In my internet sleuthing I have gathered literally thousands of images, plans, and patterns of things I would like to make or have for reference. Government documents, like the scans below, are invaluable resources for the maker when they are made public. Who would know how to better and more efficiently make a pair of riding gloves than the U.S. Cavalry. This design is the culmination of more than 110 years in the business.
Click the pattern for the full-sized image. Scale to fit the dimensions shown for the standard sizing or scale them to fit your hand, be it a tiny little paw or oversized ham (note the three sizes on the pattern).
Part of the fun is learning the names of the parts; I had no idea there was even such a thing as a quirk in a glove.
I hope to get around to making a pair soon myself but please let me know if you have any success when you try these. Thanks for reading and please click “Like” or leave a comment if you have one.
When teaching a leather craft or making an item for someone, I am often asked about the machine used to sew such thick leather or through so many layers in tight areas. People are often astounded when I explain that this is all hand sewn, with an awl and two needles.
Some earlier work. Good, but not great, stitching.
I learned saddle stitching before the internet was a thing and without a book. I was sewing leather bags, moccasins, and clothing in a relatively poor and untutored way. As I became more savvy over the years I was able to analyze older pieces and read an article or two about saddle stitching and cordwaining that began to make my work look more professional.
Saddle stitching is the only way to build a large, complex leather project without some ridiculously expensive machinery.
While I have considered making a video to give an introduction to saddle stitching I know there are many master craftsmen out there far more skilled to do this properly. One of them is Nigel Armitage of Armitage Leather. He is a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen of Britain which I understand is nothing to sneeze at (I can hardly imagine the level of dedication most of these men and women have for their crafts).
On to the show…
This is probably the best and simplest tutorial I have seen online about learning the basics of saddle stitch. If you are new to this, remember, the pricking iron is not an absolute necessity for starting out but it will make you seams straight and beautiful. If you don’t own one, you can still mark and follow a line or even mark the stitches with a ruler and awl (I did this for a very long time).
I hope this answers some question for those getting interested in leather work and saves you some of the headaches I experienced without proper instruction.
I have needed a stitching pony for a long time now…
The two-hour stitching pony.
Like so many other undone projects, this one has been stirring around in my head for several years. Since my efforts have been so focused on sewing leather lately, the time had come for a new and useful tool in the shop. I’ve looked at plenty stitching horses and ponies over the years and even used a few n person so I understood the basics of what I needed and began eyeing up the scrap pile for obvious parts.
Not absolutely necessary, but it’s nice to be able to open the jaws fully.
I decided to keep the project simple, small, and portable while making as few purchases as possible. I was able to gather up the lumber, leather, hinge, screws, glue, and tacks in just a few minutes and get to work. Power tools make jobs like this easy so the boards were quickly ripped, cut, and clamped up to dry overnight. A little cleanup in the morning yielded a working model suggesting a few minor changes. The opening of the throat was widened by 1/2″and I decided a longer bolt would be useful for fat projects.
This meant a trip to the actual hardware store setting the project bill up to $1.07 with a total work time of about two hours. We’re good to go…