So it’s been about 5 months since I started my new hobby and I think my skill levels have certainly improved. Stitching is neater, lines are cleaner, burnishing is better.
My main improvement has come from getting some decent tools -rotary cutter has been a godsend for cutting out straight strips of leather. I’ve learnt a few tricks so that starting and finishing stitches are neater and more consistent.
I still need to get some edge paint (think I will need to revisit the leather supplier soon …also running out of thread).
I’ve been buying my leather from an eBay seller in the US. He combines shipping and I’ve been able to get some Horween horsehide chromexcel (stronger and thinner than cow) and Essex (their veg tan). The Essex is a nice material to work with but it is seconds quality so you can see some veins and scars -good enough for practice and prototyping.
Aside from straps I’ve made two wallets. My Belroy was falling apart so I made a similar design out of spare horsehide. I also thought Tanner Goods’ minimalist wallet was a cool design so I used a similar technique. Ultimately I’m too much of a card hoard to use it so I gifted it to a friend.
Sourcing good leather in Oz is tricky. I found some shell cordovan, Novonappa (Hermes uses this for their leathergoods), and buttero from a supplier in the US but shipping is a killer. For now it’s practice, practice and practice some more with my offcuts til I’m good enough to justify the good stuff.