This is a review post. I was provided only the product in question in exchange for sharing my experience working with it in this post.
Lindsey Rae of Sew To Grow caught my eye by posting her wonderful collection of colored leathers on Instagram. I am a sucker for Bright & Happy, and her shop has it in spades! She was kind enough to send me one of her hides to try out, and I used it to make this Better-Than-Basic Bag that I am sharing with you today.
Lindsey is a talented seamstress and sewing teacher herself, and she wanted to be able to provide a product specifically for the home sewist. The leathers in the Sew To Grow shop are half-cuts or full sheepskin hides. Sheepskin is a buttery soft and subtle leather, and it has more of a garment leather feel to it rather than what you would find on couches or car seats. Sheepskin is thin – usually 1 to 1.5 oz in weight, and roughly .4 mm thick – which means it easily sewn by a home machine. (In comparison, the maximum thickness my machine has successfully sewn is a 2.6 oz cowhide leather.)
Sheepskin leather’s luxurious softness and drape resulted in a slouchier feel to this tote than the other ones I have shown you so far. The Better-Than-Basic Bag handle design looks best with a bit more stiff leather. So I skipped the leather handles for this bag.
Instead, I used the alternative woven handle method that I include in the Better-Than-Basic instructions.
Then, I used some of the remaining leather to create a bit of bag bling. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
SewToGrow is an Australia-based business, and as such her prices are in Australian dollars. With that in mind, I asked Lindsey to give me some more info about how that would work out for her US customers. Here is what she said:
All Sew to Grow leather hides are hand selected high quality sheepskin which is known for its soft and supple qualities and is perfect for making bags, clothing or craft projects on a domestic sewing machine. Sizing for a full hide averages between .7-1.0 sq meters (7 – 10 sq feet) and the pricing is as follows: $35 AUD for a half hide and $70 AUD for a full hide. Based on the US dollar at the moment the USD is buying .75-.79 AUD. Translated this means that for a $35 AUD half hide (as listed on my website) Paypal would then convert to USD and the customer would end up paying $25-$27 USD for the leather, depending on how the dollar is trading on that day. Shipping all the way from Australia isn’t as pricey as you may expect. Generally for 2 half hide pieces it would cost $14.10 AUD ($11 USD) for Standard Air Mail and $21.10 AUD ($16.50 USD) for Registered Post. Based on other US companies such as Tandy Leather, this pricing is extremely competitive, high quality, and picked by someone who sews and knows what you need for successfully making bags at home with out the use of an industrial sewing machine. Check out my leather shop for all current stock in an array of colors. Don’t see the color you are looking for??? Simply send me a note via the form on the bottom of the Leather Shop web page, and I will see if I can source the color you are interested in.
To get in touch with Lindsey Rae, you can find her…
On the Sew To Grow website
as @SewToGrow on Instagram
On the Sew To Grow Facebook page
On the Sew To Grow YouTube Channel
I am so happy that there are more and more options for leather shopping for the home sewist! Tomorrow, I’ll be back with more details on how to choose and shop for leather.
But in the meantime, we are still in the midst of “Launch Week” for the Better-Than-Basic Bag – which means the release week DISCOUNT CODE and GIVEAWAY are still running. Make sure you take advantage before the time runs out (June 5th, 2015)!