Sunday, May 11, 2014

For Mothers' Day: A Medieval Belt Pouch

Because my mom is awesome, and likes to dress up as a viking.

The pattern is actually taken from a 14th century design I found in "The Medieval Tailor's Assistant" by Sarah Thursfield.  A little late for vikings, but it should fit in well with the rest of the costume, nonetheless.

The pouch is made in two pieces, a back and front, with the back folding over to close it.  I guessed on the dimensions (relating them to the belt size), and then adjusted the paper pattern until I was happy with the size.  The front piece is cut from the same pattern as the back; it stops at the fold-line, and the center opening is widened for ease of use.

Bag template positioned on leather.

Pieces cut out: bag back/lid, front, and ties.

I opted to top stitch the two pieces together, raw edges to the outside, as leather doesn't fray and I didn't want the bulk of turned seams.  The sewing was done in black silk thread, with leather needles, on the machine--after the slipper experience, I actively avoid sewing leather by hand.  Ow.

The top is joined to the back along three sides (down one side from below the 'dip', along the bottom and back up the other side), and along the fold line.  The belt goes through the gap in the side seams between the fold line and the front 'dip'.  The finished effect is modeled by my tape measure:

Belt pouch body stitched together.

Now, all that remains is the fastener.  Buckles and ties were presented as period options; having no period buckles to hand, I opted to make self-ties of leather.  A doubled leather thong at the center front passes through a loop of the same on the lid, which can then be tied shut.  The one thing I would have done differently on this project was to attach the ties to the front piece before sewing it to the back; it was possible to do afterward, but very tricky to arrange.

Finished medieval belt pouch, open.

Finished medieval belt pouch, closed.

I'm really happy with the overall look.  Hopefully Mom will be, too. We'll see how it performs at the syttende mai parade next week.

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