Monday, February 13, 2012

This week's project...

In the workshop this week I'm working on a sleepsack with attached hood. I covered the making of the prototype a couple of weeks ago here on the blog, and since have received feedback on the fit from the client.

The cowhide I'm using for the project is just gorgeous. It's heavy but soft, and has a beautiful finish. It should make a very beautiful and restrictive piece.
This sack features both a zippered opening and a lacing panel in the rear, so I end up making 3 patterns for the back panels. One sized to fit perfectly, then one with the offset needed for the space between the panels when they are laced tight, and one with the 1.5 inch gap needed for the zipper and lacing strip on the other side.
Here I have all the pattern pieces cut out. With a 46 square foot hide, there isn't any room for error.
This photo shows all the larger elements, which I try to keep from having to piece together. You have the left & right front panels, left & right rear panels, the lacing tongue (which runs from the top of the hood to the bottom of the foot pocket), and finally the internal sleeves (in the foreground).
The smaller elements include the front and rear hood panels, the shoulders, and the bottom and sides of the foot pocket. The only other pieces I need are a 2.25 x 84 inch strip to create the lacing panel, a 2-inch x 84 inch strip for the zipper tongue, and a smaller 2 inch x 14 inch tongue for the front access zipper.
One of the first steps is sewing the left and right front panels together, and setting the front zipper.

Next, sides to the front panel.
Everything on this sleepsack is getting topstitched.

For the hood, I am making use of my new large hood form. It is great to be able to use the form when gluing down the seam allowances.
I am also using it to stretch and shape the leather to conform to the contours of the face. This is especially beneficial with the heavier leather.
The hood form also comes in handy when gluing down the front-to-back seam allowance.
I am happy with the results so far...
The completed bottom and side of the foot pocket:
More to come...


  1. OMG - it looks stunning as ever.
    I really look forward to the day i can afford to order one like that - I'm already in your communicationslist about that :-)

    1. You are in there, and thanks for your patience!

  2. The sewing of the hood is perfect!

  3. I know this is a comment on an old article, but my god man, your work is beautiful. I have only made it back here from your most recent postings before I had to comment. I have recently begun teaching myself some leather crafting, and I can only hope that I will some day be as skilled (and equipped -- what sewing machine do you use?) as you are. Kudos to you from a sincere admirer.