Leather Catch-All Bowl – A Tutorial

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I have a serious stash of binder clips. For the most part I keep them in a pull-out plastic drawer or in a pretty ceramic bowl next to my main machine. When I’m sewing with my other machines though, I have nothing to hold excess *stuff*.

To help remedy the problem of my clip chaos, I drew up a mini version of my ceramic bowl and came up with this!  It’s super easy and quick to make, and I was able to stitch up a few more to put next to my other machines.

Want to make a few for your studio? Here’s how:

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                    It’s important to note before I begin:  You do NOT have to use leather for this bowl.                              Other options are listed below.

You will need:

1  20″ x 20″ piece of  leather, thicker felt, canvas, heavy oilcloth (or other material that is stiffer and can hold up without slouching.

Coordinating thread – Upholstery thread or heavier weight thread to sew through thicker materials. ( I used a Upholstery Weight thread)

Clips -Binder/Quilting, etc.

Basic tools – Scissors, Sewing Machine with Teflon foot, an awl or tweezers to help grab thread.

PRINTABLE PATTERN HERE:  Leather Bowl Tutorial

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From the printed pattern,  cut out 1 – 4″ circle and 2 curved wall pieces.

Take both curved pieces and overlap them together 1/2″ .  It does not matter which curved end is on top of the other.   Clip on each end to hold – do not use pins on leather.

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Attach teflon foot to your machine.  *Do not backstitch at beginning or end*

Starting 1/8″ from short edge, stitch along long edge stopping 1/8″ from end. Pivot, stitch 1/4″, pivot again, then go back down the other side. You are basically making a stitched rectangle.  ( I use a 3.5/4 stitch length.)

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Before you clip the threads, turn the piece over to the wrong side.   Take one of the back threads and give it a very gentle pull.  When you do that, it should pull the thread from the other side through the stitching hole.  Use your tweezers to pull that piece through to the wrong side.

Take the thread you just pulled through and the thread already on the wrong side and make a double knot.  Pull tight, then clip threads.

Do this step for the other loose thread. (See image below.)

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By doing this step, you have created a clean solid stitch line with no visible knots or backstitching.

Repeat the steps you just finished to complete the other curved end.  Now you’re ready to attach the rounded bottom.

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This is where you’ll need some clips.  Clip the 4″ rounded bottom piece (wrong side facing out) around the completed curved piece.  Make sure you are attaching the curved piece’s shorter side, not longer.

From here, you can either hand-stitch these pieces around the bottom piece  1/8″ from the edge, or very slowly sew around it on your machine. Again, do not backstitch.

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When you have finished, tie the threads off on the wrong side, just like we did for the curves.

2015-04-22 15.22.54Flip the bowl over and finger press or use a flat ended tool to press the seams of the bowl down a bit to finish.

All done!  Put this next to your machine and you now have a cute bowl to throw all those clips into after you sew.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial!  If you create a bowl in another material let me know. I’d love to see it!


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