Leather Stitching: How-To Three Ways

3,832

88

2

Introduction: Leather Stitching: How-To Three Ways

About: I’M A SELF-TAUGHT MAKER, DESIGNER, AND CONTENT CREATOR. WHILE I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO LEARN AND WORK WITH NEW MEDIUMS AND TECHNIQUES, MOST OF MY CURRENT WORK FOCUSES ON LEATHER WORK AND WOOD WORKING. WHEN I’M N…

I do a lot of leather working projects on my channel and I often get asked how I do the leather stitching, so I thought I would make a how-to video on how I do three of the most common stitches and when and why I use them and what they’re best suited for – The saddle stitch, the corset stitch and the baseball stitch

Supplies

Leatherworking Tools (Affiliate Links):

· Leather Working Starter Tool Kit - https://amzn.to/2uGPGG7

· Leather Rotary Cutter - https://amzn.to/2uTr1yd

· Inexpensive Mallet - https://amzn.to/3ada6Xv

· Leather Marking Pen - https://amzn.to/30pEEAV

· Craft Sewing Scissors - https://amzn.to/2RkHlQ9

· Bone Folder/Creaser - https://amzn.to/2QXqeVO

· Edge Dye Roller Pen - https://amzn.to/2st8YOF

· Straight Slot Punches - https://amzn.to/2TpvYsK

· Variety Shape Punch Set - https://amzn.to/2Ry4pez

· Leather Circle Cutter - https://amzn.to/38bS32h

· Arc-Shaped Cutter Punch - https://amzn.to/2u2SgGa

· Edge Rougher - https://amzn.to/2SxCcWP

· Sinabroks Pricking Irons - https://sinabroks.com/

Leatherworking Materials/Supplies (Affiliate Links):

· Thread - https://amzn.to/2NvIdAf

· Disposable Foam Brushes - https://amzn.to/2QWAD3X

· Leather Weld Adhesive - https://amzn.to/35Vims6

· Tokonole Burnishing Gum - https://amzn.to/2NvnEEl

EcoWeld Adhesive - https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/ecoweld-water-based-contact-adhesive

Step 1: Making the Stitching Holes

Before I get into the stitches themselves, here’s how I make the stitching holes which will be the same process for all three stitches.

I start by using a wing divider to score a stitching line, which helps you easily punch stitching holes a consistent distance from the edge.

It doesn’t really matter how far in from the edge the stitching line is, but I typically set the distance at an 1/8th of an inch.

To score the line, place the right side of the wing divider on the outside edge of the piece of leather, then carefully run the wing divider down the edge of the leather and the left side will score a consistent line

The next step is to actually punch the stitching holes

To keep my stitching chisels sharp, I use a plastic punch pad, but you could also use a piece of scrap wood

To punch the holes, I recently upgraded to some pricking irons from a company called Sinabroks,

But for over a year I used a very inexpensive set off Amazon and they worked great

You’ll want a few irons with 1-2 teeth for punching along curves and then at least one 6-8 tooth iron for long straight stitching sections

To help lengthen the life of your irons, you’ll also want to use a plastic headed mallet

To start, align the pricking iron’s teeth on the stitching line starting at one end – I prefer to work left to right down the line

Once aligned, hammer the pricking irons until they just peak through the other side

To ensure the spacing between each hole stays consistent as I work my way down the line, I always make sure to place the stitching chisel point furthest to the left in the last hole of the previous set of holes I punched

When you get to the end or a corner, make sure that the tooth farthest to the right will still be on the leather…if not, move the pricking iron back a few holes until it is

And that’s basically it – just continue this process until you’ve made all the stitching holes desired

Step 2: The Saddle Stitch

The saddle stitch is probably the most common stitch and is used to stitch two pieces of leather together for things like wallets or notebook covers.

The saddle stitch, simply put, is where you stitch the same thread from the back and front of the piece into the same hole, creating a consistent stich pattern on both sides without any gaps.

