Stitching leather

We have discussed rivets and glue to join pieces of leather together. Now let’s look at stitching.

Our first challenge will be to stitch two pieces of leather on top of each other.

saddle stitch

saddle stitch

See how the two pieces are sewn together? Today I will show you how to do that stitch by hand.

Take your two pieces of leather and hold them together. Some people use a clamp. Some people poke holes all the way around in both pieces first. I don’t do it that way. I find it to be more accurate if you poke a few holes, then sew then as you progress poke some more holes. You will be using two needles for this stitch. Leather people will tell you to use waxed thread, sinew, or even leather lacing. I will tell you that even strong sewing thread, or fishing line will work. So, find a thread that you can work with. The stronger it is, the more durable your piece. Obviously leather armor would require larger and stronger thread than a lady’s wallet. So, size your thread to fit your project, then size your needles to fit the thread, then size your holes. Your holes that you punch should be large enough that two threads can pass through it.

waxed thread

waxed thread

Holes can be punched with a hole punch, an ice pick, or a drill bit. Even with a nice hole punch you will find a hole that you can not reach with the tool. A drill bit in a drill is a great alternative. Drill slowly through both pieces at the same time. Sometimes the drill bit leaves a cleaner hole than the hole punch.

Ok, you have two pieces of leather. You have some holes punched. You have your needles and your thread ready.

Pull off thread about 3-4 times longer than your desired sewing seam. Thread one need on one end of the thread, and thread the other needle on the other end.

In my drawings, I will make one needle blue and one needle red to make it easier to understand.  Push one needle through hole number 1 on your project and pull until you reach the half way point of the long thread.

stitch  beginning

stitch beginning

I colored half of the thread red and half blue for you. That is hole 1. Now take blue needle down through hole 2. And then take red needle up through the same hole number 2.

first stitch

first stitch

Notice that both needles went through the same hole. One went up, one went down. You can pull this tight if you wish or you can pull it tight later.

Now red needle down through hole 3, blue needle up through hole 3.

stitch 3

stitch 3

Then just continue, one needle up through the hole, and one needle down through the same hole. Continue until you are done. If you run out of thread, tie on some more thread with a tiny knot. Try to hide the knot in between the two layers of leather.

At the end of the project, knot red and blue threads together.

This stitch is actually even better than a machine stitch. If one thread breaks, the other one keeps everything locked in place. A machine stitch would unravel.

Go ahead, make a mess, stitch your leather, have some fun.

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