HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
How to make a steering wheel cover
Use a strip of the leather you are going to cover the wheel with to measure the thickness of the wheel rim. Then measure that piece of leather to determine the width of the leather that you cut out, to the length of the outside circumference of the wheel. The leather should wrap around the rim of the wheel, and the edges should have a gap of about ¹/32" to ⅛" between them. If this is not the case, the leather cover will not fit properly (see Fig 1).
Place double-sided tape along the rim of the wheel to make sure there is no movement of the leather. Put the tape along the outside edge of the wheel and wrap the wheel cover over the wheel. Position the leather uniformly, wrapping it evenly along the inside edge of the rim.
Preparing to sew the cover around the wheel (Fig 2).
1. You’ll need to measure the inside circumference of the wheel to determine how much thread to cut off the reel, bearing in mind it takes about 5ft to sew about 1ft around the rim.
2. Thread your needle and tie a knot in the end of the thread.
Begin stitching, starting with a double loop as shown in Fig 3).
3. Start the herringbone stitch (Fig 4). The first stitch is
slightly different. After you form the loop under the right side go over the
left side, through the loop and pull tight.
The second and remaining stitches are the same. Stitch under the left over the top through the hole on the right side, then through the loop. Pull tight. Note: the thread should always be between the last stitch and crossover thread as you come up through the loop. (Repeat... Under.... Over... Through the loop...Pull tight... Repeat.)
Pull the thread taut by pulling the thread back and forth to ensure the "edges" meet and cover the wheel completely. Note: You may need to case the leather if it is not stretching properly around the rim of the wheel. Wet only the area which requires stretching. This will allow the leather to stretch easily (Fig 5).
Repeat the herringbone stitch.
4. Use the same stitch around the spokes of the wheel. This will help pull the leather around the spoke. Tuck the thread under the leather around the spoke.
5. Repeat the herringbone stitch until about 18" of thread is left. Tie it off by using a double loop. Pick up one of the double loop strands of thread on the underside. Finish with a "loop" knot on the "inside" of the cover (Fig 6).
Repeat step 3 until the complete cover is sewn onto the wheel.