Author Topic: I'm in stitches!  (Read 1781 times)

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Offline Aaroncois

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I'm in stitches!
« on: May 28, 2009, 07:01:05 PM »
I'm sure the expert seamstresses/tailors here will  ::), but today I stitched my first seam ever (well, there might have been an art project in middle school, but that was forever ago), by hand! In leather! With a leather awl punch sewing thingie! I just had to share, as this is not something I have any experience with. I even managed to assemble the awl thingie without major bloodshed, though it was touch-and-go there for a bit.

My newfound hobby was inspired by my need for a new pouch, and the fact that I've put off buying one for several years because I just couldn't bear the expense. Taking a close look at the one I got from Potomac Leather (the Falconer's Pouch, apparently), it looked to my inexpert eye that it probably took somebody around 10 minutes on a sewing machine to turn two leather scraps, a rawhide strip, two rivets and a piece of bone into a pouch that sold for $40-60. And, optimally, I'd like one for myself and probably a few smaller ones for my kids (who currently have none). My wife could probably find use for one as well. So rather than spending $150+ on pouches (or, more likely, continuing to gaze at them longingly year after year after year but never actually buying any), I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (note to self: make some boot straps) and dove in head-first. If I need artisan-quality leatherwork, I'll need to pay for it. But this is the 16th century equivalent of Wal-mart stuff - I just need a place to put my car keys!

All I've done so far today is some practice stitches on a piece of scrap leather that I bought, followed by assembling a small pouch from a kit. Next, I'm going to use the larger pieces of scrap to make a copy of the kit pouch, after which I'll have two small pouches for a total cost of $9 plus the cost of the tool ($10 after a 40% off coupon at AC Moore!). So far, so good!

So are there any master leatherworkers here who can offer any tips for a n00b like me? I'm a total novice at anything relating to sewing, so there's no advice that's too obvious.

Either way, I needed to share my profound (if arguably premature) sense of accomplishment and this seemed like a good place for it. Thanks for reading!

Offline Hoowil

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 07:09:43 PM »
Simple pointers...
1.Practice.
2. This is NOT fabric, it will stretch different, cut different, and will not self seal wholes.
3. Keep your stiches tight.
4. If you're using thin leather, it may be possible to use a lighter needle, to minimize stitch visability and holes. For heavier leather, you might need to pre lay out holes, and even pre punch.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.

Offline LadyShadow

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 10:01:26 PM »
Best of luck with your leather sewing adventures.  Please post pics so that we may see what you have accomplished.
May the stars always shine upon you and yours.

Royal Order of Landsharks Guppy # 98 :)

Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 04:43:20 AM »
Yay!  Well done!

I can no longer sew leather by hand, as it punishes my fibro&RSI-afflicted paws too severely, but boy is it fun to accomplish something!

A nice hand-cranked old Singer and some leather needles will assist you later, when you want to do something a little bigger or speedier in garment weight leathers.

For really thick leather you might try a craft drill to make the holes...

Offline Marietta Graziella

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 07:30:00 AM »
Hearty congratulations to you!  Every triumph is worth celebrating.  This was, however, not just a sewing triumph, you solved a problem.  You bolstered your confidence.  Soon, you'll be lovingly wandering the isles at your local fabric store with great zeal and exclaiming "Of course I can make the doublet!"    Huzzah!  ;D
Nothing clever to say here.  Not enough caffine yet.

Offline Aaroncois

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 08:16:59 AM »
Thanks for the advice and kind words! My wife made her entire dress (it's gorgeous!) and I don't know if I'll be competing with her anytime soon, but it would sure be cool to have complete control over the look and quality of my garb while staying within budget.

What I really need next are new boots, but the mere thought of trying to make actual footwear terrifies me. More pouches first!!  :D

Offline lady serena

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 09:54:53 AM »
Here are some links for you, I don't know if you have them but I thought that I would share with everyone so here you go have fun. Oh by the way pictures, pictures, we all love pictures.

http://www.sithcamaro.com/boottut/

http://www.diycostume.com/leather/

http://www.ssrsi.org/sr1/Textile/shoe.htm

This one also has a forum that you can join and ask any type of leather question possible. They are all excellent people and help as much as they can. The forum is listed at the top of the page on the left hand side.

http://leatherworker.net/

Here is a link for a cheap supplier of good leather, and they also have an area that is set up for selling just small pieces.

http://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/


« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 09:56:30 AM by lady serena »
Guppy # 81
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Offline Aaroncois

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 10:33:13 AM »
Excellent links lady serena! Thank you!!

Offline lady serena

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 03:09:12 PM »
You are most welcome.
Guppy # 81
Fins up

Offline Aaroncois

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2009, 10:33:08 AM »
Best of luck with your leather sewing adventures.  Please post pics so that we may see what you have accomplished.




It's my first hand-sewn leather pouch, made from leather out of a $2.50 scrap bag from Hobby Lobby, plus a couple of pieces of rawhide and the thread that came with my sewing awl.   ;D

It was really just for practice and I gave it, along with the leather pouch kit that it was based on, to my sons. They had previously been pouchless and were quite pleased.

My next project began by dismantling a Wilsons leather jacket that my wife picked up at the Salvation Army store for $20. My aim is to create a higher-end, bigger pouch like the one I already have from Potomac Leather. I wear leather gloves (also from Potomac) at the Faire and have a devil of a time keeping my wallet, keys, faire schedule and other stuff organized in one small pouch. So now, I'll have two!

Next step will be to measure and cut the leather, based on a combination of examining my existing one plus patterns I've come across online at sites such as Lady Serena linked to above. My wife has a new Kenmore sewing machine that we think (from what we read) can sew leather, so I may not need to hand-stitch this one. Wish me luck!

Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2009, 10:58:09 AM »
That sounds like a good plan.  Reclaimed leather is good.  Just remember to buy some leather needles for the machine.

Offline Hoowil

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Re: I'm in stitches!
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 01:03:08 PM »
If you can find it, check to see what kind of leather (weight) the machine can handle. For doing poiches and such, light lethaers. like deer or rabbit shouldn't be a problem, but double check, and try it on a couple scraps first.
I've got leather adn leather needles, waiting their turn in my project line myself. Good luck, and happy stitching.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.

 

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