Anyway! I'd gotten my hands on a marking wheel, so I laid out one of the pieces of leather, put the pattern on top of it, and traced along with the wheel. Then I put the two pieces of leather together, got my leather awl, and drove holes.
I learned a couple of things at this point:
- Using a marking wheel when there's anything more than a gradual curve in the seam is a giant pain in the ass.
- I didn't use a groover, but if I did - even if only to just mark a line rather than carve out a groove - it might have helped with the above problem.
- Alternately, just manually spacing out holes on a line I made, but that strikes me as painful.
- Punching holes through both layers of leather worked fine on the top layer, less fine on the bottom.
- I had a cutting board under the leather. Maybe if I had something with more give, more of the awl could have moved through and made clean holes in both layers. Maybe a wooden board of some kind? Or a thick piece of leather over a board.
- Make sure you keep the awl vertical at all times when punching with it.
- Because of all the above problems combined, some holes don't line up.
- Cheap awls break.
So, yeah. I've got a newer better awl set on the way to me (thanks, Amazon!) and I'll be putting more holes in the leather soon. Here's a Value-Added Picture of how things looked shortly after I got going - I took a break on it yesterday evening and I was about halfway done stitching around the outside. I'm using what I think of as a two-needle figure eight stitch, because that's what my friend Alex taught me to do with leather.
Next step - finish the stitching and then go pound sand!