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What’s Your Maker Style? ~ Workshop Wizard {+ leather label tutorial}

2016 October 14

Today’s post is all about giving our Workshop Wizards (including me!) the stuff their heart pitter-patters after. I’ve collected a round-up of fun stuff today – details about the Workshop Wizard apron, must-have tools for a Workshop  maker space, and a new tutorial – how to use any sewing machine to make leather labels!

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada

Cross Back Apron Close Up

Essex Linen

Workshop Cross Back Apron

Machine Stitched Leather label

Workshop Wizards Rejoice! Today is all about you…

Pssst… If you haven’t found out what your personal Maker Style yet, click on the photo below to take the super-short fun quiz! And be sure to check out the new Janome M Series of sewing and serging machines – they’ve put together a gorgeous look book full of free stuff and  maker inspiration!

Purl Soho Cross Back Apron Review

This is the Workshop Wizard’s Apron of Choice, and unlike last week’s new free pattern (the Design Diva Apron) there was no need to re-invent the wheel. The Cross Back Apron tutorial is free, and really straight forward. The seams are all fully finished, and it’s super comfortable to wear. Definitely going to keep your clothes clean no matter what you are doing!

Apron Details:

  • Fabric: Indigo Essex Linen (#bestillmyfabriclovingheart!) This linen is gorgeous, easy to use and sew.
  • Make it Yours: To make it more unique add a decorative stitch to the top of the pockets and the apron bib. Tip: To have the stitch to meet in the middle of the bib, sew in from each edge to the center! The Skyline S9 I have on loan from Janome also has a button that will automatically mirror the stitches – making this even easier!
  • Watch Out! The Purl Soho tutorial calls for 55-60″ wide linen. Essex Linen and most quilting cottons commonly come it 42-44″ wide bolts. I purchased 3 yards for this and ended up squeezing the entire apron out of just over 2 yards.
  • Pre-Measure: The apron straps are really, really (really) long to accommodate for for multiple sizes. I ended up cutting my 50″ straps down to 31″ each – #argh for the wasted fabric.

Cross Back Apron Bib Stitching Detail

Workshop Apron Maker Leather Label

Must-Have Tools for the Workshop Wizard

You’ve got to keep your wizardy-self happy am-I-right? What better way than to stock a maker sewing space full of expected and unexpected things you can use to #makeallthethings.

Do you use an unexpected tool on a regular basis to make your sewing easier? 

Workshop Wizard Sewing Tools

(1) Straight Stitch Needle Plate: For stitching absolutely every fabric that comes your way – no matter what. The small area under the needle is great for thinner fabrics, there’s less chance they get pushed down into the plate.  (P.S. it comes with the Skyline S9.)

(2) Needle Nose Pliers: Great for messing around with all sorts of purse hardware. Especially good when Changing a Zipper Pull to suit your own needs.

(3) AcuFeed Flex (Dual Feed): This replaces the more common walking/even foot. It’s job is to feed the layers of fabric through the machine from the top and bottom. Bringing all layers through the machine evenly. Find out a lot more about the AcuFeed Flex with these tips for sewing knits and these quilting tips. (BTW – the Skyline S9 comes with multiple dual feed feet, including a quilting and zipper foot among others. You can basically sew everything with the AcuFeed Flex installed!)

(4) Hammer: This is my (politically incorrect) small “girl” hammer! It’s been used to apply grommets, snaps and eyelets. It’s also great when pounding thicker seams in leather so they are easier to sew.

(5) Eyelet Pliers: My mom gave me these pliers a few years ago. They are so nice and easy to use for applying tiny eyelets. I used some on my Quiet Book “Tie a Shoe” page tutorial.

(6) Wire Cutters: Similar to the Needle Nose Pliers, I most often use these when Changing a Zipper Pull. It’s really easy to snip off the small zipper pull that comes on most standard zippers. Or use them to cut up an old measuring tape and use it in this super cute coin purse!

(7) Pliers: These are really useful for removing KAM snaps. This handy list from KAMsnaps themselves has 6 ways to remove the snaps once they are on.

(8) KAM Snap Pliers: Used to apply KAM snaps. I just started using KAM snaps this year and it’s been fantastic – very quick and easy once you get the hang of it. While you are practicing, the number (7) tip is very handy!

(9) Bobbin Case: This extra bobbin case is used to increase thread tension over and above the automatic settings on the Skyline S9. It is meant for use during the embroidery function if you are not using Janome threads. It’s included it in the must-have’s because I think it’s pretty cool to be able to take apart and put your machine back together again. Fun, fun!

(10) Overedge Foot: This foot easily allows you to finish the edges of your fabric to prevent fraying. Good for Workshop Wizards who want to sew all the things – tricky loosely woven linen included!

(11) Open Toe and Regular Satin Stitch Foot: Sew all of the fun decorative stitches with these feet. Including the Leather Labels below! The open toe especially allows you to see what you are doing for precise stitch placement!

(12) Leather Hole Punch: Rivets are my newest fun thing! I first used them on this leather and vinyl Chobe Purse, and have so many more plans for other things. They are super simple to attach, and so professional. The hole punch makes it easy to install them. I am excited to use it when installing eyelets in the future as well.

