew leather effectively I needed the following:
- a walking foot (the teflon foot just didn’t work)
- a leather needle – size 14
- normal Gutermann thread
- clips and/or double sided adhesive to hold pieces in place
- a whole lot of patience and taking it slowly.
But after all that, it really wasn’t that hard to sew! Because I’d used the pattern before – and like all You Sew Girl! patterns, the instructions are excellent and the drafting spot on – I didn’t have to think too much about the construction and rather could just focus on manipulating the leather.
And yes, Dad really likes it! I sewed size Small (he loves the fit as he says it comes down to just the right place at the back) and after consultation we decided not to secure the brim to the front of the cap. The leather came from New South Wales Leather Co, who have a showroom in Collingwood. I actually bought three hides, as I plan to sew myself some bags. The service there was very helpful, and the range of hides enormous. I’m really pleased that I have finally stopped procrastinating about sewing with leather.