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cutting & sewing leather riding chaps

redbug | Posted in General Sewing Info on

HI All,

I’m new to the discussion forums….although a Threads reader regularly.  I ride horses and have made many pair of leather chaps for myself, duplicating  a worn out old pair of my own that fit me fairly well.  The pattern itself is relatively simple, and I have altered it some for better fit. I have also made some for friends.

 I offered to help out a friend and make her daughter some for 4-H , and they turned out with twisted legs(the fringe rotates almost around to the inside of the ankle!!!)..and gapping at the front legs(thigh area)…….and not usable. I’m not quite sure what went wrong. I cut everything out the same , and didn’t differ my sewing technique.

Anyone have any suggestions to prevent this??  Or any fitting suggestions??Leather is too expensive to waste, and this was on my dime…I’m a little leary to try another pair, so any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks much,



  1. sueb | | #1

    Well since you have made these before with no problems I'd venture a guess and say that there is something different about the leather that you used for this particular pair.  I'll bet that the leather itself is responsible for the twist, maybe due to the way it was tanned or stored before you bought it.  For anyone interested, there's some great tips on sewing with leather at the Home Sewing Org website:



  2. bss7 | | #2

    There is a website that sells chap patterns, it is suitability.com.  I haven't tried it, but you might check there.

  3. Kilroywashere | | #3

    I'm guessing that the friend's daughter is quite a different diameter leg from you....  I don't think that chaps patterns size up and down just from both "edges" if you will....  You need to design them from the zipper seam line, and widen and narrow them from there - if that makes sense to you???  Look at the measurements that a custom chaps order form has on it. 

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