Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Big Reveal - Kingdom A&S Girdle Purse (with pictures)

This past weekend was Kingdom A&S so I can now post the pictures of my project - which I've been talking about for some time.

Quick summary for those who may have missed it. I decided that since this year is five years since I first entered Kingdom A&S, and that the event was back in our Barony the same as it was that year, that I would recreate my original project. I thought it would show the progress I've made in the past five years and might help people who may not be so confident with their first attempts (because looking back on my first entry all I can think is "What was I thinking?". :)

That year I made a new type of purse I'd never tried before, a basic kidney purse. The first 5-6 posts in the Kingdom A&S tag will give you the story on that original purse.

But of course, I couldn't just do the same pouch. I upgraded the complexity of the pouch, add better finishing and decorative techniques and used historically accurate materials (with a couple of exceptions I'll talk about later).

So, without any further ado, here's a picture side by side of the two finished pouches:

As you can see from this top view, there's a few major differences that you can see. For one, the stitches along the top forming the flab and connecting the various layers of leather is significantly cleaner. The white trim I think really makes a huge difference and makes it pop nicely (the trim was a suggestion from one of my judges for the original pouch). In Purses in Pieces, Goubitz also shows that many of the purses had buckles and straps, which I like since it will help keep things from falling out.

What you can't necessarily see as well from this angle is that there's actually a double pouch on the new purses.Underneath the black pouch you can see, there's a second pouch with two small pouchlets on it. This is a totally documentable design and added a lot of complexity (and storage space) to the purse. Here's a picture of the second level of pouch .You can also see the draw-strings on the pouchlet on the right, I hadn't yet done the one on the left.

Materials-wise, there's a big difference as well. The original pouch was commercially bought chrome-tan leather in a black-ish colour (turns out I was pretty close to what was produce-able in period, so that's kind of nice). The new pouch is dyed black using my vinegar black recipe from the Plictho, same as I used for previous projects.All of the stitching was done using waxed linen thread on the new pouch, as compared to artificial sinew on the original.

For the white leather, I had to make a substitution for cost/availability reasons. Goubitz indicates that pouchlets on these purses would usually have been made using either chamois leather or fabric.Given that I can't find chamois that isn't the super-stretchy auto detailing stuff, I made a substitution to use alum tawed leather, which is period appropriate. But (and there's always a but), it would have cost me $400 to ship a skin of alum tawed leather from the one place I've found it in the US - thanks to the crappy Canadian dollar right now. So I used some chrome-tanned white pigskin that I had on hand, which is almost identical to the colour, texture and thickness of the alum tawed leather.

Here are some in-progress pics (pics with red leather are the prototype that I made of the design, which Avelyn will be using).

Next post will be more about the day at the event.

No comments:

Post a Comment