You know how some days you just need to pop down quickly to the convenient store to grab an ingredient, or go for a walk in the neighborhood, but you don't wanna carry a ton of stuff? I just need my credit card, keys, some cash and loose change. Unfortunately I've been using the same double pocket, bulky wallet things for ages, it looks unsightly, worn out, and keeps pulling my pants down. Let's face it, bad fengshui. It is blocky and thick and doesn't fit into the back pocket of my jeans. Nor do I want that huge ass bulge in my side that tells pick-pockets where to look, haha. So I decided to create myself another alternative, smooth as a pebble, feels great in my hands, small, compact, holds everything I need, and made from classy leather. It is slightly bigger than a credit card, and no bigger than a portable charger. Best of all, it is great to toss and catch, and irritating habit of mine. Heehee... So here is how to make it...
Warning: I'm a total amateur at Leather Craft, so this is me, doing my best with limited leather working tools
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Leather (I used a soft leather, 1.5-2mm thickness)
- 1 x press stud
- 1 x 5" zipper
- 1 x small D-ring
- 1 x key ring (I took apart an old key chain with the claw, for attaching a key chain)
- edge paint
- leather stitching waxed thread
- Scissors or Knife (for cutting leather)
- needles (with sufficiently large eyes)
- pattern card
- safety pins (for securing pieces, use a stitching pony or clamps if you have them)
- masking tape
- spreader, toothpicks (for applying edge paint)
- leather glue (Selley's Kwik Grip Contact adhesive, kinda multipurpose)
- leather hole punch (snap button size)
- snap setting punch
- leather stitching punch (I used a 4-prong and 2-prong)
Step 2: Pattern
Print the pattern on a sufficiently hard card, so its not flimsy like paper, and cut out all your patterns. You should have 3 pieces, The key pocket, the zipper pocket, and the strap.
Step 3: Transferring the Pattern
Place the Patterns on your leather piece and make sure you have sufficient space, while not wasting material. Then using the awl, scratch the outline of the Key Pocket Pattern as well as the hole placement. Make sure you can see the scratch marks. Then use the hole punch and make the hole for the snap fastener.
Step 4: Transferring the Rest of the Patterns
Making sure there is enough space, scratch one side of the zipper pocket, mark the fold edge using the awl, flip of the the pattern and scratch the other side of the pattern, Then scratch the pattern for the strap as well. If you have the full pattern and not the half pattern, proceed to scratch the whole pattern. I'm using the half pattern on fold in the photos.
Step 5: Cutting the Leather
Cut out the patterns, you should have 3 pieces of leather.
Step 6: Finishing the Leather
Trim of the fuzzy bits of the leather, or if you are using much thicker leather, trim and sand the edges, then proceed to apply thin coats of edge paint to the edges all around. Thin coats dry faster the thicker ones, you can always apply another layer. In this case I'm going to apply another coat when the leather has been stitched together.
Step 7: Positioning
Make sure you can fit a card on the pattern, this size will be a tight fit. Then measure and mark 2mm from the edge of the leather that is going to be the position of the stitch. Also check the fit of your zipper, there should be sufficient room.
Step 8: Aligning the Stitch Marks
If you are using a soft leather and have sewing machine, you can stitch your leather more efficiently without this step, just use a thicker needle for leather.
If you are hand stitching like I am here, Align the key pocket piece under the zipper pocket piece and secure them (I used masking tape). Note that the key pocket tapers out to accommodate the bulk of the keys. So, using the stitch punch, just punch the top part of the patterns (where the strap notch is) together. Then separate them and proceed to make all the stitch marks on both pieces. they will still align for stitching as the taper is not to much.
Step 9: Aligning the Stitch Marks for the Zipper Pocket
Fold over the zipper pocket as they will be stitch and using the awl, mark the stitches from the top side through to the other side. Then unfold it and make all the stitch marks with the stitch punch, using the smaller one for the curves.
Ignore the hole in the picture, this pattern piece does not have a hole.
Step 10: The Strap
Punch the hole on the strap, Thread the D-ring through, fold it down the middle, push the ring to the end, make sure it is secure and not too loose, and punch stitch marks.
Step 11: Assembling the Strap
Fold over the strap on the D-ring and secure it, apply the leather glue, spread it a bit and stick both sides together. I use weights to apply pressure and allow the glue to bond and dry. If you have a stitching pony USE IT.
Step 12: Finishing All the Prep
Once the strap is firmly glued and dried (a few hours for good measure), make the stitching marks. Then apply the snap fasteners onto the key pocket and the strap, make sure it's on the right side of the leather.
Step 13: Finishing the Strap
Cut 2 pieces of waxed thread each at least 35-40cm long, begin to stitch the leather from the D-ring. Using the saddle stitch and the middle of both pieces of waxed thread, stitch across the top of the strap out over the edge of the strap and back in again to secure the thread, making sure you have equal and enough lengths of thread to stitch down the strap. Then proceed to stitch down the strap. When the stitching meet, knot it off, trim the excess, burn of the ends and tuck it in between the leather. then using the edge glue, seal off the ends (This is probably not the purpose of edge glue, but I love using it to seal in the ends, kinda like a cover for the ugly bits).
Step 14: Attaching the Zipper
Position and secure the zipper using safety pins. Cut 2 pieces of waxed thread at least 40cm long and loop them. Bring them between the leather and the zipper and bring each end though the top stitch hole. Pull the other end of the threads to the back though the gap of the zipper. You are now ready to stitch the zipper.
Step 15: Sewing the Zipper
Using the saddle stitch, sew down both sides of the zipper till before the curve.
Step 16: Stitching the Rest of the Zipper
Once the head of the zipper is secured, open the zipper. Towards the back of the zipper pocket, continue stitching the zipper down to the end of the zipper. Towards the front of the zipper pocket on the same side as the key pocket, align the key pocket pattern with the zipper pocket pattern. The proceed to stitch both pattern pieces to the zipper, down to the end of the zipper. Knot and end off the threads. The zipper pocket should now be partially attached to the key pocket.
Step 17: Sewing the Pouch Together
Cut a piece of waxed thread 40 cm long. Thread it through the other end of the pouch where the head of the zipper is and loop it through a couple of times to secure the closure. Then stitch down the side towards the strap notch, then, before stitching across the notch and sewing down the other side, insert the finished strap. Then sew down the other side of the notch on the key pocket and continue stitching around the pouch to the end of the zipper. there, loop the thread around, bringing the thread to the inside of the pouch, knot and end of the thread, hiding it behind the zipper.
Step 18: Final Product!!!
The pouch is now finished! Use some edge paint to finish off any raw edges and you are done! Take a moment to relish in this accomplishment.
This may not be the most professionally done leather piece, so I do welcome any feedback and guidance on how I can improve on the various techniques and how you would do certain things. I am rather a greenhorn when it comes to leather craft. I'll be improving on this so watch out for version 2.0. Hopefully it will be a posher more well finished version....