Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lining The Shako

Sewing leather often requires that the needle be pulled or pushed with needle nose pliers. It's a good idea to lock the thread so it doesn't keep coming off. Here is a quick tutorial on thread locking. Lots of wax is helpful to keep the thread from fraying and breaking. Using a needle at each end of the thread speeds things up, and when the thread gets short, stitch ahead with one needle three or four holes and come back to lock the stitch. No need for knots. Here are some primitive diagrams of how the lining is attached.

The back and sides have two calfskin lining pieces that overlap slightly at the point in the back.  They are stitched upside down through the decorative band and body, and turned to the inside. The lining pieces have a slit on the inside to fit the curve, and a row of evenly spaced holes to take a cord.

Like the shako, the lining is dyed black, but doesn't get a coat of gloss varnish.

The front is much more interesting. The peak is shaped to fit the front, and the top part is skived to half the thickness of the leather. There is NO WAY to punch holes with an awl through the peak edge without donating pints of blood, so a micro drill bit was used instead. The bizarre stitch path holds the lining, secures the peak, and pulls it down over the wearer's eyes. Very practical.

With all the sewing done it's time for dye and varnish.


  1. Did you ever finish the Shako? I looked for it in the rest of the blogs.

  2. Sadly, the original form was found to have serious flaw. The whole thing had to be scrapped. The NEW form just got finished. Time to start all over WEEEEEE! Hope to try again this Spring.