Learn how to easily sew your own thimble with just a thin piece of leather, a needle, and thread.
I was knitting the other day and noticed my very tight knitting style was causing me to really poke and abuse my finger. It was starting to get in the way of my working, so I figured I should use a thimble. I found that the one from my cheap Ikea sewing kit was just not going to work, so I took to the internet. That's when I found out most thimbles are actually made of leather now. So, I thought, why don't I just make one.
And I did.
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Step 1: Supplies
If you don't like leather, please feel free to make this out of another material.
- Thin flexible leather of faux leather (I got mine from the scrap pile so I can't get more specific than it is thin and flexible)
- Sharp sewing needle - I didn't use anything special, but if you use anything thick, you're going to have to poke holes in the leather to sew
- Upholstery Thread - 100% Nylon
* Instructables member buildandsewandstuff has suggested cutting a circle from a plastic milk jug (or something similar) and placing that between the leather circle and body of the thimble. I think that would work really good for extra reinforcement.
This is my first time working with leather, so I apologize if I'm breaking a million rules every leatherworker knows to follow. I'm still learning :)
Step 2: Cut Out the Shape
I don't have a picky way of doing this. I just folded a piece of scrap leather over the figure I wanted the thimble for and cut I cut it out. Start too big and then you can trim it down if you need to.
To get an idea of the size of mine, all of those squares on the mat are 1' by 1'.
I decided to have a folded edge so I wouldn't have to do as much sewing and so one edge would be nice and smooth without a seem. If you'd prefer to do two seperate pieces, that's fine too.
Note: It is best if this thimble fits your finger snuggly. So if you want one for a finger, make it for your finger. If you want one for your thumb, make one to fit your thumb. Mine fits all of my fingers pretty well, but is too big for my pinky and too small for my thumb.
Step 3: Optional Reinforced Pad
Since my leather is kind of thin, I thought I would sew an extra piece to the part that would be at the pad of my finger.
You have to decide which way you want the seam to face in the end. If you put it on like I did, the seam is going to face your other fingers (if this is for your pointer finger like it was for me). While this may be uncomfortable if you are just wearing the thimble, I found this to be helpful while working as it kept the seam away from my work.
If you have the seam facing away from your other fingers, it won't rub up against them, but I found it to rub up against whatever I was working on and found that annoying.
I decided to do a circle and cut one out that is just smaller than the end of the thimble (I didn't want to have to sew through three layers of leather later, so I made it so I could sew it on the bad and still leave room to sew the thimble closed later). I found a spool of thread that was the perfect size (the same one I used while making my pom poms) so I just traced that.
Line it up and sew it on. I used a whip stitch. Make sure you are sewing it to the rough side of the leather and that the rough side of your piece faces out.
I doubled over my thread when I sewed for extra strength.
Note: You will be able to feel the stitches on the inside, so if that is going to be a bother to you, you probably don't want to put this on your thimble.
Step 4: Sew Up Your Thimble
Time to sew your thimble closed.
I started at the crease at the top of the thimble and went up and around. As I went, I would put the thimble on to make sure I wasn't sewing it too tightly or too loosely.
You can see in the last image that it looks kind of funny at the bottom left and that's because I decided I wanted it to be a bit tighter at the end. Makes it look funny, but it fits fine. I also whipped a stitch, at the end, around the bottom corner of the seam so that makes it look funny too.
The finished size was about 1" by 1 1/2'.
Step 5: Finished Thimble
You can see it fits nice and snug and I sewed mine so the seam faces my other fingers.
If you want to do anything to the bottom edge of the thimble, please feel free. I just left mine the way it was.
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