wizard of tragacanth

Blue Jeans Avengers... and the story of my leather work. LONG POST but you can just look at the pics!

Recommended Posts

Been doing leather work on and off, for eight years, at the rate of about 2.5 (finished) projects per year, though I haven’t made anything for the last two years, so I am still a novice.

I have only made holsters, a few belts, and one multi-tool sheath. All of the holster were simple, black, concealment holsters. I make them simple because that is the extent of my skills. I make concealment holsters because CCW is very popular here in Las Vegas and because no one would want to show off my work.

Got tired of making only black things and got this idea to make a Blue Jeans holster. I had this vision of a dark blue holster with a tan patch on it somewhere, with yellow or orange thread to mimic the stitching on Western style jeans and some copper rivets for the same reason.

I have made two iterations of it (that is, not quite what I was imagining… still trying to do it right), now planning to make a third. First one was a solid Navy Blue Avenger (my first ever Avenger) with a natural tan mouth reinforcement. Truth be told, I had not planned a reinforcement but the leather that I had on hand was too thin, so the holster was flimsy. I added the reinforcement after the fact. I had used tan for the belt loop, then added the reinforcement. That is why it is not one piece of tan but two.

A beginner mistake is to use whatever supplies one has on hand, when one knows full-well that it is not what is called for in the project! Cheap people also make this mistake… and people who are in too big a hurry to complete a project. That’s what I did. Don’t do it!

So, I wound up with an Avenger that was too thin, was sewn with black thread on the body and white thread on the reinforcement. I had forgotten to buff the excess blue dye before stitching the tan pieces, so the dye came off on the waxed linen thread and now it looks dirty. Or, I don’t know, maybe one should not use waxed linen in this case?

On the second iteration, I embossed the leather in my shop press, using canvas, to make the surface of the leather look like denim. Then I did an intentionally streaky dye job to make it look like worn denim. I had done some experiments using 600 grit sandpaper, hitting the high spots of the embossing, to remove some of the top color without going through to the leather color. It worked. Really looked like worn denim. Loved it but feared ruining this holster, which I was already happy with so I did not follow through with sanding. Promised myself that I will do it on the third one. Well, I started stitching with yellow thread (dyed linen) but it made my poor stitching stand out so badly that I took it out and used Navy instead.

No one should experiment on their project but I did. I filled my maker’s mark with Silver Cova Color, which I had never used on anything. When I wiped it off, silver particles spread around the mark and all over the belt loop, which was dark Navy. It may not show up in the picture. It doesn’t look bad but it is not what I had aimed for. Kind of looks like a star filled night sky. At least, that’s the way I like to think of it. Others might say it looks like a mess.

Oh, and I had planned to use a couple of copper rivets, as decoration, on the un-stitched side of the belt slot, to further add to the jeans illusion. Maybe next time. Though I could still do it.

So, the next one will be a belt slide style with canvas embossing, some kind of distressed finish and yellow thread (after I practice my stitching for a while).

By the way, the first holster (tan reinforcement) is a 15° cant, the second one (streaky blue) is a straight-drop, zero cant design. That was the first zero cant model that I have made. It rides very well at my preferred 3:00 position. I am surprised at how good it is. It’s my new EDC… until I make my belt slide with copper rivets!


Streaky Blue Jeans Avenger Info

Leather: 3.25 mm

Thread: 0.8 Ritza 25 Navy

Stitching: 6 spi saddle stitch (sloppy)(not intentionally)

Dye: Fiebings Navy Blue

Applicator: semi-dry dauber

Edges & Flesh: Tokonole

Top Coat: Fiebings Satin Sheen (may go for a matte finish next time)


Gun: Sig M11 (P229 variant)

Blue Jeans II back small.jpg

Blue Jeans II muzzle small.jpg

Blue Jeans II small.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the first I have seen of this. Your holsters look pretty dandy to me.

And, don't feel like the lone ranger. I only complete a small handful of projects in a year myself.

Putting in 60 hours a week at a full time job combined with a family that likes to go places, church, and yardwork there just isn't a lot of time left for hobbies.

Just keep having fun.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the color on the top one a lot.  But I like odd colors and hand dyed stuff a lot.  

Personally I prefer to round my trailing loop instead of having it so square.  Square stuff on holsters drives me nuts.  Probably a personal thing.  But if you get the corners too sharp they will wear poorly and get dog eared too. 

With the bottom one, it's really easy to make the belt loop and sweat shield reinforcement one piece.  That's usually what I do.  The top stitch on the belt loop and reinforcement are the same and do the bottom stitch just like you did here.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey bikermutt,  thanks for your comment.  I have always related to you because I said to myself... "I'm not paying $60 for a holster..."  and you know the rest! :)

I'm retired now, so I will be making more than I used to.  


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chiefjason.  I really like the streaky blue myself.  Well, I was going for a blue jeans look, so I thought that worked pretty well.  

I don't blame you for not reading the whole post, but the two piece loop and reinforcement was not planned.  I did the loop and later decided to add the reinforcement.  That was my first ever Avenger.

I cut the trailing loop high in order to allow the best possible access to a back pocket but I definitely understand what you are saying.  Next time, I will give more consideration to that.  Don't know that I will make it round, but less acute.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 10:19 AM, wizard of tragacanth said:

147 views and not one comment

Never seen a holster, never built one, no chance of ever building one, no real opinion of what is required to make a good holster, so I don't think you need my input.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now