Today’s project, a knit and leather pouch, is kicking off March’s theme – Uncommon Objects. I wanted to spend some time doing projects I’ve had on my list but haven’t done because I’ve worried that they wouldn’t make “good sewing blog” projects because of technique, or materials, or something else. These are passion projects for me this month, so I’m giving myself permission to combine my interests and techniques (like sewing and knitting today), use unusual materials, and not worry about how popular any of these things are.
This project was actually a gift for a blogger exchange a couple years ago – it’s actually been photographed and in my backlog for that long! And I love it because it combines so many of my hobbies – sewing, knitting, and spinning (the yarn I used was handspun by me).
So, supplies. I used two strips of leather, 9 in x 3 in, handspun worsted weight yarn, and the things on the list below, which are affiliate links in case you need to purchase any of these things.
- a 9 in zipper
- size 8 double pointed knitting needles (which I later changed to circular)
- an X-acto knife, though an awl would work just as well.
- Pearl cotton thread (not pictured)
- A crochet hook (not pictured)
To start, I sewed the leather pieces to the zipper – I just laid them right on top of the zipper and stitched with a zipper foot.
A few tips on working with leather.
- One, since you will probably be leaving your edges unfinished, it is important to cut smoothly. Use sharp scissors and long strokes, or better yet a rotary cutter.
- Don’t pin. Pin marks will be permanent. Use clips to hold pieces together if necessary.
- Mark pattern pieces with pen or marker on the wrong side of the hide.
- Use leather needles and heavy duty thread
After stitching the zipper in place, fold the leather right sides together and stitch down the side edges.
My zipper tape was starting to fray on the edges by this point, so I used a match to melt the fiber and seal the edges.
Next, I used the X-acto knife to poke evenly spaces holes about 3/8 in apart and 3/8 from the edge along the bottom edge of the leather. Use the pearl cotton to sew a running stitch through the holes, making sure to knot the ends together very securely before cutting the thread.
I then used the crochet hook to pull yarn loops through the stitches and placed those on two of the knitting needles to cast on.
I joined the round of stitches (bonus – having the leather in place means it’s basically impossible to twist the round when you join) and immediately knit increases (k through front and back of each loop) into every picked up stitch along the first row. Then it was just a matter of knitting rounds of stockinette stitch until the pouch was about 3 1/2 inches long.
Finally, I cast off with a Kitchener stitch to join the yarn at the bottom of the pouch. Turn the pouch right side out and you’re done!