Here’s what you’ll need – two needles, some thread, a pair of scissors, and a thread zap or lighter

It’s also helpful to have a stitching pony that holds the piece of leather so you can use both hands while stitching

But you can also use a wood hand screw clamp or not use anything to hold it which I will show you later as well

To start, thread a needle at each opposite end of a long piece of thread

Then thread one of the needles through the first stitching hole and pull both needles until you have equal lengths of thread on each side

Next, I always start using the right needle to stich from the back and then stitch the left needle from the front into the same hole but in front & under the right needles thread

It can be helpful to open the hole up a bit using the left needle before stitching from the right

Also, to help make sure you don’t catch the thread that’s already in the hole with the left needle, don’t pull the right thread all the way through until you’ve you threaded the left side too, and then pull them both tight at the same time

The most important thing for a nice-looking saddle stitch is that you pick a sequence of operations and stick to that

For instance, in this example I did right needle first, and then the left needle into the same hole in front of the right needles thread

As I mentioned earlier, you can do this without a stitching pony like you see me doing here

Just make sure you remember which is the “right” and “left” side so you can keep the sequence consistent

and hold the right thread back as you thread the left so that the left needle doesn’t snag the thread

And that’s it, that’s the saddle stitch!

Step 3: The Corset Stitch

The corset stitch is probably my favorite stitch and is used for stitching two edges of leather together and is great for wrapping things in leather or for things like koozies

For this example, I’m wrapping an X-Acto with leather, using the corset stitch to hold the two edges together

With two needles secured to opposite ends of the same thread, start by stitching through the first two holes twice to create a loop at the top

Next, with the top of whatever you’re wrapping pointed at you, take the left needle and stitch DOWN into the next hole on the right and then back UP through the hole parallel to that one on the left side

That creates one half of the cross

Then do the same thing with the right needle, only opposite

DOWN through the hole on the left side and then back UP through the parallel hole on the right side, completing the cross and then pull both threads tight

Then just continue that pattern all the way down, making sure to pull it tight after each cross

To finish it, I stitch a loop across the last two holes just like we did to start and then tie a small knot on each side of that loop

Then cut the thread as close as possible to those knots and use a Thread Zap or lighter to singe the extra thread and kind push the knot into the hole

And there you have it, the corset stitch!

Step 4: The Baseball Stitch

Just like the corset stitch, the baseball stitch is used for stitching two edges of leather together, but when you do it, it creates this really cool stitching pattern that looks like…well a baseball. I find that it doesn’t pull the leather quite as tight as the corset stitch, so I typically only use it when I want the baseball look

For the baseball stitch example, I am again going to be wrapping an X-Acto for demonstration purposes, but both this stitch and the corset stitch are great for wrapping mallet handles or even things like Koozies.

The start and ending steps are the same as the corset stitch

Secure two needles to opposite ends of the same thread, and start by stitching through the first two holes twice to create a loop at the top

Next, with the top of whatever you’re wrapping pointed at you, take the right needle and stitch UP through the next hole on the left

Then take the left needle and stitch over and across the right thread and UP into the parallel hole on the right side

To pull the stitches tight, I find it actually works best to pull the threads tight across the seam instead of away from it like we did with the corset stitch

Then just follow that pattern and sequence all the way, making sure to pull the stitches tight as you go

To finish it, just like we did with the corset stitch, I stitch a loop across the last two holes just like we did to start and then tie a small knot on each side of that loop

Then cut the thread as close as possible to those knots and use a Thread Zap or lighter to singe the extra thread and kind push the knot into the hole

And there you have it, the baseball stitch!

Thanks so much for following along with this project! I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below and don’t forget to watch the video on my channel!

See you on the next project!

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Home Cooked Speed Challenge

      Home Cooked Speed Challenge
    • 3D Printed Student Design Challenge

      3D Printed Student Design Challenge
    • Halloween Contest

      Halloween Contest

    2 Comments

    0
    annrrr
    annrrr

    7 months ago

    Thanks for this! I addition to learning about stitches I also got good tips about starter setup that’s not too expensive. Thanks!

    0
    Ethan Carter Designs
    Ethan Carter Designs

    Reply 7 months ago

    You are so welcome! I'm really glad you found it helpful!