Sewing with pleather, PVC, vegan leather, or fake leather can be a bit intimidating for those who are used to working with traditional fabrics.
However, with the right tips and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.
I don’t sew with fake leather often but for the May Bernina Inspiration blog post, I attempted something way outside my quilting comfort zone (just you wait and see!).
And I learned a lot, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for working with fake leather AND make a cute knotted keychain along the way.
So go grab some vegan leather (new or cut up a cheap bag from a dollar store!), a keychain ring and let’s get started!
- 1.5” x 8”-10” strip of fake leather
- Keychain ring
- Magic clips (no pins!)
To get started let’s make sure we have the right equipment for sewing fake leather.
These things will make your life so much easier in the long run, trust me.
Use the Right Needle and Thread
Use the right needle and thread: One of the most important things to keep in mind when sewing with pleather or fake leather is to use the right needle and thread.
As far as needles, it depends on the fake leather but generally a Schmetz Universal #90/14 ( or #100/ 16) needle is the one that a lot of bag makers use
In terms of thread, a polyester or nylon thread is recommended as it is strong and durable.
Keychain Step One
Fold the long strip in half lengthwise and clip the sides together to secure them.
Use clips instead of pins: When working with pleather or fake leather, it is important to avoid using pins as they can leave permanent holes in the fabric.
Instead, use clips to hold the fabric in place. This will also help to prevent the fabric from slipping or shifting while sewing.
Next we’ll stitch down this length with a narrow seam allowance, using the following tips.
Sewing Fake Leather on a Machine – You Need This Foot
This is the biggest game changer, you have to have a nonstick foot (I used #53).
Otherwise, your fabric will stick to the foot, making everyone’s life very difficult.
Use a longer stitch length: When sewing with pleather or fake leather, it is recommended to use a longer stitch length.
This will help to prevent the material from puckering or bunching up.
A stitch length of around 3-4mm is a good starting point, but you may need to adjust it depending on the thickness of the material.
Keychain Step Two
Following the edge of your #53 nonstick foot, stitch down the length of the strip, unclipping as you go.
Keychain Step Three
Mark a diagonal line on both ends and stitch a small diagonal line using the same seam allowance as before.
Trim off the little corner and any stray threads.
Keychain Step Four
Let’s tie a cute know and we’re almost done!
Following the pictures will be the easiest way to understand how to make the knot.
Pull your leather strip through the keychain ring, making sure one side is longer than the other, and that it’s in the front.
Take the longer strip and fold it around the back of the shorter strip, and back around to cross over itself. Then tuck that end through the loop that you just made.
Pull it tighter to create a knot near the ring. I usually move it around a bit until it looks like how I want it to.
And that’s it! You’ve practiced sewing on fake leather, just in time to use those skills for next month’s blog post.
These keychains are so cute and they can be customized with permanent vinyl stickers as well.
I know that sewing with fake leather can be intimidating, but with the right tips and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.
By using the right needle and thread, a nonstick foot, clips instead of pins, and a longer stitch length, and finishing the edges, you can create beautiful and professional-looking projects.
So, go ahead and give it a try – you may be surprised at how easy it is!