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I know this is not a sewing forum but.................. - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Ginger pig

I know this is not a sewing forum but..................

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Hi,

I am just trying to restore some of my leather interior on my horrific purple SE. The thread has all but given up the ghost through ware and tear and reconolisation. I have remove a pannel of the door card (front undersection) and am going to by a new patch of leather and maybe a sewing machine to play around with. Does anyone know what type of stitch to use for:

A. The contrasting red stitch (car is cream and red interior)?

B. What stitch is used to connect the two pannels together?

Any addtional advice would be appreciated.

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Well, I'm no expert but

I have finally fathomed machine sewing and have done my carpets and some leather, headlining and visors. Mostly in my resto blog entries.

I thought I needed an industrial machine but not so. A cheapish standard one will do but these are sometimes sold as semi-industrial!

Can you provide some images?

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There is really only straight or zigzag stitch (discounting embroidery stitches) so imho it's more about seams and stitch length.

However I would recommend a stretch stitch so that when you sit on the seat there is a bit of 'give' and you don't split your stitches.

As always practice on a spare bit of leather and buy lots of new needles as the need to be very sharp to sew leather and can get blunt pretty quickly.

Sue

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Thanks Guys!

Simon,

When you say cheapish what kind of price are we looking at and what brand/model of machine have you used?

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Leave it to the professionals, you'll spend more trying to do it cheaper.

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Cheap? Well I would say something between £50-100 secondhand should be about right. Singer or Brother are good.

Something like this!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stunning-Singer-185k-Heavy-Duty-Domestic-Sewing-Machine-/170891048679?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item27c9e676e7&_uhb=1#ht_2252wt_1166

Sue is right - you need leather needles and lots of them!

I practiced and practiced until I almost gave up. I only really got the knack when I understood how the machine actually works. Then, it was easy. Infact, for much of the tricky bits, I didnt use the power - just turned it by hand, that way , although slow, I could be accurate and safe. This is to the extent that I am going to redo my boot carpets as they were definitely in the steep part of the learning curve!!

CharlieCroker is right - much easier to let the professionals do it but, if you are like me, and believe that if someone else can do it, then so can I, go for it but practice for twice as long as you anticipate before taking the plunge. I bought some cheap leather scraps to get the technique correct before using the expensive stuff.

Tips

Its ALL about thread tension. For thick, tough materials, the tension needs to be high, or all the thread bunches at the back.

The foot pressure also determines success.

If you force the material, the needle will break.

If you can, glue the join first, allow to set, then finish it with sewing. That way, you can be certain you are lining things up as you intend.

Play around with the stitch length setting. Short for the actual join, long for the visible contrast.

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Hi Simon,

Your right; I am exactly the same as you and even if it does not work out; I know that I gave it my best shot and at the very least, if I try and fail it gives me an appreciation of the skill in the hands of another!

It also helps to empower you with a little bit of knowledge; as even if it is something that you are unable to do to a good standard, you will still retain the theory behind it.

P.S. I bought the above sewing machine today!

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Wow.

Well, hope you get good use from it.

I have used my machine to do more than the Lotus - sewn up holes in jean pockets - saved me pounds!!! etc etc.

BTW, mine came with no instructions but I found some online. You do need these to thread it correctly and to stand a chance of understanding how the various adjustments affect how it functions.

Good luck!

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We had to do some machining to produce wet weather covers for a 42 foot boat. Ended up buying a second hand professional commercial machine from eBay, using it to do the covers, and selling it afterwards. Successful, and very cheap overall.

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Good tips there. I will retrim my interior myself too. Looking for a sewing machine also. I was informed that a walking foot machine is the way forward. Pricey though!! Ouch.

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