Chris and I are packing our bags and fleeing town this evening! We will be flying off to Venice and spending two days there prior to setting sail for a week around the Greek Isles. This will be my first time on a cruise, and I am beyond excited! Work and life have been pretty much non-stop crazy lately, and I am so thankful for this chance to get away for a little while and catch my breath. I have a feeling this is going to be a very special trip.
In the midst of planning and packing, I decided to make some holders for our passports! I found a great tutorial on Poppytalk, and took things just a step further by stamping some special words on the front. The covers were really fun and a snap to make, so I thought I'd leave you guys with this simple little project.
This was my first experiment with leatherworking, and I learned quite a lot. I visited a bunch of leather stores around the Fashion District, and they all smelled amazing! It was quite an experience to see and feel the difference between all the various animal skins.
Unlike fabric, which is usually sold by the yard, leather is generally priced by piece. Since my project required very little leather, I chose a lovely gray goatskin that would work well with other future projects. Maybe we can make some boots for Wonka? :)
I printed and cut the pattern for my cover (You can find the template that I used here). After examining and selecting a section that laid nice and flat, I then carefully traced an outline of the pattern onto the skin. A scratch awl would've been ideal for this job, but an embossing needle worked out just fine.
After tracing out the pattern, I went ahead and started puncturing holes along the dotted border of the template. It was important to be as precise as possible because leather is pretty unforgiving - once you poke a hole, it's there to stay. It helps to have a craft cutting board or even a stack of newspapers underneath as you work. This allows you to pierce deeper into the leather without damaging your work surface.
This is the part where I sliced my finger open, bled over all my work, and had to start over. PLEASE be careful as you cut!! Different sections of a pelt can vary in thickness and softness, so cut slowly and keep your hands steady so you don't end up wearing a Mickey Mouse midi ring. A ruler is also helpful for guiding your lines and creating a clean cut.
Time to sew! I used a heavy-duty poly thread that I had laying around, but waxed linen thread would give these stitches a nice, bold look. This template calls for aproximately 45" of thread for each side of the cover, and 20" for the card divider line.
Saddle stitching is a common technique used in leatherworking, and I picked it up pretty quickly from this very short and straightforward video tutorial. The key to neat saddle stitching is to keep pulling both ends taught, so that the lengths are equal on both sides, in order to set each stich before moving on to the next hole. I used this technique to stitch both sides of the cover, then sewed in the card holder divider.
Now the cover is complete, and it's time to find a new adventure :) See you guys later!