I hope you’ve got all the love you deserved and gave some to another yesterday. But today it’s not about being pampered, it’s all about hard work. Well, alright let’s turn our volume up. Because we are gonna learn a new technique today! Are you ready? Let’s talk about a gusset…
What’s a gusset?
When you google gusset and check out the definition in the dictionary you might find the description: “A piece of material sewn into a garment to strengthen or enlarge a part of it – oxford dictionary“. The first part isn’t the case in our design but we are certainly enlarging a part of a design; the sides of our clutch.
How does a gusset look like?
It depends… because it is totally up to you. There are ofcourse different level’s of difficulty when you are working with gussets. A rectangle gusset might be level 1 but a rounded gusset is a whole other level. That’s maybe why I’ve never used it in my design before… But since I got my book Bag Design I am trying all different kinds of technique to learn more and more. So today I took the gusset part from one of their designs and integrated into a design of my own; the valentine clutch. The final product can be found here if you’ve missed it.
How to shape it into your product?
This is the part I did some visual research. I couldn’t find a description of “how to” online so I found some images on Instagram and online. This resulted in a technique that is called online the “Nitz” technique by Peter Nitz. You use multiple needles to shape it around with a tight and not lumpy edge. He punches the holes but uses his awl to punch it all the way through while sewing it. So I punched them before as well before I glued the gusset into place. With the needles, you make sure all the edges are aligned.
Think before you do
Since I could imagine it would be difficult to finish the edges, once the gusset is in place you have to plan your work carefully. I don’t use red leather often so, as you can see in the first image I got a sample piece of leather and made the whole clutch out of it. So it doesn’t have to be expensive to make a clutch just like this one. Next, I cut all the pieces and did some edge creasing manually for a refined edge (I want an electric creaser as soon as my budget allows. So that might take a while as a student …). Is there anything else we need to do before sewing? No, alright let’s go!
Tips and tricks
It’s been I while since I’ve written some tips and tricks with my technique posts but I’ve got some for you!
- Don’t use too large needles… I ordered some new needles since I got only a few good leather harness needles and too many large, clumsy ones I ordered wrongfully in the early days. But large clumsy needles do not help you with your gusset placement. Trust me on this one.
- Take your time. I’ve counted, recounted and counted the holes again. You want to be sure before you start sewing and end up with a crooked envelop clutch.
- Start on the front side. In this case, I started on the front side for just in case I make, somehow, a fault in the previous tip/trick. This way I would not end up with a hole too less or too many since I’ve got the rest of the ‘flap’ to cover my mistakes. But if you make a mistake, make sure you do it on both sides 😉
How do you make your gusset and how do you design them… All my posts are just my experience with new techniques but actually, I’ve never learned from a leathercraft master or in classes. But I am eager to learn and would love to hear all about your experiences with gussets! If you want to learn other techniques, check out the pure leather posts.