Leatherwork is something I have been interested in for some time. For the past year I have been silently researching, learning and experimenting with various leathers in my studio. One of my 2016 goals is to continue my learning and working with leather, and to hopefully share with it with you!
This past weekend I was able to finish up a personal project I started a few months back. My first handstitched leather business card holder.
I’ve had this leather for over a year. The pretty 5oz walnut leather half shoulder sat in my studio looking so nice and ready to turn into a bag, but I was not ready. Leather is unforgiving, so once you cut you can’t go back. So it would sit there as I researched and cut a few strips off it for bag handles. I can cut a great bag handle!!
After I finished reading one of my leather books again I felt confident enough to work on a simple project. Welcome the business card holder! A simple rectangle with rounded corners, stitched sides and an interior slip pocket.
Before I made the cut I flipped the shoulder over and measured out what I needed with a simple chalk pencil. From there all I needed to do was use an Xacto Knife and metal ruler to cut out the shape.
With everything cut out I got out my edge beveler to round the sides and corners. The leather edges are raw at this point too. Some people will sand down and burnish the edges to make it smooth and shiny or prepare it for staining, but I left it alone for now. (another lesson for sure)
The next step was deciding how to stitch it up. I have a sewing machine that will sew this type of leather up, but I really wanted to be able to hand stitch it myself. A leather needle, lightly waxed thread, and a stitching wheel to mark my holes was all I needed. Using a saddle stitch, I used two needles to slowly go through each hole, one at a time. This was a long process mostly because it was new to me. I’ve seen videos on the technique, so I know it can be done faster.
Here she is! All finished up and loaded with business card. It’s still pretty stiff right now because of the weight but it will soften up a bit as it ages.
Now, what should I make next?