Forum Posts

Veronica (Nica)
Jun 01, 2022
In Share Your Projects
Well, I decided to experiment with tooling leather (10oz) and try to mould it into an accessory for my stationary bike. It holds my phone. I was going for a rugged look. The whole process was super fun. Lots of lessons, lots goofs. Love that tooling leather is so easy to burnish. If you have experience moulding leather, I have some questions: 1) water soak hardens the leather which makes it challenging for pricking. Any tips? 2) If I were to do edging with a creaser, how to do it? back on the mould? Any other comments/tips are highly appreciated. Thanks!
Experimenting with moulding leather - bike accessory content media
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Veronica (Nica)
May 08, 2022
In Share Your Projects
I made this cosmetic & jewelry travel case for myself. The handle detaches and holds my earrings & rings and all my toiletries go inside. It’s lined with cotton chevron pattern cotton. I made a canvas storage bag for it just because. Constructive feedback so far & looking to get more: 1) use better zipper next time like Riri 2) consider making the zipper longer and over the gussets for bigger opening 3) cover the snaps with leather 4) skive the brown leather seam that meets the orange leather zipper edge (so u don’t see the bulged seam) What else? My sister would like one and I want the next version to be better. Thank you!
Travel cosmetic & jewelry case content media
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Veronica (Nica)
May 07, 2022
In Share Your Projects
Had some leftover saffiano and made a valet tray.
Vallet tray double sided content media
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Veronica (Nica)
May 07, 2022
In Share Your Projects
What hardware to use for closure? It’s for a kid.
Infinity bracelet content media
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Veronica (Nica)
May 07, 2022
In Share Your Projects
I made a couple of these for my friends. Lined with pigskin. I like to use colorful leathers and make them hard to miss.
Simple gifts - eyeglasses case content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Apr 08, 2021
In Help From The Community
I apologize in advance if I am missing something fundamental in my question but...let me explain. Here is a diamond shape awl 🔶. Let’s say needle A (flesh/wrong side) and needle B (grain/front side). In Philip stitching video he show that A starts the course and needle B goes over the top (North point) for the casting on the flesh side. Why do we then need the East/West points of the awl and make a bigger slit in the leather than needed? If a pricking iron marks a 45 degree straight slit / then why not do the same with an awl? This would imply that the awl should be flat/parallel sides, sharp point with sides width = to 2-3mm or match the pricking irons used. Also, I see tapered edge awl blades too. I just think those are garbage because, unless you stop at exactly the same spot after puncturing leather, it will create inconsistent sizes of holes. So....when pricking irons alone are not enough, why not just use a flat/parallel sides/sharp point awl? This would also make the sharpening way easier. Another part of my question, has anyone tried to flatten out their diamond shape awl (east/west sides) with a whet stone or diamond plate? Thank you!
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Veronica (Nica)
Apr 05, 2021
In Share Your Projects
I have attempted to make Philip’s slim wallet with some modifications (slightly longer and flat sleeve on one side for my checkbook, added strap to close). It all started so nicely until the final stages. I used pricking iron (3mm) to mark the inside stitches. Because the chain link side was too thick, I ended up using an awl (diamond) to puncture the markings all the way through. The end result was somewhat decent stitching on the inside and just plain terrible on the outer/face side. Naturally, I will be blaming the perfect Philip for my own imperfections (ok, not really) but...I did watch the stitching video but clearly not getting something. Could you please share your own techniques on perfect stitching using an awl (with pricking iron my stitching looks fine)? any aha moments? the perfect awl? the perfect grip? Thank you!
Failed attempt at the slim wallet (modified version) content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Mar 25, 2021
In Share Your Projects
I made this collar for Stella, my Bernese Mountain puppy. She recently joined my family and is crazy about leather just like me. Stella likes the taste of vegie tan leather over chrome. She finds uneven stitching perfectly acceptable but insists on linen thread over nylon. The creased edges are a nice bonus especially if they are burnt. She is particularly fond of leather that’s been conditioned - mink oil por favor. Have a nice day or night! Wag more and bark less!
Basic dog collar 🐶 content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Mar 24, 2021
In Leather Tools
That would be moi! I noticed some folks have a background in woodworking or have that as another hobby. I love that, and I think some of the skills are complimentary to leather crafting. However, woodworking is not for me so what’s a gal gotta do to get a jig?! I bought a plastic book holder for $5 and I am using that for my folding projects while admiring the beautiful jigs on the forum.
A jig for someone who has no clue about woodworking  content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Mar 24, 2021
In Leather Tools
