I’ve been slowly working on making my first pair of faux leather pants the last couple weeks. I planned to complete them in 1 week. It took 2. Part of the reason is life- I was pretty busy. But also sewing pleather can be tricky. Especially when it’s stretchy.
So, I’ve decided to share some of my top tips so that, hopefully, you can avoid some of the mistakes I made. (I actually had to throw out part of the right leg and re-make it. It was annoying to say the least).
- Test a Swatch: Test a swatch using different needles, stitch lengths, and feet. If your fabric is sticking, to the foot, you may need a leather or teflon foot. If you don’t have a teflon foot, I’ve heard you can actually apply regular tape to the foot and it helps the foot to glide more smoothly along the fabric.
- Pressing: Many people say not to iron faux leather. My unpopular opinion: test a scrap WITHOUT the steam- you might be able to iron it. Just make sure to use a pressing cloth as it will protect the fabric and your iron.If the swatch gets ruined- it’s just a swatch.
- Use Seam Roller & Top Stitch: If you can’t use an iron, use a seam roller to press your seams. Top stitching can also improve the appearance of the seams and help to flatten them.
- Use Wonder Clips and Basting Tape: If you use pins, they will leave permanent holes in your fabric. So, to hold seams together, use wonder clips. For basting, you can use regular tape or you can buy basting tape that dissolves when washed. I especially recommend basting tape for zippers if your faux pleather has stretch to it. I actually recommend basting tape to apply zippers to ANY fabric with stretch. This helps avoid the issue of roller coaster zippers.
- Cut One Layer With a Rotary Cutter. Faux leather can be slippery. So, cutting one layer at a time with a rotary cutter, will help keep your seams clean and help you cut accurately.
- Don’t Rush and Make Sure to Double Check Instructions! As the holes in your fabric will be permanent, sew slowly and make sure to double check instructions to avoid mistakes.
- Finishing: since faux leather doesn’t fray, you can leave seams raw, use pinking shears, a serger, or use double sided tape and finger pressing. Remember: don’t back stitch with real leather cause you might make the holes bigger. Instead, just cut your threads a little longer than usual so that you can tie them off.
Have you made anything with leather or faux leather?? I’d love to hear what you made and if you have any tips I missed- leave a comment and let me know!