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Embroidered Tudor Pouch – some revisions lower down…

This bag has been a long time in the making! I did the first mockups for it over 10 years ago when I first realised how beautiful it would have been. For one reason or another it then lay dormant until last month when it was recognised it would be needed for AV filming for the new Mary Rose museum.

The bag itself is a multi compartmental leather pouch with inner pouchlets. In my version it is also lined with silk, and the pouchlets are made from the same material, and closed with silk drawstrings finished with bone beads. The belt loops on the back of the pouch did not survive, but similar examples survive from the ship which still had their loops, so I used those for reference. The three panels are embroidered with silver thread – for cost reasons I had to use DMC divisible silver thread, but maybe one day I’ll make a panel in real silver… 😉

There are things I’m not happy with (the border is scruffy where I tried to thicken it afterwards, the loops are a different leather because I ran out of the other, the leather itself is too shiny and wouldn’t take the hide food). I guess they are small things to some people, but very irritating for me… ‘Must do better next time’

I was going to upload just the pictures of the bag, but I think it might be useful for people to see how I work and why some jobs are so darn expensive…

The original drawings, including the drawn reconstruction. This bag can be seen in the Mary Rose volume 4 “Before the Mast” page 110.

Tracings to gauge the leather quantities and designs.

Patterns for the embroidery, and the paper patterns for the leather… safely bagged for the next one!

Dummy bag to test construction.

Inside of the dummy bag – the outer edge of the main flap was not, in the end turned (misinterpreted the drawing).

The completed bag fro the front showing the silver embroidery, 2 spools used on this one!

The second embroidered panel, with the gold linen thread dots in the diamonds. The bag itself is sewn in a mixture of gold silk and linen thread. None of the constructional thread seemed to have survived on the original.

The silk drawstring pouchlets beneath the inner flap, with bone draw beads on silk ribbons. None of the pouchlets survived.

Showing the reverse of the inner flap with the simple design.

Inner view showing the silk lining which is stitched to the reverse of the main flap. It then tucks down inside and is held in place by a circle of stitches on the back (see next picture).

The rear belt loops which are held on by lacing. Sadly I didn’t have any of the fine leather left for this, but I suspect that using another leather here wouldn’t be offensive to the original owner/maker. In the original pouch this rear panel was too small and had to have another piece sewn in at the bottom to extend it!

The pictures below show the bag following some revisions that came to light after studying some other bags and pouches in the collection…

The front flap showing the neater, turned edge of the leather. There is an occasional hint of the stitching on the inside, but hopefully it doesn’t detract from the design.

The inside of the front flap has now been turned and stitched down holding both the edging and the silk lining.

The body of the bag was taken apart and re-stitched inside out, and the bag then turned out. A gusset stiffener was also added so the the bag would hold it’s shape.

The rear of the pouch showing the turned gusset seam.