Thursday, 30 May 2013

EUREKA - New stick purse pouch design (with pictures)

It's been a while since I made an progress on my stick-purse project but I think I made a really big step forward last night. I finally had the time to work on the pouch pattern for the version of the stick purse that's at the Fries Museum.

The Museum told me the dimensions of the pouch (10 cm circular base and 20 cm tall), so I made a pattern based on those dimensions. The pattern uses a round base of thicker leather, with the walls of the pouch as a single pieces that wraps around the circle and meets at the back of the pouch. I then extend the walls around the edge of the base piece and sew it to the bottom all the way around so that it gives a clean rounded edge. Then a sewed up the seam at the back.

This was my best guess as to how the pouches were done for the Fries Museum piece. I got the idea from a piece at the Museum of London.

I have to say, it looks bang-on to me. It sits the same way as the stick-purse example, and bulges at the base the same way. I think I've hit the nail on the head with the design.

Next step is to put the draw string on it, and add then to figure out the pouchlets. Then I have to start figuring out the handle.
Here's the picture of the stick-purse from the Fries Museum:
Stick-Purse - Photo courtesy of the Fries Museum in the Netherlands
And here's a picture of my mock-up that I just completed:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Planning my leatherwork class

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm planning an Intro to Leatherworking course for this fall. I'll be giving it following one of our canton meetings, although if it works out well I could probably do it at some local events as well.

The challenge is how to design a course that I can give in about an hour to an hour and a half that will teach people the basics, given that most projects will take longer than that to finish.

The concept is similar to the course I originally took from Tiberius at Practicum several years ago, which is what got me started in leatherworking. I want people taking the class to end up with a useful project, so I was going to use the making of a belt pouch as the vehicle for them to learn the basic skills. That being said, most useful belt pouches will take a new person more than an hour to make, so the trick will be cutting some corners by doing some of the more monotonous work for them in advance, but still walking them through the process so that they know how to do it for themselves later.

My plan, as mentioned here is to use my own design for the pouch. That way I'm not infringing on any copyrights if I share the pattern with people. Here are more pictures of the ones I did for ComicCon.

For the hand out, I'm thinking of doing it step by step, with tips and info for each step included as they go. The annex will include the research I did with links to artwork showing the style of pouch from the period, as well as a list of good resources for period leatherworking as well as local sources for supplies.

Quick outline of the handout would be:

Basic tools and equipment
Picking your leather
Cutting the pattern
Sewing the pieces together
Embellishments to consider
Annex - Research and other resources

For the class itself, I'll quickly go over the different kinds of leather, the basic tools and materials we'll be using and a bit about belt pouches before we start the project.

I'll probably pre-cut the pieces and punch the holes but I'll bring some scraps and my hole punches so that people can learn the skills without having to spend 20 minutes cutting and punching everything (especially since I won't have enough punches/awls etc. for everyone to use at the same time). I figure about 15 minutes for the intro and showing them the punches.

For the stitching section, it's really just a matter of showing them some basic stuff. I'll probably show them the different materials for sewing the pieces together (waxed linen thread, fake sinew etc.) and then the saddle stitch, and then let them get to work assembling the pouches. I figure giving about 45 minutes for the sewing, during which time I'll wander and answer questions or help people along if they are having trouble.

After 45 minutes has past, I'll stop people and show them some of the things they can do to spruce up their pouches. Some of these are things that would need to be done during construction, others at the end. This would include putting the little closure button on it, putting trim on the belt pouch loop to clean up the lines, adding an applique, tassels, pouchlets etc. I'll show them pictures of examples. I figure this would be about 10 minutes.

After that I'll open the floor to questions for 5-10 minutes (or as long as people want to go).
That brings me in at about an hour and 15 minutes depending on the length of the question period at the end, which is probably as short as I can reasonably get and still have people learn the skills.

Any ideas or comments from my readers on the course? Suggestion on how I can improve the outline before I get to far into it? Is teh timeline reasonable? Does it sound like it might be helpful or interesting?

Friday, 3 May 2013

Picture - ComicCon pouches

For those interested, I thought I'd post a picture of the five pouches done so far for ComicCon before I deliver them to Eluned this weekend.

Hopefully they'll go over well.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

ComicCon pouches update

I'm making progress but time is running out. So far I have 5 pouches done or within minutes of being done. Two are blue, two green and one red.

Of course, the problem is that I'm trying to get them to Eluned when I see her this coming weekend since ComicCon is the following weekend and I don't know if I'll see her during the week.

Still, even if I don't get any more done, five is still pretty good given the amount of work that goes into each one. They've turned out pretty nice.

Before I do any more I'm going to have to go down to the basement and cut out more pieces, which takes a bit more time. That may slow things down to the point where I won't get any more completed. Although, if I can get more done by Saturday of ComicCon I suppose I can always drop them off when we go ourselves. They probably don't need all of them first thing in the morning.

I'm also figuring some things out for what I want to do with this pattern when it comes to the class I'm teaching in the fall, but I'll put that in another post (so I don't forget my ideas) later in the week.