Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Last weekend we were doing some projects around the house and I wanted to switch out my living room curtains.  I needed to update some old sheers to fit on the rods I had so I broke out my pins, thread and needle.  I did a hasty job of it, and thankfully no one will see it under the valances; but it made me think of the hand stitching I've been using on my "uncompromised" line.

I've been sewing since I was 9; including 12 years of 4-H, during college in Tailoring Classes, and in my professional life as a owner and manager of two different alterations shops.  One thing I know for certain; stitching by hand is important in construction, and it adds elegance and interest like nothing else can.

A couple little rows of hand stitching can make an ordinary design element like a flap closure into something extra-ordinary.  These rows of stitching on this iPad case attach a hidden strap and keeper underneath. This would have been much quicker and easier with a machine stitch, but it's so much more done this way.

The work horse stitch of this line is the Saddle Stitch. This stitch is what holds the pieces of the case together.  Two needles are passed through each hole then the thread is tightened by pulling both sides equally. 
I enjoy doing this stitch. The rhythm and cadence of sewing these pieces together is soothing and natural.

Then there are the specialty stitches. I use these as design elements and to make my work stand out. The Baseball Stitch is one of these. 
You already know this is my favorite!  It took a little time and effort to learn this stitch, how to adapt it to making cases (instead of baseballs) and to build the equipment in order to make it work. (see the Behind the Scenes page for a look at my husband Benny making me a stitching pony specifically for these cases.) It's all worth it though. I've been working on some new  things using this stitch, and I think you're going to love them! 

I also use hand stitched elements as part of the design, like the epaulette stitched straps you see here. 
You'll see this design element throughout the whole "uncompromised" line; from the iPad Cases, Kindle Cases, and even the journals.  

I bet you noticed all the holes.  That's because you can't just poke a needle into leather and sew like you can on fabric.  The hides are tough, and either have to be pierced with a special leather awl or holes have to be punched to get the needle and cord through.  We punch all the holes by hand. (by "we" I mean "I" or sometimes my son helps. More on that later too....) Each hole is punched out, then coated with an edge coating. The coating isn't necessary, but I prefer the finished look instead of seeing the raw leather inside the holes.  Just a little quirk of mine. 

The last thing we do before stitching, is recess the stitching lines. This helps the thick cord lay flush with the leather.  Again, not a necessity, but it looks so nice, I can't resist this step.
I like to think my 4-H leaders and college professors would be proud of what I've done with this simple skill they taught me years ago.  This "uncompromised" attention to detail is part of what makes this line and these cases so special and irresistible. I hope you'll agree!

*Be sure to hover your mouse over the images. I put some extra little notes in there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New iPad Case

I've been using this burgundy latigo leather since the very beginning.  When I was creating this Baseball Stitch iPad Case with this beautiful burgundy latigo, it felt like "coming home"  The feel of this leather is amazing. It bends and molds into shape so well, is sturdy and strong, and I know it's one of your favorite colors just like it is mine.  The two button closure design is also one of my most popular case features. I wanted to bring all the best elements of my iPad case designs together with this new "uncompromised" leather iPad case.  What do you think?
(hint) mouse over the bullseye buttons for some additional features and behind the scenes details.