Beginner Luxury European-Style Leatherwork

Course Details

This three day introductory course is for those individuals who are brand new to leatherwork, or have just done some very simple 2-3 hour introductory lessons.  The focus for this course is European methods for hand stitching, edge finishing, using the fileteuse tool and basic assembly processes.

This course will cover the following topics:

  • Essential tools for hand stitched leatherwork
  • Selecting leather for your project
  • Using pre-made patterns, cutting out your projects.
  • Using pricking irons for marking your stitch lines
  • Saddle stitching including stitching with and without casting
  • Edge finishing including edge preparation, using the fileteuse and edge painting.
  • Introduction to hand skiving using a paring or skiving knife


Possible projects can include the beginning projects from the Leatherwork School book: Belt Kit, Passport Envelope, iPad/MacBook case (a larger version of the Passport Envelope), and Valet Tray. If you have some previous stitching experience, you can work on the Zipper Wallet project.  You will be able to pick your leather from available stock or bring your own leather.
If you catch on quickly and work diligently, you may’ve time to complete multiple projects.
While pattern making is a vital part of leatherwork, in this beginner course, we will have you work with pre-made patterns so you can focus your time on construction techniques.  An optional day can be added on to beginning of this course should you wish to receive pattern making instruction. Please see the Pattern Making Add-on course and add it to your shopping cart if you want to add this on to your curriculum.
There are a maximum of 4 students per course so everyone will receive plenty of individual attention.

Available Course Dates

There are no dates scheduled due to Covid.  If you are interested in a beginner class, please email to indicate your future interest.


Ellen Valentine’s studio in Aiken, SC (about 45 minutes from Augusta, GA).

What’s Included

  • Coffee/Tea/Soda/Snack Self-Service Bar (please let us know your preferences!)
  • Lunch (please let us know about dietary restrictions)
  • The use of all studio tools
  • Leather and findings to complete your project
  • Should you select the Belt Kit project, the detachable belt buckle will be available for purchase

Booking Details

To book, go to the workshop page and add the course to your shopping list.  If a workshop you want is full, please email us at and asked to be placed on the standby list in case of cancellations. In the event of a cancellation, the next person on the standby list will be contacted!
Once you complete your deposit, you will receive a Workshop Participant Agreement.  This includes payment receipt, balance due amounts and dates, session times, location details, travel arrangement recommendations and more.  Please see our Terms and Conditions page which includes our cancellation and refund policy.

Course Fee:  $1200

*To book your place you must pay the 50% deposit ($600.00). The remaining balance of $600.00 will be charged 8 weeks before the course starts.