Is It Possible To Sew My Designs On a Machine?

Is It Possible To Sew My Designs On a Machine?

People often ask me if my patterns can be done on a sewing machine. The answer is yes and no, because it depends on 3 things:

- The pattern. All patterns are different, and while Marina’s Backpack or Brandy aren’t very challenging for machine stitching, Whiskey would be next to impossible unless you have a cobbler. 

- The machine. Common industrial sewing machine has more limitations than cobblers, cylinder arms or post bed machines. 

- Your skills. That doesn’t need much explanation, the more proficient you are with a machine, the more experience you have, higher are the chances that you would be able to adapt a particular pattern for machine stitching. 

 I do not use a sewing machine to sew leather, so I asked my Facebook group - Karlova Leatherwork Patterns - to give some input on the subject. Here’s what they said: 

 Some can be done by machine but you have to have a Cowboy or other HD Machine and be good at sewing. I sew a lot by hand because I saddle stitch almost everything
- Christopher Jacobs

 I do both. Time is money and no matter how good you are at hand sewing you will never be faster than a well tuned machine. That being said hand sewing does give a nicer finish and stronger stitch. The capability of being able to use a machine depends on what machine(s) you are using. Cylinder arms can get into some tight corners that you can’t easily see on a flat bed machine, but the flat bed can make you’re life easier when you have a large bag hanging off the side of your machine. A lot of your current patterns would need to be modified in some fashion to be machine sewn, but from a design perspective if you’re planning ahead with machine sewing in mind you can make some beautiful patterns.

 The gussets are usually the sticking point on a bag being able to be machine sewn or not. Here’s some good videos that show some good tips on machine sewing gussets. He does hand sew his examples in the first video, but all 3 of his gusset examples can be easily sewn on a machine.

Looking at your handbag patterns. The Whiskey would need to be 100% hand sewn. The Siberia and Emoji could potentially be machine sewn, but it would have a significant impact on the look of the bag. The Contours, Round bags, Trapezium, Opera, and Luna could be easily modified for machine sewing with minimal impact on the overall design. The Cognacs can all be sewn on a machine with out any changes.
- Jennifer Flynn

 On a flat table you are limited to flat items pieces, (saves a lot of time). If i had an arm stitching sewing machine i would just manually adjust the size of the item part to accommodate the stitch or width of the sewing machine feet and teeth.
- Jacque Hernandez

 I've managed to stitch the signature backpack(with a few minor alternations) on a sewing machine. From what I've seen on your patterns, some portions can definitely be sewn with a sewing machine.
- Theona Sarateanu

 I do both. For your designs, It would really just be the flaps, when lining, if I can get the thread to look good with the thicker hand sewing thread. Your designs look great hand stitched and done right, people will pay for it. I got 500 from a Whiskey bag and 300 from one of your other less stitching styles. Also, if I was to add a liner with pockets, I would use a machine on zippers and such. What makes a machine with a bag so difficult? Veg-tan, unless there is a big opening, or you have a machine with a long arm so you don't have to stitch the bag inside out. 

Your crisp corners really make your designs flow. I feel like if your patterns were adjusted to a machine, they would really lose artistic integrity. Basically, they would look like everything else in a department store, just slightly different. Hand stitching is what makes them characteristic of artisans. If you look at my bag above, on the machine stitched bag, it would be shit without all the tooling details. If time was saved on something machine stitched, it would be lost trying to make up for its boring self.
- John Calabrese

 I do both. The bags with internal seams, rather than overlapping, the flat pieces - those can be machine stitched. But when I'm combining machine stitching and hand stitching, I try to limit the machine stitching to "things that cannot be seen on the outside" and straps. So it still has the look of handstitching.
- Ronda Grogan

 A standard cloth sewing machine or light duty machine won’t handle a lot. Wasn’t designed for heavy materials. Good way to ruin a machine. Industrial machines or cobbler machines work well but there’s many limitations on bags and such.
- Scott Shepherd

 Hopefully you find this helpful, and make your own decision whether you want to give it a shot or stick to the good old saddle stitching technique. Personally, I don't have anything against sewing machines, just keep in mind that sewing machine stitch is different (interlocking) and if one thread is torn, the whole seam would unravel. This does not happen with saddle stitch - and it's another reason I personally prefer everything hand stitched.
- Marina Karlova


 Photo credits:

Image by drobotdean on Freepik

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash


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