I can’t believe that a simple edge clamp tool is $230 (Vergez Blanchard) at RML and it’s sold out. I found an alternative clamp used in metal bending for $20. I glued some leather to the clamps and it seems to work perfectly for crimping edges. P.S. Leather crafting has got to be the most expensive hobby in terms of tools/materials cost! oy, vey...
An alternative to an edge clamp tool  content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Mar 21, 2021
In Share Your Projects
The green leather is embossed cowhide (not actual alligator) and the burgundy lining is pig skin. I really enjoyed making it and applying some of the techniques from Philip’s videos. I need to be better about planning for the stitching ends and wearing my glasses so I don’t miss the pricked holes. At the same time, unlike other beginner projects, this case is acceptable and will be put to good use 🤓 Comments, suggestions and useful critique are welcome! 🤓
Simple eyeglass case  content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Feb 11, 2021
In Share Your Projects
After my first attempt to make the cover based on Philip’s video and having some remnant leather on hand, I had to make a second version. In my second version the rounded corners improved, prep skiving was way better, stitching on the front side was good (inside has yet to be better). I am still not 100% happy with how the flaps aligned but it’s acceptable for a novice. Philip’s instructions were great and I will attempt the slim wallet next with a few modifications to fit my checking book.
My turned edge passport cover - version 2 & final... content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Feb 06, 2021
In Help From The Community
I noticed that thinner leathers stretch way easier than thicker/tougher leathers. With that in mind, do you burnish the entire surface before cutting or not? Even when I use rotaty cutter or thin/sharp blade to cut the leather, sometimes it stretches 1-2mm in the process or working with it. With some projects that would be a negligible allowance but with some it will look uneven. What is your approach when working with thinner leather? Thanks!
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Veronica (Nica)
Jan 30, 2021
In Share Your Projects
Just finished my passport cover based on Philip’s instructional video. Overall, it was a great experience, had some tantrums yet really enjoyed the process. Here are some of my personal struggles/thoughts as I tackled this project: 1) skiving thin & soft leather was challenging. My English skiving was just not working for me. However, I was way more comfortable with a Japanese skiving knife and a French beveler 2) I couldn’t get the corners rounded perfectly. I used the dental pick to pull the edge in but was afraid to hammer too much and expand the edge. 3) Something is off where the flap edge meets lining (see picture). Was the flap edge supposed to be flush against the lining marked edge? Did I not do enough skiving there? 4) I thought I got the stitching down but I was wrong. The exterior side looks ok (it’s the side marked by pricking irons and I used cast on method). The inside stitch is all over the place. I had used an awl to puncture through from exterior to the inside and no cast on the inside part. How can I get a uniform zig zag appearance on both sides when an awl is used? Any other tips or suggestions for version 2? This cover is perfect for a passport of Yugoslavia! Thanks, Nica
My turned edge passport cover - version 1.... content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Jan 25, 2021
In Share Your Projects
I found this old iron at a local antique market. I decided to encapsulate it with leather and use as my leather weight. It’s my first little project and clearly before watching Philip’s videos. Gotta start somewhere!
My first little project (before Philip’s videos...) content media
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Veronica (Nica)
Jan 25, 2021
In Say Hello Before Posting
Hello, my name is Veronica (or simply Nica) and I started tinkering with leather in September 2020. I live just North of San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in Mill Valley, a small town by the Richardson Bay and Mt. Tamalpais. My interest in leather became apparent when I was getting my coffee one morning and wondered into a retail store nearby. There I saw various leather and canvas goods when my eyes stopped at a display of an old saddle bag on the wall. It was rugged and beat up yet well made. Next to it was an exact replica of it, only this one was new, had smoother edges, painted edges, sharper looking stitches. I was immediately drawn to it. After a casual conversation with the store owner, I learned that the saddle bag was made locally by a leather craftsman (Jack H.) who is 86 years old and sharp as an awl. The second day I met him at his local workshop and my learning journey began. Pretty soon my weekly schedule included “Thursdays with Jack” and I never looked back. It took me a while to get all my tools due to covid10 supply chain disruptions when I met another local leather craftsman and tools guys extraordinaire (Jon B.). Jon had graciously made me a stitching pony, leather strop and a few other tools one simply needs and can’t always buy. Fast forward to today, I am thrilled to be viewing Philip’s videos. So many of my lingering questions are already answered and I continue to learn and absorb new and wonderful information!
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Veronica (Nica)

Veronica (Nica)

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