‘A rose for each year I love you’, aaah so romantic, my valentine! Luckily for me, I also had a secret project for him. A leather covered watch box. Besides the fact that it is just really pretty to have/give a leather watch box it also was a great project to try some new techniques on; box stitching and some more laser and sewing.
A man who doesn’t want anything…
I am not sure you, ladies, can relate to this, but I always have so much trouble finding the perfect gift, just because he doesn’t ask for anything. Each time I have to come up with something new, just as awesome or even better… Though every once in a while he sees something in a store or in a magazine he likes. In a whole year, I try to remember and collect all his ‘non-intended’ wishes he has forgotten about. And when the time is right (his birthday, valentine, Christmas etc.) I look for these items. I usually end up, making them myself, since they are or out of stock, toooo expensive or just not the right one… If the finished results also look like the intended project, in the end, is also for me a surprise, but that is his problem for now (a)…
The project – box stitching
Enough about him and me …. let’s get back to the project; a leather box stitched watch box. My Instagram followers could have seen I have been trying some box stitching. Though for this project I just had one chance. But before I start on anything new, I just dig up the internet, youtube and my recently obtained book (The leatherworking handbook by Valerie Michael). So let’s start with some basics.
Type of leather
First of all, I learned that the leather shouldn’t be too thin (smaller than 2.7 mm or something like that –> will check it for you later). Mistake number 1… I had too thin leather, so it already would be a challenge even before I began. Besides the thickness, you want firm leather, so no supple goat or calf leather. Luckily for me, I had some ‘normal’ firm cow leather.
Angle of the corners
The idea of the box stitch is that it is possible to make real sharp corners with stitching lines between the leather parts but not visible on the inside. There for there are two possibilities. 1. a corner with the two pieces in an angle of 90 on each other as in figure 1. Or 2. a corner with the two pieces in an angle of 45 degrees (together of course also 90 degrees) on each other as can be seen in figure 2.
I eventually went for the one with the 45 degrees, since I really like symmetry. This means you will have to skive all edges in a 45 degrees angle. When you don’t have a skiving knife or a French skive or a half-round moon knife this is quite hard to manage… Don’t ask how, but eventually, I have cut a piece of wood at a 45 degrees angle and run along it with a Stanly knife adjacent to the wooden piece. (Please let me know how I could do this a little more practical in the future….) But the most important part is, I succeeded eventually.
Pricking & box stitching
Once you have all your edges ready, it is time to mark your stitches, and slightly prick them, so you have a clear start and ending point. Though pricking those holes with your pricking iron isn’t gonna work in this angle, so use your pricking awl (mine is also in a diamond shape) to prick a 45 degrees hole from the one mark to the other, like the blue dotted line in the figures. Make sure those beginning and ending marks also aline. When you have reached this part, the easier part begins. Just sew all edges togeather. Eventhough this box didn’t need it, I also glued the leather to the box for a long lasting life.
This will be it for now about the box stitching though I am a little proud of myself so I will show the end result in another post as well. Please let me know what you think about my first try and what you like/dislike about the box stitch. See you soon and don’t forget to check out my Pinterest or Instagram page!