Stitching pony hack

I was in bad need of a stitching pony. It is a device that allows you to hold two pieces of leather if you want to stitch them using saddle stitch – traditional hands only technique for (once) sewing harnesses and saddles and now used to make bags. It can have a form of a bench, giant tweezers or clamps. Hermes artisans use stitching clamps (similar device). There was nowhere to buy it so I knew I would have to make one. In a moment of illumination I recalled that there are bent wood table legs at IKEA. (Note: I believe they are the VIKA OLEBY legs. ~ Jules)

The bent part was the most important. What I’ve done:

  • cut them to size
  • attached to a piece of heavy oak wood – as a post
  • added a hinge and a sliding blocking device from an old window
  • made a pedal like feature for closing it with my foot (actually the weight of my leg ;-))
  • added a cup with bee wax (an awl dipped in wax makes holes more easily)
  • lined jaws with veg tan leather…

….and here it is – a stitching pony.

I use it for bigger items – the area between the jaws is bigger than in a stitching clamp I managed to buy much, much later. Compare both in the picture. Unfortunately they do not make those legs any more. You can use smaller ones from FROSTA stool to make a table mounted stitching pony for sewing watch straps and other smaller accessories. I know it is not a hack of universal appeal but it just proves again how versatile are the bent legs of IKEA.

stitching pony

stitching pony 2

~ Monika Klama