How I Make My Leather Thimbles

I find this kind of thimble brilliant to use – really comfortable and versatile. I’ve found references to leather thimbles in historical texts, too, though I can’t remember where! After a while the thimble takes the shape of your finger, so if you leave it lying around it can freak people out. Hehe!


I make these from off cuts of lightweight leather or fine suede, the weight you would make trousers out of.  You can extend the life of the thimble by turning it around on your finger, giving you a fresh surface to push your needle against. I usually wear my thimble on the middle finger of my right hand (I’m right-handed).


For added oomph you can glue a small, oval piece of plastic (cut from a margarine container or some such) inside the fingertip, in a good position to use as a needle-pushing aid.


This pattern is for a small-ish finger, so check your finger circumference/girth measurement before cutting and increase the pattern width as necessary. A 6mm seam allowance is included. I've given the dimensions if you want to simply draw it on a piece of paper, or you can print it out so that the little square measures 1cm. Mine is a little bit wonky; yours doesn't have to be!


1.       Adjust pattern to your finger circumference. Trace around the pattern and cut out your leather.

2.       With right sides together, stitch seam lines ‘A’ together, from the hem to the notch, to make a tube.

3.       Open the seam and squeeze the tube closed with the seam sitting centrally.

4.       Sew a curved seam across the top and trim off the excess leather. This is the fingertip part of the thimble (dia. b).

5.       Turn through and try on. It should be a snug fit. If not, turn it back through, alter the seam and trim off the excess leather.

(That last picture is what my thimble looked like after I'd taken it apart and flattened it out. While the pattern starts out as a domed shape, this is what you get after stitching the end seam and trimming off the excess leather. I know, it' looks weird :D )

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