Saddle Stitch Skill Unlocked

I’ve been meaning to do leatherwork for a long time, but hadn’t let myself approach it. I’m inspired by some projects I’ve seen, and I turned up a few free patterns to try. Eventually I’ll design my own, but picked this as a first project:

Cutting the leather was easy enough, but I didn’t spend enough time de-sooting, especially in the stitching holes. I lightly dyed with a few applications of coffee, and then figured out saddle stitch with the fancy gadget I bought on Amazon:

This is the result:



Those tools are handy… but just using 2 needles works well for traditional stitching–and a “stitching pony” if you start doing a lot!

Though I admit only watching lots of videos in which they do hand sew only (some really meditative ones out there) but I started my leather work business about 15 years ago machine stitching. And yeah, cleaning off the soot–most of my cutting i still do by hand (via rotary cutter)–but some designs that I have it is easier, even with the cleaning, with the GF (but I don’t need the stitching holes!).


Nicely done! Sometimes, depending on the level of char and the specific leather, sealing with Resolene or Leather Sheen can help minimize the soot issue (both Fiebings products, one is a wipe on acrylic, the other is a solvent based spray). Caveat: different spots on the same hide will still char/cut differently with the same settings so it really is hit and miss.

If one is near a Harbor Freight and wants to give the fancy gadget a whirl they have a knock off version for under $7.


Your piece came out great!

One thing I do about the char in the holes is to take a piece of waste thread and run it through every hole before stitching the pieces together. It takes a bit of time but it does knock out a good amount of the char. Otherwise the char will stain your stitching thread.


I like that idea. On the few little leather projects I’ve tried I just defaulted to black thread, but it still drags a little smut out of the holes.


Oh Yay, finally another tool for the for :glowforge: that I already have… :crazy_face:

This is awesome btw, and thank you for the original post =)