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 Pleather Belt Pouches (tutorialesk)

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Pleather Belt Pouches (tutorialesk)
« on: Dec 01, 2020, 08:45 PM »
Belt pouches are a common addition to any Mando.  Whether you need a place to store ammo, credits or any other such item of importance pouches can be handy in holding them for you.  Seeing as many Mandos like to be self-suficiant or just plain thrifty with their supplies it was decided that a look into one makers process might benefit the whole.  So here is how I made pouches (the good, bad and ugly of it all).

I started with pleather scraps.  These were left over from making my vest (a pleather, cotton/rayon/spandex creation).  The pattern for these pouches was found here:

I printed the pattern per instructions on that page.

Then I considered the pieces.  I realized that the one part needed to be taped to the other to reach the appropriate length to wrap around itself.

I used this template and cut out my first pouch.  I enlarged it to add about a 1/4" on both sides.  I also decided against velcro closures.  This was a personal choice.  I hate the sound of Velcro so I always try to minimize the amount I use.  It is very useful though, so if you don't mind it then go right ahead and use it.  I decided to use magnetic closures.  My first pouch came out flat.  It is a fabric pouch so I didn't expect it to hold too much shape.  I also sewed on the magnets. 

I decided that I would like my pouches to hold their shape a little better and I didn't like how visible my stitching was, enter alteration mode.

To add stiffness I lined the larger portion of the pattern with an iron on interfacing.  Note: Test your fabric (ESPECIALLY pleather) to make sure that the iron won't damage or melt it when applying.  I cut the interfacing to the unenlarged size of the pattern to leave an edge for sewing the hem later.

At this point I had tested my fabric with heat, cut out all my parts and interfacing, and laid out my magnets for the closures.  I ironed on the interfacing with the magnets between the layers.  This was a bit tricky as I needed to line up where on the lower portion the magnet should sit.  To do this I laid out one of the side panels and used that to determine how far up I should place the magnet on the lower half.  By placing the magnets between the layers I was able to avoid the ugly stitching that I ended up with on my first attempt.  When I ironed on the interfacing with the magnets sandwiched between the layer I had to be careful how I moved my iron as the magnets would stick to the bottom if the interfacing hadn't fully bonded to the pleather.

At this point I got carried away and started sewing one together.  My first one I didn't stitch the belt strap on during construction.  After fighting with getting my needle through three layers of pleather, I decided there had to be a better way.  My solution was to attach the top half of the strap to the pouch during its construction.  If a handy Mando wanted to added both ends it would probably be possible but I didn't want the stitching for the straps to be on top so I stuck to hand sewing on the other half.

Alright so the first step in constructing my pouch was to at a hem on the top of both of the sides of the pouches and the bottom of the main body piece.  I also added little 1/4" hems to the loop for the belt.  Then I pinned one side to the main body portion of the pouch.

With most pleather the pin holes will be visible after, so, pin with that in mind.  I didn't worry about it as I know that it is hard to see pin hole in black and that I would have to weather them anyway so a little damage would only add to the pouch.

The next step was to sew it together.  I used my machine.  They could be hand sewn if you have the time and patience.  I stitched about 1/4" from the edge and set the sewing speed to fairly slow.  When dealing with layers of pleather it can sometimes bunch up.  To aid in preventing this, lifting the foot every few stitches will help ease the strain on the fabric and allow you to pull out any wrinkles or folds forming.  If you do lift the foot, put the needle in the down position.  This will prevent any large gaps in stitches and also aid in keeping the pleather in place while going around corners.

Add-on:  I pull my pins as I go to reduce the number of times I stab myself as I manipulate the fabric through the machine. 

At this point I attached the top of the belt loop to the pouch.  Using the side that I had already sewn on as a guide for how far up on the back I want the loop, I pinned it in place.  Then I sewed it down.

Next the second side was pinned on and sewn.  Then the pouch was turned right side out.

To be continued...

Re: Pleather Belt Pouches (tutorialesk)
« Reply #1 on: Dec 02, 2020, 04:34 PM »

Looking at the pouch, the edges all puff outwards.  This is the opposite of the desired direction for the pouch to fold.  To fix this I top stitched along the outer edge.  I tired this with a lot of pins and with a few pins.  I found that fewer pins on the rounded bottom edges worked better for me and my machine.  I also used the top stitching to add a hem on the top flap all the way around.  In order to get the rounded edge to not bunch up I cut out little triangles.  Be careful not to cut in too deep or the top of the pouch will be narrower than the body once the hem is done.

In adding the top stitching I was putting almost four layers of pleather through at some points.  Getting creases like this -

happened a lot.  I had to lift the foot of the machine every few stitches and resituate the fabric to get a smooth edge.  I always left the needle in the fabric when ever I lifted the foot to ensure that the next stitch started in the correct place and that I didn't end up with large loops of thread.  It is also easier to manipulate the corner if you have the needle to pull gently against. 

You can clearly see the white interfacing.  To prevent this there are several options.  The easiest is to just get black interfacing.  The second easiest it to purchase some fabric paint.   If you wanted to do the extra work you could fully line it by making a slightly smaller pouch out of thin fabric and sewing the two together.  Another option is to simply glue some black fabric (I like to use felt with glue) to cover it up. 

Now to finish the belt strap.  I premeasured to make sure it would fit my belt before I even cut them out.  The pattern strap is too big for my belt so I sewed them down with slightly larger than normal tabs underneath.   

I hand stitched the strap in place.

And here is a set of four on my gun belt.

And a brief modeling (Thanks Vod!)

And because I like to make this more complex then it need to be, I added #5 Zipper stops as a decorative boarder to the flap.

At this point the pouches are ready to be weathered according to the kit.

Happy pouch making!!

If anyone has a better method, some tips or hints about things to do or not do, or even a thread with another pouch making feel free to comment. 

Re: Pleather Belt Pouches (tutorialesk)
« Reply #2 on: Dec 10, 2020, 06:49 PM »
I did find that spaying/painting on the fabric paint before assembly was easier then doing it after.  Results of either method were similar.

with weathering...


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