Now that I'm back from Pennsic, it's time to start thinking about the next steps for the stick-purse project.
First, I think I've pretty much settled on not trying to get the project completed before this year's Kingdom A&S in November. I want to really do a good job so that I go from the beginner category last time to OMG that's awesome this time. :) To do that, I need to do some more work. Plus, this year's event is in Brampton, so we're unlikely to be able to go anyway. Hopefully next year will be closer to home.
First, I think I'm going to e-mail the museum to see if I can get some of the dimensions for the various pieces. Mistress Elizabeth's purse looked right based on the pictures I've seen, but I'd like to be able to document the dimensions of the handle and individual pouches and pouchlets, just to be thorough.
Second, I've decided that if I want to go for the OMG factor, hand dying the leather using period pigments is going to have to happen. Fortunately, I was able to get Lyda excited by the idea of combining her leatherworking and illumination interests to investigate the topic with me, so hopefully we'll be able to figure out the method fairly easily. I've already sent her some info with some period dye recipes so hopefully it isn't too different from what she uses for illumination.
Third, I'll need to do some practice with the leather braiding that goes over the handle. I've never done that before so if I want to get good results on the stick-purse I'll need to play with that technique a bit. Mistress Elizabeth recommended doing your own strips rather than buying the pre-fabricated leather laces, so my lacemaker will be getting a work out.
Once all of that is done (or at least once I've heard back from the museum) I'll start doing a fabric mock-up to check my methods and make sure it will all work. I can then use the fabric pieces as patterns for the leather. Zeli's, our local leather store, does carry light weight veg tan (about 3 oz) and I know Tandy online carries 2 oz goat and calf. I may order a couple of different types of skin to test it out and see what will work best for the project. I can always use light weight skins for other projects, so it won't go to waste.