By Lady Violet Ruthvene for the SCA West Kingdom Arts & Sciences Tourney 2009
- Larsdatter.com Pouches & Purses: Excellent collection of image links, including extant pieces and artwork.
- Museum of Bags and Purses: A Dutch museum with a nice photographic timeline of purse history. Also has a catalog book, sometimes available at Pepin Press.
- Gothic Martha Stewart’s Drawstring Bag: My instructions for making a basic lined bag.
- DawnPages – Pouches: Making a simple pouch or lined pouch.
- Make a Metal-Frame Purse: My tutorial for a basic ‘kiss-clasp’ metal frame purse (from Costume College ’08). Easily adapted for pre-1600 uses.
If you don’t want to draft your own, these commercial patterns are a handy start. Look for them on sale, and keep an eye out for others in the “craft” or “accessories” section of pattern books. Also, most any modern tote bag pattern (and some laptop bag patterns) can be the basis for a medieval pilgrim’s scrip or traveler’s satchel.
- Butterick 5371 — Perfectly period pouches, just remove the shoulder strap on views H and I.
- Vogue 8375 — Ignore the crazy-quilting designs, the pattern shapes are great for SCA period.
- Bags by Claire Wilcox, V&A Publications, 1999. First two chapters are very useful and relevant to SCA period, featuring photos and quotes from historical sources. Provides excellent context.
- Purses in Pieces: Archaeological Finds of Late Medieval and 16th-Century Leather Purses, Pouches, Bags, and Cases in the Netherlands by Olaf Goubitz, Stichting Promotie Archeologie, 2007. Very focused on leather items and on the Netherlands, but the shapes and styles are incredibly useful for SCA period. Tons of detail!
Example Purses I made for A&S