I would say hand sewing is best just because I am not a huge fan of rivets. If your looking at doing lots of hand sewing invest in a good Douglas awl blade. They are the best on the market and come already sharpened and ready to use. I just got my first couple a few months ago and it has made the stitiching process a thousand times easier. If you are interested call http://leatherworker.net/pmd/sherida...utfitters.html
as I know that they have the Douglas awl blades and a good awl haft/handle.
Also you might want to look into a stitch groover if you don't already have one. It makes a channel to inlay your stitches into the leather that way they don't get rubbed/worn as much and makes your work look a bit more professional.
Also as mentioned I would glue your ends down as well since it helps hold your projects in place as you sew and can make a big difference in the strenght.
Good luck on the brow bands.