Glad that you are happy with your outcome, but there are other, far less expensive means of accomplishing this.
I recently re-covered our 40 inch diameter wheel. Went to a leather supplier, bought two offcuts of nicely tanned Black finished cowhide of appropriate thickness. Cost was 5 Australian dollars each. Used a cheap
(about 10 bucks at a hobby or sewing shop) to cut the strips, and then a 4-hole punch (about 25 bucks IIRC, but I've had it a while) to punch the holes. My wife sewed the ends of the strips together using our old Pfaff 130 home machine, V-92 dacron thread and a short zig-zag stitch. Used normal waxed whipping twine and a sail needle to herringbone stitch the leather onto the wheel. Whole project
took about 4 hours (exclusive of the purchase
trip for the leather).
I didn't use padding as I prefer the feel of an unpadded wheel, but it wouldn't have been a big deal to do so.
I'm not criticizing your method, but offering an alternative approach for budget
sailors... besides, I enjoy such work!