Sunday, November 2, 2008


Sometimes I am intimidated by my own projects.

I have a few ideas I've been wanting to develop into products. Not having it all figured out yet, and using materials and techniques I'm not very familiar with have kept these projects on the shelf and tumbling around in my head. But I recently got them out on the table and they are coming more into focus and progressing nicely. Yay!

One project I've been working on is a new belt style and a new way of constructing the belts. The little purple-edged beltlettes pictured here are the result of me finally practising edging them in seam binding. Sewing around the pointy tip is rather tricky. I made pairs of beltlettes in different widths so I can see how they fit with different buckle styles. The next step is to try a spray adhesive for keeping all four layers (front fabric, heavy canvas, stiff interfacing, back fabric) together while I'm sewing.

I've also been thinking about making things from repurposed leather. I plan to pick up dreadfully out of style jackets, skirts, etc. at the usual places I procure recycled materials. I've been studying some simple wallet styles and have decided to start with something even more basic, because I was kinda scared.

I've dabbled in leather before, but it was a couple of years ago. I made Kitt and Richard leather helmets to wear at the Open Fields Medieval Festival and I've made leather pouches for my trick-or-treating kids to collect candy into (we only take them around the small village of East Corinth so they aren't collecting a lot - not like the pillow cases we used to haul around when I was a kid).

But even with this bit of experience I was still nervous. It had been a while and I wasn't going to be just banging out something for my kids to wear in the dark. I'm aiming to make something nice that an adult will be willing pay money for in a well lit vending setting.

So I recently built my courage up by using a lot of leather and suede scraps on Kitt's Halloween costume. I paid special attention to how my tools are working with the leather I'm I'm very encouraged. I love my Bernina 1031. It is always so up for the challenge. It seems to like the tougher work that I give it, like quilting the five-layered HotHolders.

Now here is the result: my first wrist band key fob/key chains (but what am I going to call them?!). Ultimately I plan to sew a length of decorative trim down the middle where you see the stitching now. Not a boring one like my first mock-up shown here. The handle loop went on a bit crooked with that one too so I'm learning about gluing first. I've also tricked out a pair of pliers with soft fabric scraps and duct tape so the metal doesn't get scratched. The leather feels really nice on the wrist. I think I'll be able to pull this off.

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