Posts Tagged ‘leather’

Sewing Stockings With Leather & Chambray


This Christmas threw me for a loop. It fell so close to Thanksgiving (apparently it’s the last time in a million something years it will happen that way). I felt rushed.


I also got sick. The state of Utah has all been passing around some miserable intestinal bug. And I caught it. I was in bed for two days. Leaving Christmas to the last minute. Literally.

I had the fabric laid out and the patterns all cut, but it wasn’t until 1am Christmas morning that I was able to sew these babies up.


Instead of embroidering the names on the stockings, I just made quick calligraphed tags and tied them on with baker’s twine. It was simple, but created a really fun, simple Christmas feel.

I was channeling a more traditional style after watching The Polar Express. Has anyone else noticed the calligraphy in the note from Santa at the end? Maybe that’s just a me thing to do? I decided that Santa likes traditional Copperplate stylings.


I drafted the stocking pattern by hand. I wanted to get as many stockings out of the 3/4 yard of chambray I got from Michael Levine as possible. I used this mocha chambray, courtesy of Michael Levine.

So this was the size I settled on. It’s something like 7 inches by 20 inches. Plenty big for candy bars and art supplies (my ideal stocking stuffers).


The top of the stocking is made out of an interlock knit, kind of a-typical, but softer and fluffier than cotton but not felt. I didn’t want to do fleece or felt. I feel like sometimes felt doesn’t age well (unless you get the nice stuff, and I didn’t have any around at 1am). If I were to do it again, I might go for a minky or faux fur. But the interlock is soft and simple.

The interior is a simple white cotton poplin.


I also used a bright red leather for the tabs at the top. It’s a fun little detail that screams “Melissa made this”. Maybe next year I’ll have a mantle to hang these stockings from! We already have the fireplace, I just want some kind of shelf or mantle above!

I hope your Christmas was fun and family-filled! Also, anyone else leave Holiday decor or gifts to the last minute like me? I’d love some solidarity here.

DIY: Gold and Leather Bolo Necklace


I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.


I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!


Make one with me!

Leather Gold-Dipped Bolo Necklace Tutorial



  • gold chain 11-18 inches
  • 20 guage gold wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • closure
  • leather strip, 8 x .5 inches
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • liquid gold or gold foil
  • junk brush

If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.

Click below to read the rest of the instructions!


Before & After: Leather Photo Stool


This was the easiest thing I did all week. If you have a similar stool, you might find the same to be true.


I bought this stool from a neighbor for $10. Chris has wanted a stool for playing the guitar, but we haven’t wanted to invest anything yet. When a neighbor posted that she was getting rid of it, I quickly snatched it up.

Chris was disgusted at the initial appearance of the stool. It had been well loved, the cushion was severely cracked and it had a layer of dust on top. All of the working parts moved smoothly, so it was just a matter of a simple face-lift. I’ve recovered a few stools in my day (1, 2), so I knew I could get it done in about 10 minutes. 15 minutes if you count stopping and taking pictures along the way.


I already had the foam, leather and staples on-hand, so it was just a matter of finding 10 minutes to dedicate to finishing it off. I cut a rough circle of memory foam. I wasn’t perfect about it because I knew I was going to smash the heck out of it anyway.


Leather has some stretchy properties, so I only measured an extra 3 inches around the sides for the leather and cut.


Not doing anything to the existing padding, I piled on the new padding and leather and started to staple it down.


It’s crucial to staple along opposite ends, first. Dividing the circle into quarters, then dividing again, and again, working all the way around switching off between stapling down horizontals and verticals.


I ended up stapling all the way around using very little spacing between staples to keep the leather from pleating around the edges.


Chris was impressed with the final piece, excited to practice his chords on it. But I’ve been using it in my studio for extra seating and animated gifs. It’s such a useful little piece in our home.


Don’t you just love it when you find something with such great potential and it ends up being an easy fix?

DIY: Leather and Felt iPhone Case


Chris gets bored when he’s waiting for me to make the finishing touches to a garment I’m sewing. I love his company, though.

In his boredom a couple saturdays ago, he started asking me questions about drafting an iPhone case pattern. Reluctantly I helped him (Why is it always reluctantly?).


About 15 minutes later, I found myself roped into making Chris a case. He drafted and cut while I sewed.

Save for one wrong measurement, everything went very smoothly.


The case is a little loose around the sides, but otherwise fits perfectly. As the leather stretches to conform to the phone, I’m sure we’ll go back through and tighten up the gaps with more stitches. For now it works, though.

We used a 5mm industrial felt for the back to give it structure and to keep the case from slipping out of Chris’s pocket. A coral garment-weight calf skin was used for the inner layer and a lambskin was used for the wallet layer. The leathers were thin enough that my machine went through the three layers without any hiccups. Because of the thin and flexible nature of the leather, I turned down and hemmed the edges to give the leather a little more stability. It worked like a charm.


We bought a ton of this industrial felt. It’s pretty neat. We’ve already made a laptop case and this phone case, but we have just shy of 3/4 of a yard left of the 40″ wide material. I’m thinking some catch-all baskets will be next.

Leather Crafting: Sewing up iPhone Case


We didn’t need much evidence to see that my sister-in-law needed a new case for her phone. While she partied with us this weekend we put our heads together (I see a three-bodied, one-headed monster) to come up with a wallet/case for her. I have a pattern for a phone/wallet pattern and tutorial available for the iPhone 4, but we decided ad-libbing would be more fun for her slightly-different-dimensioned iPhone 5.


I didn’t make a pattern for her (I kinda wish I did, I love how it turned out). We ended up wrapping the leather around her phone and punching and sewing as we went.


We used a large leather scrap scored from an upholstery shop years ago. It’s thin, but stiff. Perfect for a durable case that will hopefully last years.

The rustic styling and minimal details play into Brooke’s style well.


I love the simplicity of this case.


And the one line of stitching down the side is a really neat detail, IMHO. ;)


Our little “experiment” was a total win. I couldn’t help but get even more excited and anxious to get my new phone and case!!

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