AmyK

Sewing suede to veg tan

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I’ve been making some stirrup style dice bags recently which require me to sew chrome tanned garment leather or suede to the veg tan strip in the middle. I’ve been using diamond chisels to make my holes in the veg tan, but it doesn’t work well on the softer leathers so I’ve been saddle stitching them together with glover’s needles. I go through the diamond chiseled hole of the veg tan and use the sharp glover’s point to get through the suede etc. 

Is there a better or easier way to do this? Sewing machine is not an option. 

 

Thanks!

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You could use a stitching awl to puncture all the way through after using the chisels on the vegtan. Some even hold the stitching awl while stitching and punch each hole as they go. I'm not nearly as consistent enough, so after using pricking irons, I use the awl on each segment and then stitch

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I'll second what @Dun said. A diamond stitching awl will give you the right shape to the hole, so it should give a better looking result on the back (if that's important to you).
I'm guessing that with glover's needles, it's tough to get through the same hole without piercing the thread, and you might see puckering on the back (?)

 

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Thank you very much for the replies! It’s so rare that my question hasn’t already been answered here, but when it hasn’t, the members never let me down! 

Not causing puckering and the back is hidden inside the bag. 

I know what you mean about using the diamond awl as you go @Dun. I’m WAY too clumsy for that. Though the benefit to doing it that way would be NOT stabbing myself in the freaking joint with a glover’s needle. 0/10. Not fun. Do not recommend. Bled for three days. 

I have experienced piercing the thread which is a pain. I guess I’ll just try to switch to harness needles and use the diamond awl very carefully so as not to bleed on my project. 

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10 minutes ago, AmyK said:

I have experienced piercing the thread which is a pain. I guess I’ll just try to switch to harness needles and use the diamond awl very carefully so as not to bleed on my project. 

Sounds like a plan. Yeah, jabbing your finger is no fun...regardless of the tool! Haha.

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Two things;

1. use a block of cork on the inside and push the awl thru into that

2. use an auto-awl, like this one: https://www.tandyleather.eu/en/product/sewing-awl-kit

Edited to add, the auto-awl can be bought a great deal cheaper than the Tandy price. eg;  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leather-Hand-Single-Stitch-Sew-Sewing-Awl-Tool-Needle-Stitching-With-Thread-LS/223290518779?hash=item33fd26ecfb:g:HmIAAOSwyupa3sNz

Edited by fredk

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13 hours ago, fredk said:

Two things;

1. use a block of cork on the inside and push the awl thru into that

2. use an auto-awl, like this one: https://www.tandyleather.eu/en/product/sewing-awl-kit

Edited to add, the auto-awl can be bought a great deal cheaper than the Tandy price. eg;  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leather-Hand-Single-Stitch-Sew-Sewing-Awl-Tool-Needle-Stitching-With-Thread-LS/223290518779?hash=item33fd26ecfb:g:HmIAAOSwyupa3sNz

I have a sewing awl but have it up pretty quick. It just seemed to make such ugly stitching. But that was in the very beginning of my learning so I wasn’t prepunching holes. Maybe would be different. I also think it was ugly because I was using very thick thread. Using smaller thread might help. Thank you for the suggestions. 

 

Oh, and I’m not worried about stabbing myself with the awl if I poke as I go. I’m worried about dropping it in some unlikely Rube Goldberg kind of way that causes a chain reaction that breaks my leg somehow. REALLY clumsy LOL

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17 hours ago, fredk said:

1. use a block of cork on the inside and push the awl thru into that

Sorry for the "hijack" , but Fred gave me an idea --- diamond all and needle in right hand, needle and champagne cork in the other. Hmmmm...
The cork would not only save fingers, it would lend support to the leather. I'm convinced that uneven flexing is always interfering with my awl work.
Double Hmmm.

Thanks @fredk

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4 hours ago, JazzBass said:

 I'm convinced that uneven flexing is always interfering with my awl work.
Double Hmmm.

Thanks @fredk

That very well may be. I’ll keep that in mind too. 

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On the matter of a cork block ~ go to a hardware store and look for a sanding block. Cork blocks sized about 4 inch x 2 inch x 1 inch are sold for use by wrapping sandpaper around. They cost just a couple of $$ at most. You can easily cut this block into smaller blocks as needed to suit a project. 

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