Leather Gaiters

Before Nova Albion I was working on a pair of tall, fitted leather gaiters for a local steampunk.  When I presented them before the convention, they looked like:

Leather Gaiters - V.1.0

Leather Gaiters – V.1.0

They are made from chocolate brown heavy bullhide leather, scythed and all seams rolled.  The lining was lightweight canvas.  The closure is riveted, offset speed laces.  We chose speed laces rather than buttons so the gaiters would adjust a bit as he is loosing weight.

Leather Gaiters - V.1.0

Leather Gaiters – V.1.0

I ran into some difficulties during construction due to the heavy leather.  I am working on an industrial Bernina, but it’s not a leather machine and I don’t have a walking foot.  I also had to do all the scything by hand with a knife, so it was not completely even.  This meant that in places the rolled edges of the leather were too thick to easily sew on my machine.  In a couple places, particularly where vertical seams rolled under, it was entirely too thick to stitch on machine.  I ran short on time before the event, so I glued the rolled edge at the toe as thoroughly as I could and intended to sew it by hand after the event.

That would have worked fine, but when the owner of the gaiters put them on at the event we found that they were almost too big for him.  This was not a problem with the pattern (I had actually made them deliberately smaller than his measurements), but a result of his dedication and success in his personal weight loss journey.  We had expected his measurements to change a little, but the actual difference is so dramatic that it was unlikely the gaiters would fit him at all in a short time.  Thus, when I took back the gaiters for the small fix, I instead tore out the lining and completely resized them.

I cut out the front and back seams, and cut off the rolled edges on the top and bottom.  I smoothed the shape of the calf a bit, and removed a little extra from the calf area.  overall, I removed about 2.5″ of circumference over most of the gaiters.  I also entirely removed the lining.

I did not want to repeat the earlier problems with scything and stitching, so the front and back seams were re-sewn with a zig-zag stitch, reinforced with a 1″ strip of leather top stitched to the outside and wide cotton twill tape on the inside.  Top and bottom edges were left raw.  I lost a lot of length over the top of the foot when cutting off the rolled edge, so I cut a new extension piece and stitched it to the top.  The points were riveted both for looks, and because the speed laces prevented the sewing machine foot from getting to the needed area.

Leather Gaiters, by Sidney Eileen

Leather Gaiters – ClosedThese gaiters are made from chocolate brown bullhide. They close using offset riveted speed laces. The shoe cover extension is sewn and riveted in place.

One thought on “Leather Gaiters

  1. oh holy $#!% you’ve been busy and weren’t kidding when you said you’d…um… made some modifications!

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