Welcome to the third part of the series, ‘Butt and Box Stitch’.
If you’ve been following this series you may have already been practising ‘Butt Stitch’ as outlined in ‘Part 2 – Understanding Butt Stitch’. If so, you may also have come across one or two problems. Below, I have outlined the common problems with butt stitch and how to overcome them with further practise.
- “I keep running out of thread before I reach the end of my row of stitches and I have measured it as I usually do for Saddle Stitch”. Try allowing enough thread for five times the distance to be stitched, plus 30cms – 40cms extra.
- “The Harness awl is tearing through the leather as I try piercing”. There could be a couple of reasons for this: 1) Check that the blade of your harness awl is very sharp. 2) Try tweaking the angle of the awl slightly until you find the most successful technique.
- “I’m tearing through the stitches as I pull the thread”. There are two possible reasons: 1) The awl hasn’t penetrated the leather enough – maybe you just pushed through the tip – and so the hole isn’t big enough for the needle and thread to pass through easily; 2) Perhaps you are pulling the threads ‘outwards’ (as for Saddle Stitch) instead of ‘downwards’ ie in the direction of your row of stitches.
- “I have finished the row of stitching but the raw edges are not as flush as I would have expected”. This could be because the harness awl may not have exited the raw edge at the same point for every stitch – for example, if your leather was 3mm thick an
d the awl exited at (half way) 1.5mm in some places but at 1mm or 2mm in others, then you wouldn’t get as neat a finish.
Part 4 of this series can be found by following this link: Butt and Box Stitch. Part 4 – Preparing for Box Stitch
If you missed Part 2 of this series, the link is here: Butt and Box Stitch. Part 2 – Understanding Butt Stitch