Leather Dress

Difficulty level Intermediate
Time to Complete Weekend


Picture: Leather Dress

Fulfill your dreams with luxurious leather and silk

Enjoy an unforgettable sewing experience by making the self-stitched dress of your dreams with fine leather.

Combine leather with silk and create the perfect accessory - a beautiful silk scarf. Design your own style and give your look a personal touch.


Tips for purchasing leather:

  • For our model, we needed 4 goat-velour and 3 lamb-nappa skins. As the skins are of different sizes and in some cases contain imperfections, however, you may require more.
  • It’s easiest if you take the paper pattern with you when buying the leather.

Tips for cutting out:

  • We recommend that you first sew a muslin, then adapt the paper pattern accordingly if necessary.
  • It is essential to check the leather for imperfections before cutting out.
  • For cutting out, place the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the leather and weigh down or use strips of tape to hold in place. Cut out the leather with a rotary cutter and precise seam allowances (in this way, no marking is necessary).
  • Tips for sewing leather:
  • Choose a fairly long straight stitch (3.5-4 mm) for sewing leather.
  • For optimum feed, switch on the BERNINA Dual Feed, or use the Walking foot or Presser foot with sliding sole.
  • A standard sewing needle is adequate for soft leather qualities such as we have used here.
  • Use paper clips instead of pins to hold fabric and pattern piece together.

Cutting out

(Seam- and hem allowances must be added on)

Goat-velour leather top:

  1. 1x centre-front (to fabric fold)
  2. 2x side-top section
  3. 2x centre-back
  4. 2x back neckline facing
  5. 2x sleeve facing

Lamb-nappa leather skirt section:

  1. 1x front skirt panel (to fabric fold)
  2. 2x back skirt panel


Prepare embroidery design:

  1. Open both embroidery designs in the BERNINA Embroidery Software V6. Delete the bottom flower in design OC85131. Enlarge both designs to 115% and arrange one over the other in the Jumbo Hoop.
  2. In order to avoid perforating the leather with the embroidery, reduce stitches: alter inside of flower to a straight stitch with a length of 2.5 mm, and the flower outlines to a triple straight stitch with a 3-mm stitch length.
  3. Delete flower stems and digitise a new line with a stemstitch (line width 1, distance 1.55,  angle 35%, type 'single').

Skirt section:
  1. Hoop the embroidery stabiliser in the Jumbo Hoop. Spray stabiliser with adhesive and stick leather on top. Embroider out the embroidery design (follow Tips for reducing stitch density).
  2. Sew both darts on the back skirt section and place towards the centre.
  3. Place front and back skirt sections together right sides facing and close side seams. Topstitch seam allowances from the right side on both sides of the seam.
Top section:
  1. Lay the side top sections on the centre-front section and centre-back sections and sew together. Place seam allowances towards the centre and topstitch from the right.
  2. Sew front and back armhole facings together along the short edges. Place right sides together on the armholes of the top section, sew together, and turn facings inwards. Secure facings in the dividing seams of the top section with a few stitches.
  3. Sew the back neckline facings on the shoulder seam to the seam allowances of the front neckline (up to seam allowance only). Lay neckline facing on the neckline edge of the back top section and sew. Trim corners at shoulder seam. Place seam allowances in the facings and edge-stitch. Turn facings inwards.

Sew together dress:
  1. Place skirt section right sides facing on top section and sew together. Topstitch seam allowances on both sides of the seam separately.
  2. Insert invisible zip in the centre-back. Sew neckline facings to the zip.
  3. Close the still-open centre-back seam between zip and walking slit.
  4. Turn under skirt hem and glue with the leather glue. Place slit seam allowances in the left skirt panel and glue in place. Topstitch the beginning of the slit diagonally, including the underlap as you do so.
  5. Line the dress if necessary, or wear with a slip.