Repairing Leather

My husband presented me with his golf club cover this morning.

It has a big hole in it.

If you watch the golf channel (like my husband does), you’ll notice the caddies take the covers off the clubs by grabbing the top of the cover and pulling hard on it.

I bet that’s what happened with my husband’s cover (only he doesn’t have a caddy, so I wonder who did it?!)

But after all that pulling, something had to give.

You can see where the stretchy ribbing pulled away from the leather head of the cover.

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See the white lines in the photo above? Those are pieces of plastic tubing that give the cover its shape.

Don’t worry, we’ll be able to maneuver that.

Now, I’m not saying that we are going to stitch on plastic. We aren’t. Not really anyway. You’ll see.

And let me make it perfectly clear that not every machine can stitch on leather.

I was a little skeptical about repairing this on my machine at first, but a good woman knows her limitations (isn’t that a Clint Eastowood line? Only I put “woman” where “man” was).

Name that movie.

Ok, I can’t either.

Anyway I digress.

The reason I think I have  a chance is that I am not trying to sew over two thick pieces of leather. This is one piece of leather of average thickness and one piece of stretchy ribbing material, so I am more confident. If your project is too thick to fit under your presser foot, consider taking it to a leather repair shop or a shoe repair store.

If you try to sew something that is too thick, you can jam the needle, jam the machine and/or break the needle and/or break the machine. It could get ugly and expensive.

So, don’t try this at home. You need someone who has an industrial machine in that case (Leather shop or shoe repair shop).

But, back to the project at large.

First, get yourself some leather sewing machine needles at your local sewing store or online.

You need them if you’re going through leather. Don’t try to use your regular needles, please. If you do, make sure you’re wearing eye protection.

On second thought, just make sure you’re wearing eye protection no matter what. A broken needle can fly up and hit your eye. It has happened to me once, and thankfully, I had eye protection on.

Ok, back to the repair.

I began by sewing very slowly to see if the machine could handle the project. You may need to “walk” the machine at first to see how it does. To walk it, pull the fly wheel toward yourself several times to see if the needle goes into the leather and doesn’t just stick there and refuse to come out. If it sticks there after several tries, you might want to abandon the machine and hand sew the hole with a leather needle that is made for hand stitching leather. Or, you have the option, again, of going to a shop.

My machine did just fine, so I  began to sew the hole. Within a few stitches, I came upon the plastic tubing I mentioned earlier. When I got right up to it, I did two things:

One, I put a jean-a-ma-jig under the back of the presser foot.

This step is key whenever you are sewing over a big bump, like you do when you are hemming jeans the professional way.

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Two, I walked the machine over the plastic. In other words, don’t use the gas pedal. Just move the fly wheel toward yourself very slowly until the needle is past the tubing. That way, you don’t hit the tubing with the needle and cause all sorts of mechanical and medical problems for yourself.

If you do hit the plastic tubing while you are walking the needle, you won’t damage anything. You aren’t going at any speed, so you can’t hurt anything. Just lift the needle a little using the fly wheel, move the fabric a little and try walking the needle again until it finds a space to go into the fabric. You may have to walk the machine several stitches.

Once you’re past the tubing, you can remove the jean-a-ma-jig and continue sewing.

Sometimes, I sew twice over areas that need some reinforcement.

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Clip your threads and you’re finished.

Doesn’t it look great? And, it was so easy.

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You just saved yourself some big bucks.

Your husband will just have to put something else on his Father’s Day and Birthday gift list!