This was a a3- sized binder with Krause & Handler rings. Fabulous rings in 4,5 cm, needless to say and really unattractive binder. But I bought the binder for something very different on my mind...
The source of this madness was, yet again, Staples.
It became this very handsome personal sized binder that can hold my entire life in one buttery soft leather covers and as promised, elsewhere on the roads of interwebs, I will now tell you here is how it all came to be. Do feel most free to use this as inspiration, copy shamelessly and let your crazy free. I´ll be happy if I helped at all.
Picture below shows a lacquer leather jacket from +60 years back. I very seldom used it because it is just too helplessly big. The leather, however was whispering me those ever- beckoning murmurs.,, do you see where this was going. Yes, indeed.
The binder below is my favorite one. It is devine and perfect, made from old briefcase. Too bad the perfection carries only +3 cm rings and my life has taken on the busier lane lately and come 2015, it´ll get even more insane.
Now, what you must do is to find a leather item with sturdy leather, preferably not something that belongs to another un-knowing fellow human. However, if the fellow human gives his/her thumbs up to his/her leather tote or any other unworn or unused item of leather, congratulate yourself for finding a worthy fellow human.
Then proceed to cut the rings off from binder. If you are sensible person and can do with ordinary 2-3 cm rings, they are vastly found in thin plastic binders that will make this entire process much more tolerable and easy and fast.
If you, like yours truly, joined the merry folk over at crazytrain, prepare to work for your lunacy.
Also, brew a pot of really nice tea or coffee depending on your preferences.
No alcoholic beverages, you´ll be working with a sharp knife, after all!
Leave some material from the binder around your ring system. Unless of course, you are inclined to mess with the hardware. My hands are weak and my impatience unparalleled to anything this world knows. No cobblers live in our household so glue is my best friend. If you are unfortunate to have to deal with cardboard, cut it a little smaller than the plastic around it. Then sand the edges thinner. Taper the thing entirely.
Now measure the middle of your leather.Glue the ring system on it, centering it.
Take another piece of leather and measure its middle line.
Measure the width and length of your ring system. Only metal bits rule! No measuring the surrounding remains from old binder. When you measure the length of of the opening to your binder system, measure to the thin part of metal, no need to leave the entire thing visible. Draw a pattern to your leather, see above.
And this is how it looks from the other side.
It is best to leave the flaps intact at this point. It proves wise to just fold them underneath and glue and hammer them in, in case the leather was any thinner.
(these pictures were taken in kitchen lighting so they all seem different, depending how far or how close the phone cam was... apparently it had an effect of the hues.
Try the leather on your rings. No glue yet! At this point I saw that the leather proved too bulky so I cut off the top folding bits. Do you see where to shove the long leather flaps? This is where they´ll stay snugly glued when you are done. But maneuver them in there very carefully! No hammering on the metal!
Take your leather piece off rings, apply glue to the center bits and glue the thing on.
In gluing leather, it is important to "paint" the entire leather with the glue, no air pockets! And apply glue in small sections and hammer the thing down! No matter how strong you are, you will need to hammer the leather as it seals the leathers together.
Practically, this is how I made my black binder above. Lastly I trimmed the edges once the leather was completely glued and hammered (no, not like that) , conditioned the leather and put it to good use.
This time though... I had all this sleeve material to use. So I made a full length pocket. I sewed two sleeves together (after creating straight cuts on the sides) and hammered and glued the seam allowances open. At this point I noticed how the makers of this leather jacket had taken the sloppy road by not finishing the seam allowances, so I glued and hammered them open as well.
Then I cut a piece, slightly longer than the binder was and cut it as tall as it could be cut.
All the excess height got flipped to the inside.
I sewed a seam on the top of the pocket edge.
I sewed a seam to the binder upper edge.
I sanded the edges of the pocket piece to taper them.
I then laid the binder atop the pocket piece, turned the edges of pocket piece around the binder edges and glued and hammered them there. Then I sewed the thing.
I used two leather-work threads, the bobbin thread a lighter, burgundy thread and the upper stitching was done with light brown leather-work thread. The thicker thread doesn´t seem to "flow" no matter how I adjust the bobbin but then, see if I care that there are two threads on this rugged friend.
And here it is without things inside after conditioning
And here it is from the outside. You see the character the sleeve pieces have adopted during the decades. You can diminish them or at least negotiate with them by lightly steaming through ironing cloth THE IRON ABSOLUTELY NOT TOUCHING THE LEATHER! You will proceed to maneuver the leather to its flatter, less bumpy form. Experience has proven me that when something is grumpy for +60 years, it is not likely the thing will adjust to a new outlook. The leather will adopt its former form very fast. So I didn´t even try. The jacket was here on earth long before I was, so I´ll just tip my hat to that fact and let the leather take shape and form in which it is accustomed to and in which it is happiest. None of us are perfect and having life shown is actually quite attractive.
With the stuffing.
This is how it looks in inside the pocket.
My weekly view is on landscape.I made the sheets myself since Steve & Ray decieded to respect the integrity of Week- Ends. I don´t respect the integrity of Week- Ends. I respect the leisure- aspect of those two days and that includes checkered flannel pajamas, wooly socks, endless supply of nicely brewn tea, baking, naps on the comfiest sofa and watching movies with my cub. None of that activity needs timetables. But then, surprisingly many people are actually *not* allergic to human interaction and like to stuff their planner on this thing called socializing. To me, that sounds very strange, utter nonsense and very exhausting. But then, there always is the annoyingly perky side of the mirror and those people, no doubt about it, need adequate space for their Sat-Sun planning.