14th century French pouch 1,  14th century projects,  Adornments,  Finger Braiding,  Hand-Sewing,  Herringbone stitch,  Medieval finishing technique for borders,  Pouch,  Projects

14th century French Pouch .1 – sneak peek progress .23 – sewing the pouch together .1 :)

Racaire - medieval embroidery - projects 2014 - hand embroideryMaybe some of you remember my 14th century French pouch commission. And I have great news concerning this project – I managed to finish the pouch and it was delivered in time to surprise a beautiful lady on Valentines day.

And during the recent down time of my blog I found some time to sit down and go through the pictures on my tablet…

…and guess what I found – among the pictures of the finished pouch I also found some progress pictures of this 14th century French pouch project which I already prepared for the blog but haven’t posted yet.

But you know me – postponed is definitely not abandoned – therefore enjoy the following progress pictures! 😀

2014-04-25_10_14_32_racaireThe picture above might already appear familiar to you. And indeed, It was the very last picture which I posted in my most recent posting “14th century French Pouch .1 – sneak peek progress .22 – the silk for the back side” about this project. It showed the beautiful yellow silk which I bought for the back side of this pouch – lovely silk, isn’t it.

As my very next step I cut a piece out of this nice silk. I cut it slightly bigger than the embroidery, with comfortable seam allowance along every side for the hand sewing. Then I pinned the fabric to the bottom part of my embroidery – working inside out – and sewed both parts carefully together. When you look at the picture underneath, you can see at the top part of the picture a small part of the hand sewn bottom seam.

Because I planed on making one of this nice and proper 14th century border finish along the edges of the pouch, I had to somehow secure the beginning of those threads at the inside. For this purpose I “opened up” the pouch in front of me…


…now the silk fabric was lying on the left and the fabric with the embroidery on the right side. So far I haven’t done anything to the side or top seam, therefore I folded the side seam of the pouch next to me to the inside. I decided to secure the threads for the 14th century border on the silk side and therefore folded the bottom seam of the pouch to the right, placing it on the embroidery side and secured it with a pin.

Then I took a small sewing needle, some white sewing thread and secured this “folding” with some small sewing stitches next do the edge. You can see this small stitches on the picture above – they are not very big but you can see them on the right side next to the threads.

Talking about the threads – well, as my next step I cut two long red and two long blue threads and placed them at the “conjunction” line between the silk and the embroidery – the future bottom seam of the pouch. And with the same needle and sewing thread with which I secured the “folding”, I sewed the end of the threads very firmly to the fabric. You can see this sewing stitches on top of the threads on the picture above.

Now I could move on to the next step – fold and pin down the other side seams.

And on the picture underneath you can see another step I’d love to share with you which is – I admit it – not really necessary but very helpful. This little bit of extra effort helps to assure a proper bottom seam and furthermore keeps the seam allowance in place regardless how much the pouch is used and even if it has to be washed.


As you can see on the picture above, I use the “Herringbone stitch” (or “Hexenstich” in German) to secure the seam allowance of the bottom seam. Btw. this rather simple and very helpful needlework stitch can also be used for embroidery.

And after I completed this step, I was finally able to fold the pouch and to start my work at the visible bottom seam on the outside:


As you can see on the picture above I used the “finishing technique for 14th and 15th century pouches” to cover the bottom seam. You can find a detailed description of this technique in my posting “Craft with Racaire – Project #1 – Step 4 – medieval finishing technique for the border“. 🙂

And after finishing the bottom decoration I opened up the whole pouch again. So far I just worked at the inner seams and the outside part of the pouch. But now I also had to think about the inner lining of the pouch before I could finally move on to the point where I was able to assemble it.

To give the pouch more “body” and to ensure a long lifetime, I decided to go with a rather firmly woven cotton-linen mix fabric. After picking the fabric from my fabric stash, I cut out a piece that was slightly bigger than the embroidery AND the silk fabric together. I made sure that I again had enough seam allowance at all sides.

Then I folded the seams of this new fabric piece to the inside and started to pin it into place:


First I folded all the side seams to the inside and pinned the fabric into place along the side borders of the bag. Then I took the pouch and folded it in half again. To avoid a bulky bottom seam – after folding a pouch in half there is always too much fabric at the bottom at the inside – I started re-pinning the sides from the bottom to the top.

Every time I re-pinned a small section, I did my best to move the surplus fabric to the top. Then I took one pin to pin all 4 layers together – one front, one back and two inside layers. This way I worked my way from the bottom to the top.

As soon as I reached the top I also folded the seam here and started pinning the fabric for the front and for the back part of the pouch together. Being aware of the fact that I will have to re-pin the sides after the first time I normally leave the top unpinned until I am finished with re-pinning the sides. This way I can get rid of any bulky fabric accumulations at the bottom and furthermore also make assure that the lining fits perfectly.

Underneath you can see the pouch after re-pinning the sides and pinning the top:  


…and here a picture of the backside:


…and I also “fingerlooped” some strings for the pouch:


I hope you liked the new progress pictures of my 14th century French pouch project. And there are even more pictures on my tablet you can look forward to. I’ll try to post them as soon as possible. 😀

Best regards Racaire