Leather Shifter


I knew nothing about stitching leather or anything. I just took the shifter knob into the local Tandy leather store and the guy set me up with everything I needed. I got this waxy string for the stitching, and he sold me this sharp punch awl. The hardest part is punching the hole for the stitching in the leather. You have to do it in a nice uniform way. After I spent a couple hours punching the holes I found out there is also a little wheel tool that you can roll along the edge of the leather. It marks the place you should poke the leather with the awl in a very uniform and even pattern.

I then grabbed a curved stitching needle and began stitching away( I bought a variety pack of stitching needles. There were about 10 of em, and I found that the different sizes and bends worked better for different parts of the stitching.)

I found that it was easiest to first get the leather very wet and sew up two of the three seams before even putting it on the knob. Don't worry that it looks kind of funny (out of shape) because once you put it on the knob it stretches to the shape of the knob (If it's wet enough.). Start sewing up the final seam. This is the hardest step, but with a little patience it'll work really well.

The leather store I went to had tables of scrap leather in differnt colors and sizes. I looked for a matching color but just for fun I used a piece of burgandy red leather that matched my Fieros exterior paint very well.

BTW- Study the stitch pattern the factory used before you use the seam ripper to cut the stitching open. It's not very complicated and it works really well!

From: Aaron Ozminski