How to make a ‘medieval style’ possible pouch; more traveler’s gear

Here is a great little instruction set on how to make a European Medieval-style belt bag. You see these in paintings and illustrations on just about every traveler. Not only will you come out with a nice bag but it is a fine and simple introduction into leather working and sewing. All makers need to start somewhere and this might be the right project.

Wild Tuscany Bushcraft

Old style bushcraft: a medieval possible pouch Old style bushcraft: a medieval possible pouch

During the Middle Age was common carrying small items like coins, keys, inside pouches or purses attached to the belt.
There are many archaeological and iconographical documents, you can search for your favorite patterns, but there is a model that in my opinion, is one of the best for a bushcrafter.

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Leather Shop Apron

I finally got around to replacing my very old shop apron.  It was the standard issue split-leather welder style and over many hard years had amassed large quantities of wood glue, grease, metal grime, blood and membrane (from brain tanning), and other unidentifiable smudges over most of it’s surface.  It went into the trash a while back when an unexpected leak in my barn allowed it to saturate and subsequently get some very ugly mold patches in a funky tie-dye pattern.  I expect it was fairly nutrient-rich and I wasn’t interested in trying to salvage it after all these years.

ApronI had some fine oiled leather from a recent project (aprons take a lot of footage) so was able to cobble together a decent shop apron without too much difficulty.  I expect this to last another 20 years or more; maybe the rest of my life.

The image is not great.  Just a poorly lighted mirror shot “selfie.”  Par for the internet I guess.  And no, I’m not glaring.  That’s just how I look.  I guess I didn’t learn to smile well as a kid or it’s just not in the genes.

Roman Loculus

Or what we might call a messenger bag.

I finally finished the commissioned bag from last month based on the beautifully proportioned Roman design.  As far as I know, this design dates back to at least the First Century C.E. and judging by it’s logic, probably much further.

Loculus1I think the true loculus (satchel) utilized an envelope design from a single small goat hide but as they survive only in art, we have to make a few guesses as to construction.  The one I made has a few more modern features including inner dividers and a cell phone pocket.

Loculus4The leather is an oiled cowhide with a slightly scotched (textured) surface.  This type of leather wears well, is weather-resistant, and comes back to life with a wipe down.

Loculus2A simple button closer secures the flap while the straps cover the seams and give it body.  The sewing is all double needle saddle stitch done by hand.

Loculus3The body is divided into three pockets with an added cell phone holder.

handleFinally, the handle.  Historic examples appear to have used this handle over the end of the staff with a cross piece through the loops, keeping it from sliding side-to-side as the one below.

pack-on-scutum-web-sml

To remain unencumbered, Roman Legionaries carried this bag on the furca (travel staff).

I hope Gen, it’s new owner, loves it and finds it useful.

 

 

Project: Buckskin Bags

To aid in downsizing our worldly possessions (and tons of raw materials), I initiated the buckskin bag project.  The goal is to produce as many little beauties as possible while experimenting and learning new techniques.

This is the first run of bags, which still require embellishments, closures, and neck straps.  More to come…

Rucksack

I had a friend shoot a few pictures of the rucksack in action.  My only regret is that it could be slightly bigger.  But then again, I’d just fill it with more stuff.

Ruck4It should last a lifetime and beyond.

Ruck1Not exactly dressed up here.  I’m wearing the old caulking and painting shorts.

Ruck2If I remember correctly, the combined volume is about 2375 cubic inches (about 39 litres).

Ruck3

 

 

Petite Portmanteau

One cannot have enough baggage in one’s life.

Especially if one is a traveller.  On that note, I put together this 18th century style portmanteau to attach to the bottom of my rucksack.  It is on the small side for this style bag but the dimensions are based on a convenient size to attach to the backpack and the scrap shoulder I was using.  I also foresee this working as a front bag for the scooter or even on the bike.

PortOutside dimensions are 16″ (40.6 cm) x 7 3/4″ (19.7 cm) diameter for about 680 cubic inches (11 litres).  One step closer to a handcrafted life.

Leather Laptop Case

DSC_0044I needed a new laptop case and had some nice shoulder leather left over from other projects.  It’s a fairly minimalist design but serves to protect the little Mac.  A small brass button closure is the only hardware.

DSC_0042After giving this some thought, I realize that a leather case like this should last at least 50 years, possibly more.  The lifespan of a computer is about five years so this might end it’s service life as a document holder of some sort.  It will make a great music case or something to hold a sketchbook somewhere down the road.

Henry Miller, a fine young man

Definitely watch this if you believe in a real handcrafted lifestyle.  He has obviously been given the right encouragement and access to knowledge.  Many parents would scoff at these things or actively discourage some of these activities.  I’m glad to know there are other parents out there with an open mind and encouraging this thirst for knowledge.  It’s a fire waiting to be fanned.