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TargetRockLeather

Advice on making suspenders

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I'm trying to decide how to proceed with making a pair of suspenders for myself. I'm not looking for a pattern as I have a design idea in mind. The part I'm struggling with is how wide should the straps be and what weight should the leather be? I just started wearing the cheap elastic Walmart suspenders just to get an idea of what I think I would like. The straps on those are 1.5 inches wide. Would leather suspenders be as wide? Also what weight should the leather be? I'd like to use veg tan leather because that is what I'm comfortable working with, and I'll probably do some stamping on them. I purchased some 3/4" buckles but now I'm thinking that might be way too narrow. So here are the questions I have:

What weight leather should I use?

How wide should the straps be?

Should I make the upper part of the straps wider (the part that goes over the shoulder) and have that taper down to a narrower strap and use the smaller buckles?

I did a search and read a bunch of posts about suspenders but none of them addressed the questions I had. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

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50 minutes ago, TargetRockLeather said:

What weight leather should I use?

 How wide should the straps be?

Should I make the upper part of the straps wider (the part that goes over the shoulder) and have that taper down to a narrower strap and use the smaller buckles?

You should use 4 oz. leather; the straps should be 1 inch wide; they should be the same width all over. Once you've made these and worn them for a while you'll have a better idea of what works best. Some suspenders are for function (wider) and some are for fashion (narrower), so that determination will probably drive you to your final design.

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51 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

Some suspenders are for function (wider) and some are for fashion (narrower)

You're right, that's an important part of the decision that I left out. I'm not looking for fashion and I'm not looking to hold up a tool belt. I just want to hold up my jeans for every day wear. It sounds like 1 inch 4oz would be a good starting point.

The reason I'm asking for advice rather than just experimenting myself is that I'm not able to return to my home/shop due to the covid-19 concerns so I don't know what I have laying around. Before I order anything I want to get am opinion from someone that knows what they are talking about. Thanks a lot for the advice!

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22 minutes ago, TargetRockLeather said:

Thanks a lot for the advice

Thank you for accepting my advice. I would like to add that you will want to allow for some elasticity in your design. Most suspenders are elastic, but leather suspenders need some help. I have always added elastic to the back, but I don't know what will work best for you.

Then the next question is... how are you going to connect them to your pants... with clips or buttons? The reason I ask this is that I do wear suspenders with my tuxedo, and the clips sometimes slip off the waistband. 

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23 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

I would like to add that you will want to allow for some elasticity in your design

I understand. I am planning to add a piece of elastic in the back, near the bottom to allow it to stretch when leaning over.

 

24 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

how are you going to connect them to your pants

I know what you mean. The ones that clip to waist can either slip off or even shred the fabric over time. I purchased these clips to attach to my belt loops, though I have considered sewing buttons onto my pants to attach to. This is what I am planning to use:

image.png.d058cc392db6eb6c7548d959bebc6cf3.png

What are your thoughts about the "Y" connection at the back? I've seen some with a metal ring and others riveted or stitched to a leather panel. I am leaning toward using leather rather than the ring. What would you suggest?

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18 minutes ago, TargetRockLeather said:

What would you suggest?

The metal will dig into your back when sitting, so I'd go with leather.

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On 4/11/2020 at 1:21 PM, TargetRockLeather said:

I understand. I am planning to add a piece of elastic in the back, near the bottom to allow it to stretch when leaning over.

 

I know what you mean. The ones that clip to waist can either slip off or even shred the fabric over time. I purchased these clips to attach to my belt loops, though I have considered sewing buttons onto my pants to attach to. This is what I am planning to use:

image.png.d058cc392db6eb6c7548d959bebc6cf3.png

What are your thoughts about the "Y" connection at the back? I've seen some with a metal ring and others riveted or stitched to a leather panel. I am leaning toward using leather rather than the ring. What would you suggest?

A friend had a pair of suspenders with these to protect the leather seats in his Mustang, . . . the others scratched the seats badly.

He loves em, . . . so I made a pair, . . . mine are 1 inch wide, . . . no elastic, . . . and I have no problem at all with them.  They are really comfortable, . . . but if I decide to re do them some day, I'll make them 1 1/2 inches wide, . . . as I have others that are just a tad more comfortable with the wider width.

Mine were made with embossed veggie tan that looks like gator leather.

May God bless,

Dwight

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12 hours ago, Dwight said:

but if I decide to re do them some day, I'll make them 1 1/2 inches wide

Thanks for that input Dwight. I was tempted to try them without elastic. Maybe I'll try leather only and then splice in the elastic if I don't like it. As far as the width, I already purchased 1 inch wide hardware so I'm going to start with that. I'm glad to hear that you found them comfortable enough at 1 inch.

It's funny, with all of the info I have read about suspenders, I couldn't find specifics such as width from guys who actually wore them. Lots of info about the appearance but not much about how to make a pair that feels good to wear. Thanks again.

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You could taper the straps down to inch at your hardware from inch and a half at the shoulders?

Bert.

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5 hours ago, Bert51 said:

You could taper the straps down to inch at your hardware from inch and a half at the shoulders?

That is probably what I will do if I decide I don't like the 1 inch straps, rather than buy all new hardware. Thanks for the suggestion.

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On 4/11/2020 at 11:18 AM, LatigoAmigo said:

You should use 4 oz. leather; the straps should be 1 inch wide; they should be the same width all over. Once you've made these and worn them for a while you'll have a better idea of what works best. Some suspenders are for function (wider) and some are for fashion (narrower), so that determination will probably drive you to your final design.

 

On 4/12/2020 at 7:54 PM, Dwight said:

A friend had a pair of suspenders with these to protect the leather seats in his Mustang, . . . the others scratched the seats badly.

He loves em, . . . so I made a pair, . . . mine are 1 inch wide, . . . no elastic, . . . and I have no problem at all with them.  They are really comfortable, . . . but if I decide to re do them some day, I'll make them 1 1/2 inches wide, . . .

I haven't had a chance to thank you both for the advice. I made mine out of 4 oz veg, 1 inch wide using the hardware I mentioned. I used elastic for the back strap, but as Dwight said I didn't need the elastic. It works fine though and they are perfectly comfortable. This set was more or less my prototype. The next one I make will probably not have the elastic and I'll do a better job keeping my stitching straight. I'll also stitch the "Y" piece in the back instead of rivets. I used the rivets because I wasn't confident in where the placement of the Y would be and what the angles would be. So the rivets allowed me the flexibility to experiment. Here is my prototype, in case you're curious. Thanks again for the advice.

 

 

IMG_5435.JPG.e761033425dc5d8b2f9a434cb321e0a6.JPG

 

 

Edited by TargetRockLeather

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