Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Handy Pouch

The finished bullets he put into his bullet pouch.  This was a little bag which Ma had made beautifully of buckskin, from a buck that Pa had shot.  

Quaint little bags that draw up with strings would absolutely be in my song of favorite things if I were ever a governess in Austria.  They are the best thing to hold little treasures, or your coin collection, or to act as your purse at the Renaissance Faire.  I made one for my brother when we were kids to hold his trading cards.  My 'pattern' was made by tracing the dimensions of a little satin bag that was meant for holding scrunchies.  It consisted of two pieces: a circle (the bottom) and a rectangle (the sides).

For this project, I followed the same basic guidelines.  Not having a model to hand, it unfortunately involved math.  I used a small saucer to trace a circle onto my 'buckskin', then I measured the diameter, multiplied by pi, and used that number as the width for the rectangle, plus 1/2" for the seam allowances (1/4" each).  The height I just eyeballed.

What I used:

-2.5" diameter saucer
-2.2 sq. ft. chamois* cloth (found the in the auto care section of Wal-Mart with the detailing supplies, also available at any auto parts store or hardware store)
-Pencil (for tracing)
-Waxed nylon thread (found at the craft store, also available at some hardware stores)
-Needle, with an large enough to handle the waxed thread, but sharp enough to pierce the chamois
-"Leather" lacing
-Wooden beads
-Embroidery thread
-Beeswax (found at the hardware store, also available at some craft/sewing stores)

I sewed the two short sides of the rectangle together with a backstitch, using the waxed nylon thread (I split the plies and used two plies instead of the whole thread), then I backstitched the bottom of the resulting tube to the chamois circle.  Voila, a bag.  Using an awl, I punched 6-12 holes around the top of the bag, and threaded a faux leather lacing through for the drawstring.  I knotted a wooden bead at the each end of the lacing, totally optional.  Then for the finishing touch I blanket-stitched around the top edge.  I used contrasting-colored embroidery thread, first separating the plies so that I had a three-ply strand, which I drew across the beeswax several times to strengthen it and allow it to move more easily through the chamois.

The finished bag, full of bullets wooden beads
My brother owns a few muzzle loading guns that had belonged to our dad, so I gave the pouch to him for Christmas, which seemed very in keeping with the Little House spirit.

*Chamois is made from the hide of the chamois goat. I chose it as the closest substitute to buckskin I could easily obtain without shooting a deer myself. If you are vegetarian or vegan and would prefer to use something that did not come from an animal source, any sturdy fabric such as denim could be substituted for the chamois, though extra steps may have to be taken to prevent fraying.