Manly Sewing Project #5 is a bit more complicated and involved a lot more "firsts" for me. Its my first gun holster, my first time making my own stainless steel belt clips and my first try at using copper rivets.
This is an inside-the-waistband holster for my Smith and Wesson Sigma. Basically, you shove it in the back of your pants. Kinda like in all the movies, but without the risk of it slipping down and falling out your pant leg. I have a hip holster and an undershirt with a built-in shoulder holster, but I wanted something I could wear under a t-shirt in the sweltering Houston summer. This first picture is the side that goes against your back.
The holster attaches to your pants/belt with a metal clip. I couldn't find any stainless steel clips so I made my own out of heavy gauge 304 stainless steel sheet. I cut out a long strip with a jigsaw, sanded the edges and bent it in my woodworking vise. Next time I'll use thinner material or drill some small holes along the fold lines to make bending easier.
In this picture you can see the double bend clip a little better. When you shove the holster in your pants the inner bend clips over the top of your pants so it can't slide down and the outer bend clips around your belt so you can't accidentally pull the holster out of your pants when you draw the pistol out. I attached the clip to a small square of leather with two copper rivets. Basically you put a copper rivet through a punched hole, slip a copper washer down the rivet shaft, cut the shaft close to the washer and then lovingly beat the end of the shaft until it mushrooms over, holding everything firmly in place. Then I stitched the small piece of leather to the holster. That way there would be no copper rivets on the inside of the holster to scratch the pistol.
I sewed everything on the Luberto Classic machine, soaked the holster, jammed the pistol down into the wet leather, and then used my trusty vacuum press to get a nice tight fit. Maybe a little too tight, though it will loosen up with use. I might slick the inside with a little paste floor wax as well. Since the gun is stainless steel and plastic, there was no worry about it rusting in a wet leather holster. If it were a blued steel gun, I would have lightly oiled it and wrapped it in shrink wrap first.
These cost at least $50 to buy from on of the brand name holster makers, and I've never seen one with a nice stainless steel clip, so I guess it would have to be custom made it would probably cost more. I figure that I used less than $5 in materials, and about 3 or 4 hours of time. I'm pretty sure I could make the next one faster, and I've already thought of some design improvements.
So if anyone out there wants a custom holster and is willing to leave their gun with me for a day or two, give me a shout. I can only make so many holsters for my own guns before it gets a little silly...