Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ladies and Gentleman, Introducing Leather Cuffs!

I can't believe it has been almost two months since my last post. I like blogging about my projects but the irony is that if I don't sew, I have nothing to blog about. So I don't blog as often so I can give the time to sewing. So I think that until my youngest goes to school, I will always have this dance between sewing and blogging. I actually should be sewing right now! LOL! However, I felt compelled to tell you all about my newest addition to my shop, wallet leather cuffs featuring my customary cultural icons.

These were really fun to make. I first became interested in leather cuffs when I read about Bunny Lang in the January/February issue of Belle Armoire magazine ( I filed the idea in my head for later use. Later on, I noticed my friend Shavon from church wearing leather cuffs all the time. This sweet girl was all of a sudden transformed into this tough chick. It really made any outfit mean business, she looked more serious in a rocker chic way. But again, I decided to file the idea. I didn’t have any leather and the thought of purchasing it didn't intrigue me.

It was months later, after tiring of constantly fixing the heel of my leather boots, that this idea once again popped in my head. The boots were too busted to give away so I decided to cut them up and begin on my first leather cuff.

I really liked it but how could I incorporate my passion for cultural icons on leather? This process made me realize that I really liked making cuffs and so perhaps, I thought, I could make fabric cuffs and include the icons there. I had been trying to find a craftier way to play with fabric and this was it!!! Thus, my fabric cuffs were born.

At first, these concentrated on family photos, I then incorporated the cultural icons. They were so much fun to make and I have sold quite a few. Then my friend Yesenia asked if I could make them more useful, like add a zipper, etc... I sat on this idea a while. I didn't know how the fabric would stand to yet another addition. I was already adding images, loop closures, buttons. Would they look too thick to wear? So again I simply pondered the idea while i continued to make the cuffs. Then Shavon showed me the inside of her leather cuff and I thought, "hey, with leather and snap closures, the zipper might work!" When part of my hubby' leather coat got ruined in the trunk of our car, I immediately asked him if I could keep the remaining good portion of it. he said yes (as long as i agree to make him a cuff) and I began snipping away.

Making the cuffs has been a tinkering process. I realized I had to buy thicker needles for my sewing machine as it would not sew through the leather at first. I also had to decide whether I wanted to leave the raw edges of the leather or bind them. At first I tried to bind the edges but it made some of the cuffs look bulkier. At the end I decided to leave the raw edge on most of the cuffs and sew around it. They look a bit rustic but I really like the way they came out. When using recycled materials you sometimes want the audience not to realize what it’s made of but in this instance it’s like I’m being true to where they came from. These are essentially strips of leather from a coat with snaps, a picture and a zipper. I like that. Hope you do too. Check them out at and tell me what you think. I love feedback!