Hand Stitching – Leather Crafts

Hand Stitching: Using a Stitching Groover

Stitching groovers cut a thin, shallow trench on leather surfaces. They can be used to provide decorative embellishment or to make a guide for stitching. In stitched projects, the stitching lies below the surface of the leather, protecting the thread from wear and tear. Stitch groovers come in two versions, freehand and with an adjustable guide.

Materials

Leather

Tools

Stitching groover (adjustable guide or freehand)

Mini flathead screwdriver

Clamps (optional)

Mechanical pencil (optional)

Straightedge (optional)

1 Adjust the edge guide. Adjustable stitching groovers are best for use along edges. Before beginning, adjust the width of the guide to fit the needs of the project using the mini screwdriver. For the projects in this book, set the guide at ⅛ inch (0.3 cm).

2 Secure the leather. The project needs to be held firmly in place while using the stitching groover. Use your free hand, or try clamping the project to the work surface to ensure the most accurate stitching groove.

3 Position the groover. Place the groover blade at the top of the leather to be cut, farthest away from you. The guide should be hugging the outside edge of the leather. Hold your hand at a 45-degree angle.

4 Cut the groove. With your hand at a 45-degree angle, exert a gentle downward pressure on the blade and pull it toward you. Allow the guide to keep the cut straight.

Practice on a piece of scrap leather before cutting your project. Each groover, like each hand, is different, so play around with the angle of the groover to find the position that feels most comfortable for you.

Cutting Grooves Freehand

Freehand stitching groovers are best for creating both curved and straight stitching grooves in the middle of a project. Without the edge guide, it’s important to mark the line lightly on the project before beginning, using a mechanical pencil or awl. To mark a straight stitching groove in the middle of a project, clamp a straightedge to the leather to keep the line straight. Be careful and go slowly.