The unfinished medieval outfit from last year prompted me to continue with smaller but crucial accessories: bags!

While planning to visit a market, it became evident that both my kirtle and my partner’s outfit were lacking essential pockets. So, I decided to craft our own medieval bags. I opted for yellow cotton for my pouch to match the future over gown in color, and set to work embellishing it.

Close-up image of sewing pearls onto a bag.

Precision was paramount with the checkered pattern, so I meticulously marked the points for the trims and beads to ensure everything landed in its place. The bag slowly took shape as I worked through various stages: first braiding and stitching the braids, then attaching beads at each intersection, and finally sewing the bag itself.

A braided cord for fastening and a drawstring for closure completed the ensemble, albeit with a minor flaw in the closure mechanism: it doesn’t stay closed on its own and needs to be knotted. Lastly, I added some tassels to conceal the braid knots.

Close-up detail of a medieval bag adorned with tassels, with a white rose lying on top, evoking a sense of elegance and historical charm.

What surprised me most about working on this medieval bag wasn’t just the time invested in the embellishments but also the comparison with the simpler and quicker version for my partner.

In contrast to my adorned fabric bag, my partner opted for a simple leather kidney bag. The buffalo leather I chose presented a challenge from the start. Due to a miscalculation, the bag ended up smaller than planned, but with adjustments made in Illustrator, I maximized the available space for the pattern pieces, leaving only a few scraps behind.

Image of nappa leather with tools and haberdashery for bag making arranged on top, showcasing materials and equipment for crafting a bag.

Punching small holes for the stitches proved essential for straight seams. The relatively short process included sewing the strip for the buckle, attaching it to the flap, sewing together the lower parts and the bag itself, and finally connecting the flap to the back piece to create the loops for the belt. All these seams were executed with a saddle stitch.

This leather project, completed in a day, stands in stark contrast to my fabric bag, which took a whole week (not working on it every day), showcasing the different efforts one can put into similar projects. But I believe the most important thing is that both the maker and the wearer are satisfied with the final product. And I am actually happy with those two medieval bags as well as my partner is with his.

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The Drawstring Bag

  • Yellow cotton fabric for the bag
  • White Pearls
  • Cotton Thread for the braids
  • Cotton Sewing Thread
  • *Beading Needle
The Leather Bag
A leather kidney bag attached to a belt, partially obscured by a yellow wool coat, showcasing a stylish and functional medieval accessory.

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