Inspired by the many bold coloured wrap bracelet style wraps which seem to be around right now I decided to restyle my own.
I opted for a neutral shade of aged cognac leather because I knew this would ensure it had a heavier rotation in my wardrobe.
Here's how you can replicate the same:
Cut 4 strips of leather approx 25-30cm in length, I used a rotary cutter, however a sharp craft knife would also suffice, or if you have a steady hand, a sharp pair of fabric shears.
The width of the strips is determined by the width of your existing strap as measured at the watch face end of the strap, not the buckle end, in my case this was 1cm.
Set your sewing machine up with a leather needle, lengthen your stitch length to 3-3.5mm and adjust your needle position to the right so your stitches are formed approx 1-2mm in from the edge.
On a single strap of leather fold under the top of the strap, wrong sides facing, by about 1 cm, as shown in the upper most piece above. This fold is going to form a casing for your watch pin, which secures the strap to the watch, will slot through, this folded strap will become the outer face of your strap.
Taking a second strap, which will be the underside or 'lining' strap, match up the crease of the fold from the outer face , with the top edge of the lining strap.
Sew along the length of the strap, starting approximately 2.5mm from the top to allow a casing for the pin to slip into, you can see this gap in the picture above. If you find it difficult to hold the fold down and position the strap under the foot without everything moving, use a bulldog clip, or paper clip to keep your layers in place.
* Stop stitching one stitch short of the end of the strap, leaving your needle down pivot the strap 90 degrees counter-clockwise then sew across the width of your strap ( in my case this was 2 stitches) before pivoting once more at the next corner to sew up the second side of the strap. Remember to again leave 2.5mm at the top of the strap for the pin casing.
This is your first strap sewn, set it aside and we will move onto sewing the second strap.The second strap is the strap which houses the buckle, we will secure the buckle in place when we sew the strap.
Start sewing your second strap as you have the first until you reach the point above marked with an asterisks (*). Instead of sewing all the way to the end of the strap, you are going to only sew half way, leave/adjust your needle down so it is piercing your fabric, and release your foot pressure so you can move the strap slightly for the next step. (This is solely to avoid any confusion about the outer face strap, and lining strap)
On the same strap of the two that you have folded under at the top to create the pin casing, your outer strap, you are going to measure up from bottom edge the distance required for where your buckle arm hole needs. Do so by folding the outer strap, wrong sides together, allow enough for the buckle to be housed, plus a little extra for your sewing foot to get close enough to catch this fold.
Make mark at the centre of the fold across the width, then using a leather punch create a hole large enough to fit your buckle arm through. If you do not have a leather punch then a sewing awl will also suffice, or hammer a nail through to make a hole, neither are as neat, but achieve a similar result.
Position your buckle, right side facing down, arm pushed through the hole you have just created.
Fold back the outer strap to cover/house the buckle, then resume sewing as per previous strap, pivoting at the end, across the buckle, ensuring you sew close enough to the buckle that the fold is securely caught in your sewing, but not so close as to hit the buckle.
At his point pass your watch pins through the casings of each strap, and join each strap to the watch face, the buckle strap should go to the top.
Returning to your first (buckle-less) strap we are now going to mark out the holes for the buckle arm to go in which will keep your strap fastened.I used a wax based tailors pencil as standard chalk was not effective, but a fine tipped permanent marker, pencil or ball point would also work. I spaced my holes at approximately 1.5 centimetres apart.
Punch the holes, once again using the leather punch (or an awl or hammer/nails if you do not have a leather punch.)
Viola, you are done. I just tucked the strap tail into the wrap of the bracelet. Alternatively you could also make a loop to secure it into.
Time taken: 30 minutes including stopping to take pictures
Cost: Nil - I had the leather in my stash
If you have any questions, or my instructions are unclear, let me know.