(13) Heavy Duty Washers: I got these 2 1/4″ washers at the hardware store to use as pattern weights. I always meant to make them prettier with this tutorial, but obviously haven’t gotten around to it yet. #sewcrastination

 How to Sew a DIY Leather Label Tutorial

How to Sew a Leather Label (on any sewing machine)

Leather labels look amazing! They add a super professional touch to your handmade projects, and they are surprisingly easy to sew! (If you’d like to know more about sewing with leather check out these tips and tricks.)

You will need:

  • leather, faux leather, vegan leather or vinyl scrap
  • leather sewing machine needle
  • matching/contrasting thread
  • sewing machine
  • removable marking pen
  • scissors/rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • Optional: Janome F Satin Stitch Foot or F2 Open Toe Satin Stitch Foot
  • Optional: Scrap Fabric, Fray Check and Fusible Web (I recommend Steam-A-Seam)

Plan Ahead:

  • Your machine will tell you what you can and cannot do. I will detail how to make several labels using the fancy stitches on my on-loan Janome machine, then follow up with labels you can make on any machine with a zigzag or straight stitch!

Sew a leather label with the Janome Skyline S9 Machine:

  1. Plan what you want your label to say and determine the general size of your label. No good making a 6″ long label when you only have 3″ of space for it! (TIP: If you like to plan, program and stitch the label onto fabric first for a general size gauge. The leather will feed through the machine differently though, and may be significantly shorter/longer.)
  2. Program the machine. Type in what you’d like the label to say or show. Check the preview to avoid making unnecessary holes in your leather with accidental stitches.Program your Leather Label before stitching
  3. Insert your leather needle, attach the Satin Stitch or ZigZag Foot and thread your machine. I used polyester Gütermann thread . The Skyline S9 has a fun automatic needle threader you can see in this video of the Skyline S7.Thread the Machine and Use a Leather Needle
  4. Cut a straight edge. It is easier to keep the label straight with an edge to follow.Cut a straight edge on your leather
  5. Sew the label! Make sure it is straight by following the edge you just cut.Stitch the DIY Leather Label
  6. Cut the label. If you are going to sew the label into a seam, be sure to leave the seam allowance amount above your stitching for easy placement.
  7. Optional Backing. If the back of your label will show and doesn’t look “pretty”. Cut a scrap of fabric and fusible web to the size of your label and fuse it to the wrong side of the leather to cover it.Cut Fabric and Fusible Web to sizeFuse the fabric to your leather labelFabric Backed DIY Leather Label Tutorial
  1. Repeat.This is so much fun!

    Leather Label DIY Tutorial

Sew a leather label with a basic sewing machine:

  1. Set up the machine. Set your stitch length and width. TIP: If you like to plan, stitch the label onto fabric first for a general size gauge. The leather will feed through the machine differently though, and the stitches may be significantly shorter/longer.
  2. Insert your leather needle, Satin Stitch or Regular Foot and thread your machine. I used polyester Gütermann top stitching weight.
  3. Cut a straight edge. It is easier to keep the label straight with an edge to follow.Cut a straight edge on your leather
  4. Sew the label! Here are two ideas to use basic stitches and make a nice label. Make sure it is straight by following the edge you just cut, and be sure to tie off or fray-check each thread end so they don’t come out.
    • X’s: (1) Set up and stitch a row of large zig-zag stitches in one direction. (2) Take the leather out of the machine and replace it with the stitching facing you. The needle needs to be directly above the left side of the stitch and beside the outer point of the zigzag. (I removed the machine foot for the photo so you could see the needle better.(3) Stitch back to the other side! TIP: If your X’s are slightly uneven it adds to the handmade look of your label #embraceitStitch a row of zigzag stitches on your leatherPull Threads to the back and Tie to securePlace the needle carefully before sewingCrossed ZigZag Stitch Leather Label DIY
    • Straight-ish: Pre-cut the leather and stitch angled or straight lines in groups from side to side. Different stitch lengths, thread thicknesses and colours look great too!Pre-cut the Leather to sizeTrim the extra threads on your leather labelTreat your Leather Label with Fray Check
  5. Cut the label. If you are going to sew the label into a seam, be sure to leave the seam allowance amount above your stitching for easy placement.
  6. Optional Backing. If the back of your label will show and doesn’t look “pretty”. Cut a scrap of fabric and fusible web to the size of your label and fuse it to the wrong side of the leather to cover it.Cut Fabric and Fusible Web to sizeFuse the fabric to your leather labelFabric Backed DIY Leather Label Tutorial
  7. Repeat. This is so much fun!

Hope you had fun visiting today. Be sure to follow #alongforthreadride!

Finished DIY Leather Label

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. October 18, 2016

    Sherri, I love everything about this. Information packed on a project I really want to make. That apron has been on my list for a long time so thanks for showing me how excellent it is, especially in the Essex, and how can you pass up leather! thanks.

    • October 19, 2016

      Hooray! Thanks Daryl :) The apron is SO AMAZING – you should totally do it! (Would be great in your Echino too!)

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