Bridal-wear, handstitching and leather

Today I learnt how to handstitch leather at the Leatherworkers Guild Association of NSW. Our presenter, Ian Lancaster of RedBack Saddles has been making saddles and bridle-wear for 35 years and he intends to keep working for another 20 years making saddles.

Ian demonstrating handstitching leather.

When he first mentioned bridle-wear, I was thrown off, thinking bridal-wear ie lace, commitment, bridezillas etc. Long story short, I now know how to handstitch leather using 1 thread and 2 needles as well as all the preparation that goes into preparing leather for stitching. Some of Ian’s tools were made in the late 1800’s and these tools were given to him as part of his 7 year apprenticeship. Ian and the other leatherworkers are the workshop did confirm a few leather sewing thoughts that I have been picking up from all of your leather experiences so I feel more confident to sew with leather now.

Here’s the friendly local kookaburra who watch on from outside.

And finally here’s my MMM’12 for today.

The top is Kwik Sew 3740 using a rib knit fabric ($3/m) from Spotlight last week. This is the toile version. Sharon and Alison recommended this pattern to me because the cowl collar sits nicely and the seams on the cowl can’t be seen, because the lower cowl is skinnier that the upper cowl.
The pants are v1204, my mustard legs.

There’s a slight bit of ruching at the front of the sleeve head. I promised Carolyn that I’d show how I applied skinny elastic to the sleeve head of the remnant top I made recently.

I deliberately placed the elastic more to the front of the sleeve.
BTW I’m pooped.

Mustard legs – V1204

At the January Alexandria session, Renata was musing about making a pair of lemon yellow jeans. So while looking along the drill bolts I found mustard yellow drill. Score. This is one of my colours. While I’ve been working away from home, at night I’ve been able to get in a couple of hours sewing. No cooking or cleaning, until I get home.

This is my third version – red and green were recently made. This version has a ‘stay’ at the front and I’ve widened the top of the back leg. I just couldn’t work out the pockets pieces, so I pinned the pocket pieces together and extended them to the zipper seam. It’s a drill cotton so it won’t stretch.
The contrast thread was originally going to be grey but then I wanted a less obvious pocket design, so I over sewed it with mustard coloured thread. The pocket curves are traced off using the base on the iron water jug. There wasn’t anything else I could decide upon while working in a one bed room apartment.
Last Saturday, my sewing buddies pointed out there was an unsightly curve on the centre back seam. So it’s now laying dead flat as I unpicked the centre back seams, raised the base and then resewed the seams and flat edges.
I have kept the grey thread on the belt carriers and coin pockets.
Because the fabric is pure cotton, it crushes, hence the creases. The fabric does breath well when you travel. The jeans do feel a bit loose when I sit.

I’m now working on another jeans pattern – Vogue jeans – in apple green denim. I’m using this mustard pants to get the adjustments right. This is my ‘oh my got it’s humid’ weekend look 🙂