Monday, April 18, 2011

binding edges

We're up to our eyeballs at the moment with the first show up on stage, but we are still tweaking things both large and small.
Unfortunately the red leather doublet has been cut as the director didn't like it really, so the designer redesigned and now we have something completely different that we are building, and hopefully we will have a fitting tomorrow and get it finished this week as we have another deadline looming.
Enough of my woes!
It will make its way to the warehouse now and perhaps have a life some other day in some other show......

I took a few pictures mid process to illustrate how we were binding the leather doublet tabs in self leather. Please ignore the black stitching as this was a thinking it out sample.

The skirt tabs are made on a base of 12 0z black cotton duck that has been washed and preshrunk in the dryer. The base is cut out and then a piece of leather is cut to cover it. I put the base on the tailor's egg then laid the leather on top, holding it in place with a little sobo glue. Why on the tailor's egg? Well, everything needs to have some shape and doing it this way makes it slightly convex rather than flat. This makes sure that they won't curl up or be tight when put on the costume. It isn't much shape but it makes a difference.

The edges need to be finished and instead of bagging them out as you might be tempted to do with fabric, an easier technique is to bind the edges with the same leather. Bagging them out (sewing with a regular seam allowance then turning ) with leather would make them thick and unmanageable.

I wanted 1cm of leather binding to show, so I cut a strip of leather about 3cm wide for the binding. One centimetre (10mm) to show on the front side, allow a few mm's for "turn of the cloth" another 12-14mm to cover the backside and extend far enough to be caught in the final stitching and then trimmed away if needed.

I then drew a guideline on the front side of the tabs in silver pen.
Since I was just quickly putting this together I stitched the strip in place, stopping the stitching just at the intersecting pen lines.
What we actually did on the real thing was to "glue" the strip in place with double sided rubber cement tape, stopping at the intersecting line. Then pinch up a fold of leather to get the strip to turn the corner, glue that edge down and do the same with the next corner.

Once everything is held securely, you can then tuck the fold in to make a mitred corner on the right side, flip the piece over and make a mitred corner folding the bulk in the opposite direction on the backside.
Tack the back areas of the strip in place with a little glue to hold them, give them a bit of a tap with a rubber mallet and then go to the machine and stitch from the top through all the layers. If you cut the strips a little too wide you can always go back and trim away any excess on the back.
This makes a nice thin finished edge and also give you a bit of decoration by outlining the shape.

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