Case for Combo Gun

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The most time consuming project ever! Three ski seasons and a bit more. I started off doing a lazy stitch, which became so erratic that I cut it all off and did the beadwork on a loom, then sewed it onto the case.

The design is in the “Oklahoma” or modern powwow style. I avoid copying any traditional tribal patterns partly to avoid giving offense but mostly because designing is most of the fun. This is not a period correct design. The yellow/orange/red transition is modern and the Old English initials are old but not native.

The construction is straight forward. It is made from commercially tanned elk. I sewed it outside in using a simple saddle stitch with artificial sinew. I put a wide strip of elk inside sewing one edge in the seam as a welt. A narrow welt was used in the fore stock area and then another wide piece at the stock. After the sewing was complete the case was turned right side out and the wide pieces were cut into fringe. The button is elk antler. The buttonhole is edged with an edge wrap saddle stitch.

I was encouraged to enter it in the county fair. The leather work only had two categories, carving and stamping. I asked what to do, and they looked at it and said “Put it in fine arts, other”. I did and won both fine arts, other and fine arts, best in show. I see some irregularities, but they are minor and I am quite proud of it.


  • One color was number 12 although I bought all number 11s. Take your micrometer to the bead shop.
  • Biting off more than you can chew is a hazard.
  • Get up the courage to put scissors to one of the brain tan skins you've been hoarding.

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