I have been teasing you all with snippets of this make for the last week or so. Now I can finally reveal my gold faux leather skirt. I am so pleased with this skirt and it is currently at the top of my 'wear on Christmas day' list. And probably every party from now till then.
What is faux leather? Sometimes known as pleather, urgghh hate that word. It is a fabric coated with polyurethane to give the look, feel and texture of leather. The results can vary loads but it is possible to have a really high quality faux leather, that is almost impossible to tell the difference, at a fraction of the price of the real thing.
Here are a few hints when sewing with faux leather:
Use weights and a rotary cutter to cut out your pattern. This should stop the fabric moving about and removes the need for pins because...
You cannot go back, once you make a hole in faux leather it is there for good. So no pins, no unpicking (unless you need to make it smaller) and you have to get that zip right first time!
When constructing my skirt I cut the fabric a bit bigger at the sides seams then I stitched the back seam and put the zip in before sewing them up. This made it easier to fit and I had a bit more to play with if the zip did go wrong.
I tried both a leather needle and a jeans needle on my fabric before opting for a standard 12 needle as I found this gave the best result. Just make sure your needle is super sharp to pierce the faux leather cleanly.
Use fabric clips or bull dog clip instead of pins, these will not leave any holes in the fabric but will help hold it secure as you sew.
A walking foot will help the faux leather to move through your machine as it does have a tendency to be a bit sticky. Making sure it doesn't get too warm also helps prevent sticking. Some people also find using washi tape on your machine can help it move through but I would worry that this would leave a sticky residue on my machine so have never tried it.
Talking about getting warm, you can use a very cool iron on faux leather, it will not work to flatten seams or darts but if you want to apply an iron on interfacing you can. Just make sure you test a patch first and that you use a piece of muslin or other fine cloth to protect the iron and the fabric. Also allow to cool fully before sticking it back in the machine.
As faux leather does not fray you do not need to finish the seams. If you want your seam allowances to lie flat you will either need to top stitch them or stick them down using a fabric glue. A mini wallpaper roller can help get them really flat. You can also buy a special leather tape for sticking down seams.
For this project I left them as they were as I didn't want any top stitching on the skirt. For this reason I also didn't hem my skirt but simply cut it with a rotary cutter to the right length. Making sure the seams were secured so they didn't unravel.
You can wash faux leather by hand in light soapy water or just give it a wipe down, handy if you have spilt your babycham while dancing!
Well I am off to my Sewing Bee Christmas drinks, in my gold faux leather skirt of course!!
Happy sewing and dancing xxx