Tips for Sewing Leather with a Regular Sewing Machine

Does the idea of sewing a beautiful leather handbag with your regular sewing machine captivate your mind? While adoring the gorgeous leather handbags in malls and shops may leave you awe-struck, preparing such bags is not reserved only for expert seamsters.

With your regular sewing machine, you can sew leather jackets or bags at your home.

You need to choose a soft leather material that can be easily sewn with your sewing machine. Your sewing machine can’t handle the leather embroidery with thick and hard leather.

You can create a complete leather outfit or small leather accessories like collars, sleeves, peplums, etc., by learning to stitch leather on the sewing machine. You can work with either faux or real leather.

Easy Sewing Techniques for Successfully Sewing Leather

Use Correct Presser Foot

You may need to replace your regular presser foot with a better foot that doesn’t stick to the leather during sewing. Using the correct presser foot creates a big difference in sewing leather successfully. You can choose either a Teflon foot, a roller foot, or a walking foot.

A Teflon foot is a non-stick foot or an ultra-glide foot that is prepared from Teflon material. This presser foot has a white appearance, and it enables the leather to glide through without sticking.

A roller foot is prepared from either plastic, metal, or a combination of both these materials. It comprises one larger front roller and two smaller back rollers. This presser foot allows easy control over the leather’s movement and helps to guide it under the foot during sewing.

A walking foot or even-feed foot comes with its feed dogs. These feed dogs combine with the machine’s feed dogs for providing a better grip over the leather from both the top and bottom. This presser foot also evenly feeds through the machine during sewing.

Use Leather Machine Needles

Ensure to use a new leather machine needle for sewing with leather while beginning a new sewing project.

A leather needle is slightly thicker and suitable for handling thick and tough fabrics. Moreover, leather needles are inexpensive, like universal needles.

Use Long Stitch Lengths

Ensure to increase the stitch length to about 4 or 5 on your sewing machine while sewing leather.

The wider stitch lengths strengthen your fabric and result in less tearing as compared to closed length stitches. Thus, lengthen your stitch length before sewing leather.

Use Heavy-Duty Threads 

You require a heavy-duty thread for holding together heavy fabrics like leather. Thus, use a heavy-duty thread like polyester or nylon thread. These threads are thicker and tougher than other threads. This makes them ideally suitable for sewing leather.

Avoid Sewing Pins

Don’t use sewing pins while sewing leather. Use binder or sewing clips that make sewing leather at home very convenient. This ensures that you have minimal holes in your leather fabric.

Another alternative to using sewing clips is to use double-sided tape.

Cut Leather One Layer At a Time

Ensure that you cut each pattern piece individually, one at a time. Don’t fold the leather in half and cut only one layer of leather at a time.

Leave Out Seam Finishes

Leave out any seam finishes in your sewing leather projects. As leather does not fray as time passes, you can either glue your seam allowances together or leave unfinished seams. You can use a wallpaper roller for sealing seams together.

Use Knots for Securing the Thread Ends

Secure the threads by tying the knots at the start and end of each stitching row when sewing leather. It is better than sewing back and forth, as in the case of backstitching.

The backstitches can cause perforation and potential tearing if they don’t line up accurately with the original stitching.


Sewing leather on your regular sewing machine is challenging. It takes time to develop the sewing skills required for perfect sewing leather projects. The leather stitching can’t be unpicked from the original stitching line without leaving holes in the fabric.

Thus, you need to be careful and take your own time for achieving the perfect leather sewing. You need to show patience and slow down the sewing process for ensuring that your sewing machine is working correctly.

Using the correct presser foot, leather needle, long stitch lengths, heavy-duty threads, and proper techniques, you can master the craft of sewing leather on your regular sewing machine.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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