For my Steampunk outfit I wanted a scope. So last year at Steamfest I picked one up from one of the vendors.
I love the scope but had a few problems with the case, its plastic-y, they didn’t have zippers in the 1800’s, and I just am not comfortable with it. I figured it’d work to protect the scope until I got around to making a nice real leather one.
I was searching the internet for leather scope cases and I came across an image for a German World War scope case. It looked simple enough, with a belt loop and strap run between the base and top, so that’s what I have based this on.
I started by using scrap leather I had put aside from other projects. I measured the length of the collapsed scope at 5 1/4″ and made the base piece leather 5 1/4″ long.
I ran that piece around the circle and added 1/2″ overlap. That turned out to be 5″ long. So my base piece is 5″x5 1/4″.
I put the scope on another piece of scrap and traced around the larger end circumference. I measured out 1/2″ from that and cut on the larger circle.
The scope should fit flush, but the larger end sits on the excess circle piece tucked up in the tube, effectively pushing it up out of the base, which makes it very easy to grab and remove from the case.
The bottom turned out beautifully, though I didn’t take pictures of the process during, it’s identical to the lid portion, which I will describe for you.
I had cut 2 circles with the circumference of the scope, but knowing I needed to make the bottom one bigger I added 5/8″ and cut that out.
Here I’ve traced the bottom of the case onto the lower circle. It’s completely off center and not very round, so I redrew it to the proper size and center.
I then took a ruler and measured around, marking at every 1/2″ point. I cut small notches up to the circle.
I took the pieces out and put holes for string though them, then I wet the circle and folded up the notches so they’ll fit up in the tube.
I placed it over a cool shot glas so it’d form how I want it to set up. Then got out a scrap piece of the thread and tied the top points together on the strip piece.
I wrapped the waxed thread around the strip and up the part where I will add crossed stitches, and added 4 inches. I then doubled this length and cut it off the spool. Threaded each end through one of the leather needles and fold the strip to get the center point farthest away from where the crossed threads will be. Start the thread in the strip and add the circle.
It’s slow going and it gets harder to stitch as you make your way around and close the circle. Here I’ve stitched half of the circle in place and started on the other half. I didn’t quite imprint some of the leather enough when I put the holes in, so I wet it so I could get the needle through easier.
When both of the threads are around the other side knot the cord after tightening all the stitches.
Take the cord and do a stitch at a time to get the crossed look, when you get to the top make sure all stitches are tight and knot the cord on the inside and thread it under a stitch or two to the outside, cut flush with where the leather comes together.
I did the crossed stitches to match the stitching on the scope.
I riveted a thin piece of leather between the base and top to hold everything together, it’s long enough I can get the top off without a fight.
Dye as you please, I like what my brother calls the “burnt” look, with blackened edges and a warm, though light, brown main color.
Here is the case without a clear coat, I did the splotchy brown on purpose, since I want it to have a used feel.
You’ll just have to wait to see it 100% complete and in use, Mandi’s photo shoot is Sunday, and I get to have a hand in it.