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Monday, December 2, 2013

Sewing Leather Doll Clothes Review and Giveaway!!


Disclosure: I was sent samples of leather for free to write this review and use in my church event but was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share my first experience with sewing with leather. I was approached awhile ago by Leather Hide Store and Kyson Leather to see if I would be interested in creating something with leather and reviewing it here. I struggle with what to make with leather. I started a Pintrest board on Leather Projects to get inspired. I was not sure if I wanted to make a bag, a purse, or something totally different. Then I decided to make Hazel's doll some leather clothes.

Now Hazel has asked Santa for a "Hazel" doll--a doll that looks like her. I found a Madame Alexander What a Doll doll with brown hair and brown eyes at KMart and it happened to be on clearance (which I did not realize when I picked it). You can see her above. I have not completely taken her out of the box yet so her hair will not get too messed up. I figured since she loves to change her dolls clothes and have them have purses, I would make her a leather jacket, purse and boots and I would make them bright pink since that is her favorite color. I figured since it would not take much leather to make this, I could make two and give one away to a lucky reader. Well, they loved this idea and also threw in a $25 gift certificate to go with it so the winner can experience working with leather as well.

Now while I was trying to decide what to do, Leather Hide Store sent me three pieces of remnants for my church's Night in Bethlehem which will be Saturday. One of the pieces was used to be a map of the journey Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The other pieces and some scraps from the first piece will be used to decorate our Leatherworking Shop in our Marketplace. The Bethlehem Marketplace will have eight shops where a demonstration will be done or a craft will be made by the families visiting. The Leatherworking Shop will have leather lacing to make into bracelets, so we just needed something to help give it the leather feel and smell. All of us at my church are so thankful for this amazing donation.

While I was waiting for my magenta leather, I started looking for some patterns for doll clothes that might work with leather.  I found two McCall's patterns that had different things I liked. I luckily got them on sale at Joann Fabrics when they were 5 for $7. Then I talked to my mother who told me I needed to get special needles for my sewing machine. I found them at Joann Fabrics as well and while I was there I asked if I would need special thread. They suggested getting an upholstery or craft thread so it would be stronger. I found the perfect color in a denim thread and figured this should work.  I also did some research on line for suggestions when sewing with leather. World of Pineapple has some great leather sewing tips and tricks.


The magenta leather came and I could not wait to try sewing with it. The first thing I made was the two purses. I used the McCall's MP327 (the pattern pieces had the number 6669 instead). I bought some sequined appliques for them instead of trying to make the one the pattern had. I have to admit one of the hardest things to sew was the straps for the purses. Doll scale made it a bit harder to work with the thickness.

Doll in Giveaway Outfit
Then I started on the boots. I used McCall's MP325 (the pattern pieces had the number 6804 instead) for the boots and jackets. After making the four boots, I started the jackets. I intended to make the jackets identical, but I started following the wrong jacket instructions and missed sewing on the collar on one. Now some tips for working with leather. Copy the pattern pieces onto the wrong side of the leather. You cannot use pins since the holes will not go away. You can use clips like paperclips or clothespins. One of my favorite things was you did not have to finish the edges like you do with other fabrics.

Doll in Hazel's Doll Outfit
I grabbed one of Hazel's other 18-inch dolls to model the outfits for us since I have not taken her Christmas gift out of the box completely. Our plan is to have her new doll sleeping in a sleeping bag under her small tree in her room with the fancy dress hanging on the tree. I have to finish the dress and make the pajamas for the doll. I also want to make matching pajamas for Hazel. I found some cute gingerbread men flannel to make them.

Ok, back to my review. I have to say how wonderful it has been to work with  Leather Hide Store. They are a family run business and have been in business for eight years. They sell at Leather Hide Store website or on ebay as Kyson Leather. My experience with them is that they are a company that remembers what customer service is suppose to be. They will send you five free samples, and if those five do not work they will send you five more and this is without entering payment information. The quality of the leather they sent me was wonderful and I am so happy I had this experience. I expect I may have to get some more magenta leather to make a purse for Hazel so she can match her doll (my purse happens to be the same color too). So if you are looking for leather for a project, please check out Leather Hide Store. I know you will not be disappointed.

Now for our giveaway. You can enter to win one leather doll outfit which includes a pink leather jacket, pink purse and pink boots. (I made all of them and will admit they are not perfect, but I know any child would love them for her/his doll.) The clothes should fit most 18-inch dolls.  In addition to this, Leather Hide Store is adding a $25 digital gift certificate. To enter you need to follow my giveaway rules and follow the Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends on December 16th so I can get the outfit to you hopefully by Christmas depending on the mail!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway