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About Me

Found 8 results

  1. Here is a few of my tips for getting your sewing to look like it was machine stitched. I took a few photos and a video, to hopefully show and explain it a bit better.... As you all know a saddle stitch is very nice looking and is accomplished by threading a needle on each end of the thread. The rule of thumb I use for measuring my piece of thread is slightly more than 3 times the length of your stitching. 3 times the length is how much thread you will use and the little more gives you enough thread to pass the needle into the thread to lock it as you work, and when you get to the end of your piece you have enough thread to backstitch to lock your sewing in place with no nasty looking knots. EG... if your piece to be stitched is 4" long, then you would cut a piece of thread that is 14" long (3 times 4" is 12" with 2" left over to lock the needle and backstitch). You start with your first hole by pushing one needle into the first hole, and pull the thread through until you have EQUAL amounts of thread on either side of your work. Now your ready to start stitching. It is always best to work from right to left, or left to right, but ALWAYS maintain that direction. Imagine your piece of work on a stitching pony in front of you... you have one needle in your right hand, and one in your left to help explain it. In this case I am working from right to left, meaning I push the right needle in first, then push the left needle through. Once you snug up the thread, you start into the next hole with the needle that is now on the right. When doing this, you should notice your right thread is always BEHIND your left thread. This is the key to making it look like it was machine sewn, and getting an even sturdy stitch. Push the right needle through and pull the thread a bit. Then push the LEFT needle through in FRONT of the thread you just pushed through. When pulling the thread tight, always pull the needles from ABOVE the threads in the holes, and when pulling the left needle, make sure it is between and above the threads in the work. The video and pictures below should help to explain this a bit better if I have confused you with my instructions.
  2. Hi y’all - I’ve been an off-and-on lurker on these forums for a while, & now I have a specific question! I’ve been working on coming up with & testing a solid dog collar design for my goofball German Shepherd. I keep having issues with my collars stretching. For the most recent one, I used a midweight veg tan leather with a softer leather backing, & it was better than previous designs, but still ended up stretching significantly. Should I go to a heavier weight veg? Try backing the veg with harness or latigo leather? Are there certain finishes or treatments that would help stiffen the leather & provide water protection? All ideas & experience appreciated! I want to come up with a design that can be tooled on the outside but still hold up to all the wear that a dog will put a collar through. Thanks! Kambra
  3. Tips from Uncle Dave Most useful wax: Melt Paraffin, beeswax, and neatsfoot oil. Let cool. Very soft wax. Spread on edges to burnish easily, hardly any effort. Spread on top of leather finish for nice feel, and water resistance. Take a chunk and slap it on your sewing machine somewhere the thread passes. Nicely waxed thread. Best working table top: ABS plastic. It's the same stuff your cutting boards are made of. You can get it any size up to 4x8 sheets. Mailed to you. Try places like US. Plastics online. Comes in as little as a sq ft, all the way up to full 4x8 sheets. I think mine are like 1/8" thick. If it gets too many cut marks and stains, you can actually sand it down with an orbital sander. Keep table top cleaner: I buy brown paper rolls at Lowe's Hardware (20 inches or so wide). On my cutoff saw I chop them down to 10 inches. Nailed on the side of my bench is a paper towel roll. Place the cut brown paper in the roll, voyla! Roll out the length you need, tuck the ends under the abs plastic, and you keep leather clean, have a place to draw, daub dye onto...etc, etc Best glue dispensers: Simple, I just punch a hole in the top of a pickle jar lid. My artist paintbrushes stick through.I use different width/thickness brushes for different tasks. Fill the jar with ordinary contact cement, barge, white glue...your preference. Lid screws on and keeps the glue fresher longer. Dye Mix jars and a place for 'em: At your local garden center, they sell 3- 4" pots of plants. Those usually come in a plastic container that holds a dozen or so pots. Get some! When I make mixes of dyes, I use the pickle jars (we eat a lot of pickles it seems!). They fit perfectly in those planter containers. Leather storage: I buy the round cardboard concrete forms at Lowe's. Cut them in half, and then stack 'em. Buy different sizes for different size rolls. Keeps everything organized, and visible. Dye Thinner: I use Feibing's Pro dyes a lot. Instead of a $28 qt. bottle of their dye thinner, I use a $10 gal can of denatured alcohol from the hardware store.Works fine for me. Top finish: A good alternative to Resolene, atom wax, tan kote, etc is a simple Kiwi neutral finish found at every grocery store in a plastic dauber bottle. Easy application, and lasts a long time.Rub it on...done. Anyways, you get the idea. Let's hear some of yours. UPDATE: I found Part 1 of these tips dated 2010!
  4. Hello all, Firstly, I would like to say what an invaluable resource this forum is! Now, onto the topic. I have been hand carving soles out of sole bend by hand for the better part of the year. I was using Stanley knife, wetting the leather and then rasping, glassing and soaping the edges to make it look smoother. However, it was never as professional as I wanted to look with faint marks of where the knife had cut still visible. Today, I finally bought a bandsaw to cut through this leather and hopefully have that super vertical finish. I tried a few and it certainly looks better (just some slight marks from where I held the leather a bit too long). I am going to rasp & glass the edges to see if I can get rid of those. So I guess what I'm looking for is any tips or tricks people have to get that really professional looking sole edge, how to use the bandsaw properly (I imagine it takes practice to get a really steady hand) and any other information people have to creating soles! Thanks,
  5. Hi, I've designed a phone pouch and want to place an eyelet in the hole where the cord is (see the picture). However, I'm afraid that the male/female part of an eyelet might scratch the screen. Does any one have any idea of a way around? I've considered glueing a small round piece of leather atop of the inside eyelet part, but that will add to the thickness of the pouch and I don't want that. Thanks!
  6. Hi there, I am new to the forum and looking for some expert advice! I am currently working on a couple of little veg tan cases and would like to experiment with dyeing them pastel colours like pinks, blues, greens etc. I have seen this done and know it is possible but not sure where to source the dye (I am in the UK). Would rather not have to mix colours Any help greatly appreciated!
  7. I made my first wallet today, which is my second finished leather project to date. I designed It myself. I know it is nowhere near perfect, and I have learned a lot in the process, but I still have a few questions: Im pretty sure the reason why the dye on the edge transferred to the other side of the wallet on the inside is because I didnt do a final burnish with some gum trag (second picture). As far as I know that helps the dye from bleeding/transferring. Am I right? The wallet is really thick, probably because I used what I am assuming is around 3 oz leather (I dont have a thickness gauge, I should probably pick one up) It wont stay shut by itself. What oz leather do you think would be best for this style wallet? To finish the wallet, I applied a couple of coats of neatsfoot oil, then topped it off with 50/50 acryllic resolene (only on the outside), and then some obenaufs leather preservative(also only on the outside). However, I didnt do any of this until after I stitched it all together. Is that the recommended process, or should I have done something different? I dont really like the glossy looking finish you can see on the outside (you can see in the third picture). What do you think is giving it that look? I like leather that looks more satin than glossy. I also noticed the color on the backside has a slightly pinkish hue. Is there anyway to remedy that without using dye? I know, I ask a lot of questions. I am a perfectionist, and as you can probably guess, I am pretty frustrated with the outcome of this wallet. Thanks! Zayne
  8. I am currently working on a briefcase/messenger bag and am currently struggling with the pattern design. This is my second bag and it is quite a bit larger and more complex then the first. I would like to base it on a design similar to the Saddleback Classic Briefcase XL, I might change the dimensions a bit to fit my needs. Here is a link: http://www.saddlebackleather.com/briefcase My biggest concern are the gussets or pleats or whatever they are called on the sides, and how they connect with the bottom. I have some leftover 4/5oz veg tanned leather but not enough for the whole bag, so I need to go to Tandy and get more. Should I get more veg tanned or is there a more suitable leather that would hold up better to the elements? Thank you for any advise you can give.
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