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Strapping Young Thing

I didn’t post anything yesterday because my time was completely consumed by this…

Check that – my whole week was consumed by this.

In the beginning, the plan was to stitch it with waxed linen thread. This is how I usually do things around here because A) leather lace is pricey and B) The stitch pictured (called double cordovan) takes forever, which also jacks up the price of the finished piece.

When the future owner of this strap (sorry, top secret) decided to go with the lace, I was psyched. I had remained neutral on the question of lace versus linen thread because I didn’t want it to seem like I was pushing the more expensive of the two, even though my only real desire to lace came from a place that knew it would look rad.

I was on the side of linen almost solely because of how daunted I was by the prospect of lacing an entire strap.

It turned out to be fully manageable and even enjoyable.

I was a hundred times faster than I used to be, finishing he main body of the strap in the same amount of time it used to take me to lace a wallet (which is still a long time, but waaaayyy too long for a wallet).

I think part of the reason for this is that I learned to lace at the same time I learned everythig else when I started doing leather work three years ago. Lacing was a sidenote to carving, tooling, staining, finishing, stitching, using tools, etc. There was a lot to absorb and lacing was hard and so I knocked out a dozen wallets and forgot about it.

This time around, after a refresher lesson at Tundra, the work flew. So I’m, as always, super grateful to Peter and Sean for taking the time to answer a million questions this week.

I’m also grateful for the order. If it hadn’t come in, I’d still be scared of lacing, thinking a strap like this would take me 86 hours to finish.

As it is, I now know the truth and am planning another laced strap for the new year.

If you want to see it in action, check out this show at Toronto’s Dakota tonight.

PS – Check out the newly opened Baltimore House on King William. It’s awesome.


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Strap Prep

This guitar strtap I’m working on is going to be a big job, so I’m chopping its construction into pieces. Trying to do just enough each day to have it done by the weekend – not so much each day that my eyes cross and I start making mistakes.

Last week, I measured and cut the necessary pieces…

Today, I laid out the font and traced it on to the leather.

Tomorrow, I’m carving everything, painting it and staining it.

The rest of the week will be devoted to the massive amount of hand-stitching that’s going to have to go into sewing the lining to the front.

Also up this week? Adventures in home tanning! I start de-hairing my deer hide tomorrow.

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Run Ragged

That’s how I feel today. I’ve been going since pre-dawn, but that’s not really the issue. The problem is that I stayed up late watching Boardwalk Empire.

Regardless! Tuesday was a day for getting things done. I spent most of the day in the studio, which was sooooo nice.

I shipped out some Etsy orders including a pair of earrings, a flask, my birch bark cuff and one of my fave Lake and Larch dresses…

I also started on a poppy pin for my sister. I may re-do this guy tomorrow because once I started painting it, things took a turn for the worse (not pictured).

Also had things change a bit on the guitar strap I’m set to start next week. Instead of standard stitching with waxed linen thread, I’ve had a request to lace the whole thing with a double-cordovan stitch. It’s been so long since I’ve done it, I don’t even have a sample of my own to show you. The below image is not my work, but it’s a good shot of what this stitch looks like.

Photo from IndigoShrimp

The reason I don’t often do it?

A) It’s very western-looking which isn’t always what people are after.

B) Not only does it drive the materials cost up, it takes ten times as long to lace.


It looks rad. So while I’m pre-emptively exhausted by the thought of an entire strap’s worth of stitching, I’m also pretty pumped for the challenge. Because in my head, the finished product looks amaaaaaaaaazing.


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Keep on Rockin’

I’m out of town starting tomorrow, but here’s a custom guitar strap to tide you over…

Would you believe that catches me up on things? So now I think I’m off to walk my dog before it rains again and research some writing – which entails reading, which is the best kind of work.

Enjoy your weekend and if you live on Hamilton mountain, please don’t blow into outer space. I was up there this morning and it’s like being in a hurricane!

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