Introduction: A Leather Bracelet With a "Hidden Seam"
Among the other stuff, I'm also making leather bracelts of my own design. Some of them are pretty simple but others a bit trickier to make. This one is one of them and I decided to document the process to be able to recreate the design some time later because I'm starting to forget stuff. But also now I can share with this project here. Some parts of the process are missing because I didn't made the photos, but they are not that essential and can be easily recreated without visual guidance. So let's begin.
The leather I'm using is a scrap pieces from local furniture manufacturer. To make the bracelet you'll gonna need a rectangular piece of the next dimensions:
- for the hight,measure the width of the opening of the buckle you have, then double it, then add a few millimetres as a allowance for the seam, and then a couple more to compensate the bend of the leather (everything will become clearer at the next steps)
- for the lenght, take the dimentions of your wrist, add a few centimetres, than add the doubled width of the buckle oppening, and then add about 1cm more.
I hope this is not wery confusing.
Also I have to mention that you'll need a buckle with two pins (for two parallel rows of holes).
Now, when we have our rectangular we, need to deal with some sacred geometry we have to apply to it's ends. The dimentions on the photos are wery simplyfied and a bit uncorrect, so I made a scheme (but still I didn't include the alowances for the bend to simplify everything a bit; if you want, you can add by a couple of mm where the black dotted lines are). Cut your piece as shown on photo. I used a hole punch at the areas depicted as circles to make more accurate cut. Also It prevents the tearing of the material under a stretch, comparing to the knife or scissors cut that leave notches. But still this is not that important in this particular design, so you may feel free to use whatever you want.
After dealing with one end, we can now deal wit the other. This is the one that holds the buckle. The same geometry, but you need to add a section of material where the red dotted line b is. This is the part that will be wrapped around the basis of the buckle. Remember the "centimetre or so" that we added to the lenght of our starting rectangular? You can measure the width of this section more precisely in experimental way.
Cut the holes for the buckle pins.
Now I'm adding a stiffening piece of thin leather by gluing it to the back of the main detail with a gluestick (it works for me, but something stronger is an option too). The dimentions are:
- for the height, take the width of the buckle opening and decrece it by two thicknesses of the main detail leather.
- for the lenght, take the lenght of our base rectangular without doubled buckle opening width and a "centimetre or so" and substract two thicknesses of the main detail leather.
I know, that all these calculations may seem to be a bit complicated and confusing but everything becomes pretty clear and obvious when you starting to work on the actual piece and getting the idea of what is going on. And all those minor adjustments can be simply replaced by a common sence of what are you doing.
Now it's time for sewing. Punch holes along the edge with an awl or a special tool if you have one, and be simmetrical on corresponding edges.
You'll got two holes at the tip of the triangular flap. Use two neadles on one thread (one neadle per end) to make a stitch shown on the pfhoto. Aline the middle of the thread with the tip of the triangle.
Pull the thread through the corresponding holes of the side flaps.
Start to sew with each neadle going to it's own outer corner of a bracelet and then back till they meet again. You'll get consistance seams.
Continue to sttch edges using the saddle stitch.
Finish sewing the buckle side of the bracelet the same way we started. And do not forget to insert the buckle itself (the right operational position is shown on the photo).
Punch two rows of holes on the main body of the bracelet according to your wrist size and a buckle configuration (no photos).
Also you can put some wax onto the edge of the seam and rub it well with polished wood to create sealed edge.
And this is a blurry photo of a loop detail before I stitched it. I didn't documented this part, but you'll be able to see how it's done on the photos of a finished bracelet. Also there's a lazy way to make the loop using simple stapler staples you'll see on the photos of the other bracelet (do not use stapler, insert them manually though premade holes).
So now the bracelet is finished. The seam on the front creates a cool feature: you can't see it while looking directly from the side, but it starts to reweal itself as you turn the bracelt sideways. It looks much better in the flesh and a contrasting color of a thread works here wery well. The thread I used is thich sinthetic thread used to repare shoes. It comes in a variety of colors.
I hope that despite the choppiness of the material it still was useful. Also please let me know if I've made any mistake in the dimmention representation. Thank you for your attention and have a nice day.