Customer Commission – Sedgwick Leather Darts Case Complete

Note to reader:  if you prefer not reading about the details please skip to the photographs below.

Late last year I was contacted by a gentleman named David.  He was looking for a special gift for his son’s 21st Birthday and after some discussion he decided to commission me to make a darts case for his son who is a serious darts player.  During the initial meeting with David and his sons we made some sketches and came up with a design both to fit the darts and to fit the budget.  Fast forward a couple of months and after making a prototype the final version was handed over to David to gift to his son on the day.  It wasn’t a surprise of course because the son was fully involved in the design which we all agreed was essential.  The darts case was received very well.

It is sometimes important to make a full prototype, especially when the item is meant to fit items with specific dimensions.  Since this project is to be carried in a pocket most of the time it needed to be as small and compact as possible and the prototype enabled me to fine tune the measurements very well.  Since this was a smaller project the margin for error is less.  The prototype also helped to determine suitability of the leather in terms of thickness and stiffness; the positioning of the hinges, the size of the slots where the barrels go and a few other things.  The final version was adjusted quite a bit and ended up working as planned.  One of the major adjustments was the slot area which was increased slightly in all dimensions.  The pocket on the inside at the top is for storing the flights as well as a small amount of cash and a card or two.  The hole on the middle is also an addition to the design and is there to enable the user to see the contents and to help remove them.

The outer leather is from a bit of Sedgwick leather left over from a larger project.  The lining, which I seem to be asked for a lot, is also a piece of off-cut goat kid suede.  Something I am no longer buying because I have switched over completely to veg tanned leather (the suede was chrome tanned).  The thread is my favourite Fil au Chinois linen thread and the stitching is done at 8 stitches per inch.  I would usually stitch an item this size at 10 stitches per inch but I was conscious of the budget.  The norm is actually to stitch a project of this size at 8 stitches per inch but I like to give clients the choice of finer stitching which does take a lot longer.

The leather around the area that forms the slots is quite thick.  The darts have a sharp point and the bottom of the slot area had to be made in such a way that the points of the darts don’t penetrate.  The slots are also designed to prevent this.  Stitching through such thick leather can be tricky, especially when the stitch line only has a small shoulder of leather on either side.  One of the considerations I toyed with a lot was putting a strip of leather along the exposed edges of the lining.  After much thought I decided against this partly in consideration of the budget and partly because the absence of the strip won’t adversely affect the edges of the lining because they aren’t going to be handled or agitated much.  Those are my thoughts however I am ready to rethink this if the edges of the lining do get agitated through use.