I am trying to make a long dress out of pigskin suede, and the pieces are not large enough to cut out the pattern. Is there a way to do it?
Denise from Havre, MT
Many leather and suede items are made of many pieces. Leather and suede also have grain. It stretches differently from one end or side to side. You need to be careful how you cut it. If you think there is enough material but you just can't cut it so there is enough for each pattern piece, you will need to piece it together to make it fit the pattern piece. Also pig leather or suede can be pretty difficult to sew because it is very tough. See if you can get some glovers needles. They have very sharp triangular points that work on many kinds of leather. They are available at a leather supply store.
Susan from ThriftyFun
I totally agree with Susan on every thing she said. Especiaily about trying to piece sections together to make them work for you. I would suggest that you do that on any of the smaller pieces you have to do that are not seen like the inside lining pieces such as the collar, or anything like that thats on the inside under garment of the dress depending on what style pattern you are using. Most of the time those pieces are small and unseen so you can piece them together to make those certain pattern pieces and that will save your larger pieces to use for the outside patterns that are more visible. I do this all the time with any fabric item I am making which can help your fabric go longer in use. Good Luck:)
I've been sewing, cutting out patterns & making my own patterns for nearly 40 years. I've done a bit of leather work too, though I must admit I'm no expert. As far as the pattern goes, I can think of a few things that might help you:
1) The first is to buy another piece of pigskin, leather, fake suede (microfiber) or whatever & use this to "accent" your piece. Maybe use a different color as an accent color in several places. This will give you extra suede. OR you can take another piece of pigskin & use this to add a section to the bottom of the dress for length.
2) The second idea I had was to take your dress pattern, then make copies of the pattern by tracing it on to the back of a piece of Christmas wrapping paper. Then, take this copy of your pattern & cut it up into smaller pieces (making sure to add extra room for a seam allowance where you've cut it!) This will give you additional ways you can arrange your pattern to make it fit the piece of suede.
3) The third Idea I had was to poke holes along the bottom & crochet a matching color of "lace" around the bottom of the dress (sleeves or collar area) This could add up to 4 or so extra inches to the length.
4) The last idea I had was to cut the dress pattern into a "top half" & a "bottom half"... this would make a short top & a skirt...
---> But if it were me... I'd not make a dress in the first place out of pigskin suede, or leather... I'd instead make a Jumper or a Vest with a matching skirt... The reason is this: Perspiration. You will sweat in the armpits of a dress & not be able to easily wash it... BUT, in a vest or jumper, you can wear a shirt under it to protect it... This way it will last much longer.
I would suggest going to your local thrift shop and purchasing a few suede skirts. Cut them apart and get a lot of suede for a minimal price. Good luck and please post a photo of your finished project.
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