Book Review: Little Delights in Leather by Mélanie Voituriez



Preliminary caveat: I worked for years in a custom leatherworker's studio as a patternmaker and production assistant; we made everything from mass-produced leather wrist cuffs and men's vests to OOAK leather corsets, motorcycle pants, and more. As such, I can be hypercritical about construction choices on RTW leather garments and accessories, and I have strong opinions about quality methods and techniques.

It's probably unfair but I have to admit, I was predisposed to skepticism with respect to the quality of this book due to the goofy title. (Little Delights in Leather? Really? Is it about making leather cupcakes and macarons because please.) I assumed--before I even downloaded the digital ARC--that it would contain amateur construction techniques (like riveting everything together in oak-tanned leather) and incredibly simplified projects like, say, a single-layer cuff bracelet, a pet collar, a change purse, etc.

I am so thrilled to be proven wrong!

The book features a chart explaining leather weights/thicknesses right at the outset, which is a refreshing change from books which put such a thing at the rear with glossary/appendices. You need to buy leather to make these things, so might as well put the reference table for novices where they can find it first.

Voituriez hasn't dumbed down her subject. She encourages readers to be fearless about leather production methods, offering tips on sewing by both hand and machine. The projects include a range of useful items--from a tablet case to various styles of bags to mittens to baby shoes and more. The projects are structured to include reasons to learn skills such as leather braid construction or tassel-making. Turns out this is a great new title for crafty-minded makers interested in learning to work with leather.

The title, enh, it still bothers me. Unless perhaps the book is aimed at a demographic market that uses "delight" as an unironic noun?

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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