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Ok, I have just finished covering a new pair of cleats for fighting and wanted to do a tutorial, so here goes. For this project I used bull hide that is probably about 4 oz. I have used deer skin and regular 3-4 oz veg tanned leather as well, but this supple bull hide worked very well.

First I get a rough pattern size to fit the shoe.

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The front piece needs to cover the front of the shoe but needs to leave enough room to still be able to tie the shoe laces.

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This picture shows how the bigger piece lines up on the back of the shoe.

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The uneven upper end of the back piece is what will fold over the shoe.

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As each shoe is different, I do not have a set pattern and cut back the excess leather as I fit it to the shoe.

Uric

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:45 pm
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Next using contact cement I attach the front leather cover.

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I use a razor knife to cut the excess back.

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Next I trim back the back piece.

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This is probably the more tedious part as it is multiple tweaks to make sure it fits right, but you can see it taking shape. Next step is attaching the back piece with contact cement.

Uric

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:51 pm
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The next step is attaching the toggles. These are fake bone toggles from the Leather Factory.

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In order to make sure the toggles are placed right I first cut the toggle slits on the leather tabs.

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With the shoe on I figure where it will fit comfortably and use a Sharpie marker to mark my spot.

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Then I attach the toggles with waxed linen thread. I have to drill a small hole through the toggle to attach them.

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Uric

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:58 pm
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With the thicker leather the front of the shoe does not lay smooth so I put a few stitches in the front and back to take up the slack. Also on this pair I used heavy duty staples along the bottom to keep the leather attached.

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The stitch in the back top takes it in so you have a better fit and it isn’t loose & sloppy.

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Where the back piece overlaps the front of the shoe I stitch it down so I am not just relying on the glue to hold it down.

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Uric

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:02 pm
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So this is the general shape we are dealing with.

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To touch it up I added a running stitch along the edges of waxed linen thread.

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This is the 5th pair I have covered and am getting pretty comfortable with it. For your first attempt I would recommend using a heavy fabric to get a rough size of your pattern so you do not waste leather.

Comments & critique welcome.

Uric