Project: Bowling Bag Part III – The Stitchening

The sewing wasn’t really a big deal on this project, the gluing in place, however, was a royal pain in the ass. I’m working in the apartment workshop since it’s winter out (meaning cold and damp), so I needed a glue that wouldn’t gas out the whole apartment. I went with Tandy’s EcoWeld water-based contact adhesive, and I wasn’t really thrilled with the results. I ended up having to glue most of the seam together twice on each side before I got it stuck together well enough for sewing.

Remember that welt I was talking about in the last post? I took two lengths of light leather, dyed black, and then folded them in half lengthwise to get a pair of 3/8″ strips with a fold on one edge. To prepare for sewing, I then sanded about 1/4″ in from the edge so that the last 1/8″ on the folded side was un-sanded. I sanded the last 1/4″ of the edge around the perimeter of the facings, and also skived down those edges a bit to reduce the seam thickness.

Now with the edges all roughed up, I could begin gluing.

Here’s the obligatory leather bondage shot:

Stitching - Bondage

To sew it together, I scribed a gouge with my stitching groover that same 1/4″ in from the edge on both sides for my guides. I ended up taking full advantage of the fact that this is a hidden seam, because I done messed up a time or three. I’m the only one who will ever see those errors though, so I don’t feel so bad. Sharp- eyed folk will see a few other ugly seams in the next couple pics, but those are completely hidden from the outside as well.

I will say one thing, for this project I decided to splurge and get myself a spool of the Tiger thread that all the other craftspeeps on go on and on about – and now I know why. It truly is a superior thread. All stitching on this project was done with 0.8mm Ritza Tiger thread from the fine folks over at Egyptian Leather. Now that I’ve completed this one, when I make the next project of this scale I’ll probably go up to the 1.0mm thread.

I wasn’t able to use my stitching pony for this one due to the shape, but it was stiff enough that just propping it up in my lap and leaning it against the workbench was enough to pin it for sewing.

Here I’ve finished sewing the first face and am preparing the edges for side 2:

Read for side 2

And now for more bondage:

More Bondage

Binder clips are truly your best friend when gluing a project like this.

Now picture all of those binder clips replaced with a fresh line of stitching, and thinking to yourself “Well! There’s a project mostly done! Now I just have to turn the thing right-side-out and put the straps on.”

I’m here to tell you that the toughest fight I’ve been in this past 25 years was turning this bastard right-side-out. I don’t have any pics of the process, since I was home alone when the melee was in full swing, but let me tell you there was some grunting and groaning and general swearing going on for about 30 minutes. The cats heard some new words today. I’m sure they were shocked.

It was all worth it though, because at the end of it all, I have the coolest damn bowling ball bag you’ve ever seen.


Here’s the side – That smaller bowling pin covers the end of the zipper cutout and generally tidies up that area.

Finished - side

Stretching the seams out has revealed a couple places that may need some touch-up dye, and I’ll probably go over the whole thing with one more coat of Resolene before I call it completely done.

So: what should I build next?

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