Photo Demo: Making a Biker Wallet
Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:06 PM
I usually cut the interior pieces from some very light calf skin. But I'm out of that, and I really wanted to do this demo this weekend, so instead I used some light-weight chap/upholstery leather I had laying around. It does not sew up as nicely, and it's a little heavier than I normally like to use for this, but it's good enough for demonstration purposes. I'll probably update this later, when I've got more calf skin to work with.
To start off, here is the pattern, and a couple of photos to give you an idea of what the wallet looks like when completed. If you print out the attached PDF file with no scaling, this will give you all your pattern parts in actual size.
billfold_Bikers.pdf 10.2KB 6148 downloads
Here's a view of just a fully-assembled interior, with the cover not yet attached. It's got a zippered coin/key pouch, two bill/receipt pockets, and 3 id/cc pockets. It's a little hard to see here, but there is an eyelet through one corner of the first bill pocket that you can attach a chain to.
will_wip_03.jpg 18.88KB 4945 downloads
Here's a view of the cover. Note the snaps fasten to the front of the coin pouch.
will_wip_04.jpg 26.56KB 4313 downloads
On my next post, we'll get started making one of these.
Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:40 PM
biker-wallet-01_600.jpg 92.57KB 3845 downloads
This shows the back-side of parts 3, 4, and 5, where I have marked the stitching lines.
biker-wallet-02_600.jpg 106.98KB 4196 downloads
This shows the order the parts will go together, and which way they will face when assembled.
biker-wallet-03_600.jpg 87.65KB 3840 downloads
First, we're going to work on the zipper pouch, part #2. Start by dying and slicking the edge of the slot in the middle, where the zipper will go.
biker-wallet-04_600.jpg 104.97KB 3685 downloads
I usually install the zipper using a hand-sewn saddle stitch, but it's perfectly okay to use a machine if you've got one to do this part. Using a pair of dividers, scratch a 1/8" stitching line around the zipper slot.
biker-wallet-05_600.jpg 106.98KB 3407 downloads
Mark the stitching holes along the line, going all the way around the entire slot. My own preference is to use the punch only to mark the hole, not to punch it. Then I use a very sharp awl to slice the holes into the leather.
biker-wallet-06_600.jpg 108.02KB 3241 downloads
This shows the ziper slot with stitching holes marked.
biker-wallet-07_600.jpg 47.87KB 3233 downloads
Glue the zipper to the slot as shown here, and sew it in.
biker-wallet-08_600.jpg 56KB 3341 downloads biker-wallet-09_600.jpg 63.74KB 3425 downloads
Here's how the zipper looks after being sewn. (This doesn't sew up quite as nice as with calf skin.)
biker-wallet-10_600.jpg 58.93KB 3473 downloads
The snaps need to be installed on the zipper pouch before you sew the two halves together, as it is nearly impossible to do so afterward. So we might as well do that now.
biker-wallet-11_600.jpg 93.58KB 3348 downloads
Here's what we have so far.
biker-wallet-12_600.jpg 80.88KB 3282 downloads
The front pocket also needs to be sewn on before the zipper pouch is sewn together. That's part #1, so take it, and dye and slick its edges all the way around.
biker-wallet-13_600.jpg 70.36KB 3153 downloads
Mark stitching holes around 3 sides of the pocket, as shown here:
biker-wallet-14_600.jpg 102.07KB 3214 downloads
Glue the pocket onto the front of the zipper pouch as shown. Remember that there will be stitching 1/8" along the bottom edge, so make sure the pocket clears that.
biker-wallet-16_600.jpg 61.73KB 3454 downloads
Stitch it down, and this is what you should have so far.
biker-wallet-17_600.jpg 95.77KB 3063 downloads
In my next post, we'll add part #3 to the zipper pouch to make the second card pocket and half of the first bill pocket. I hope to finish posting this tomorrow.
Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:46 PM
Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:29 PM
Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:01 PM
Okay, next thing we're going to do is take part #3 and mark stitching holes where the lines are for the small pocket on the flesh side.
biker-wallet-18_600.jpg 89.09KB 2043 downloads
Then, turn it over and mark stitching holes around the bottom and side edges. This is for later.
biker-wallet-19_600.jpg 73.5KB 2692 downloads
Stain and slick the top edge. Apply adhesive along the smaller pocket lines (NOT around the edges), on the grain side. Then lay it grain side down on top of the zipper pocket so that all the edges line up as shown here:
biker-wallet-20_600.jpg 78.78KB 3017 downloads
Stitch along the smaller pocket line, and this is what you end up with. Be careful not to cut through the thread in the zipper's seam when you punch holes for the pocket seam. Also, note in the photo that the stitching holes have also been marked on the zipper pouch. You can do that at just about any point in the process.
biker-wallet-21_600.jpg 80.11KB 2879 downloads
Now take part #4, and mark stitching holes for its card pocket on the flesh side.
biker-wallet-22_600.jpg 80.44KB 2539 downloads
Dye and slick the top edges of parts 4 and 5.
Apply adhesive along the stitch line, on the grain side of part 4, and glue parts 4 and 5 together, with their grain sides facing each other, with all the edges lining up.
biker-wallet-23_600.jpg 102.72KB 2558 downloads
Stitch them together, and you now have two partial assemblies.
biker-wallet-24_600.jpg 97.47KB 2786 downloads
Now we're going to put the two partial assemblies together to form a bill pocket. Apply adhesive around the bottom and side edges on the flesh side of either part 3 or 4. Then lay 4 on top of 3 with their flesh sides facing each other, like this:
biker-wallet-25_600.jpg 81.39KB 2875 downloads
You already have stitching holes marked for this seam on part 3, around the bottom and side edges. Stitch parts 3 and 4 together along that line. This shows which two parts are getting stitched in this step:
biker-wallet-26_600.jpg 76.33KB 2747 downloads biker-wallet-27_600.jpg 78.44KB 2680 downloads
Here's what you should have at this point. It's finally starting to take shape!
biker-wallet-28_600.jpg 87.54KB 2970 downloads biker-wallet-29_600.jpg 85.91KB 3097 downloads
The last major step is to sew together the two halves of the zipper pouch. Just apply your adhesive to either half (or both, I guess, if you're using rubber cement), press them together with the edges lined up as best as possible, and stitch them together.
biker-wallet-30_600.jpg 76.25KB 2941 downloads
Now all the parts are attached, and all the pockets are "functional", except for the second bill pocket, whose other half is the wallet cover.
biker-wallet-31_600.jpg 94.5KB 2783 downloads biker-wallet-32_600.jpg 107.5KB 2679 downloads
Finally, spiff up your edges by sanding them to get them evened up, dye, and slick them. No need to finish the edges on part 5 until you attach it to the cover. It probably goes without saying that the better job you do of cutting them out and lining them up, the less work you'll have to do at this point.
biker-wallet-33_600.jpg 90.76KB 2676 downloads biker-wallet-34_600.jpg 105.39KB 2798 downloads
And here's the completed interior of your biker wallet! I pointed out a couple of minor boo-boo's I made, so you might possibly avoid them.
biker-wallet-35_600.jpg 91.53KB 3224 downloads biker-wallet-36_600.jpg 127.6KB 3577 downloads biker-wallet-37_600.jpg 85.91KB 3618 downloads biker-wallet-38_600.jpg 104.15KB 2886 downloads
In my next post, I gotta figure out something interesting to do for the cover... hmmm....
Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:51 PM
It's a new product from MinWax. It contains a spirit-based wood stain, and is designed for touch-ups in wood work, but as you can see, it also makes a great edge dye! You can buy it anywhere you find wood stain products.
What type of pen are you using on the edges?
Click here to see product info.
Posted 23 November 2009 - 01:07 AM
Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:05 AM
Heheh! I almost used the pink stuff, just as an inside joke. I don't know if you recognize the stuff I did use, but that is also some of the leather you shipped to me along with the pink stuff. (I like to think of it as more of a "mauve". I'm saving it for something special.)
When you said you were going to use some upholstery leather you had laying around, I was looking forward to seeing something in an awful shade of pink but this probably was a better choice.
Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:14 PM
Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:06 PM
Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:52 PM
I saddled stitch almost everything, as I do not have a sewing machine. Previously, I used 4-5oz veg tan for my biker wallets, and even then, the tension of the saddle stitch "crumples" the edges a bit.
How is this thin calf skin going to take the saddle stitch? Hope you can share some experience.
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