This is a fun project if you are just getting started in fur or leather crafting, or for introducing your kids to this craft. The same basic pattern can be altered any used for all sorts of different pouch and bag styles as well. Feel free to get creative with this one!
- Section of leather (I used about an 8" x 10" piece for this example pouch)
- Tanned fur face (fox or coyote looks nice, but any type can be used! Faces can be obtained from most fur garment manufacturers)
- Two narrow strips of leather, about 6" to 8"
- Leather strap, braided or not.
- Needle and thread, or sewing machine.
Step 1: Sew the Face On
The fox's face will be used as the flap that folds down over the front of your pouch. Sew it on to the top edge of your leather piece, making sure it is centered. I used a sewing machine to attach mine, however if you choose to hand-stitch, use a "glovers needle" which is designed for sewing leather.
Be sure to use a face with enough neck skin still behind the ears, so you'll have enough room to sew it on. Even the toughest leather needles can't easily get through ear cartilage, so its always best to make your stitches behind the ears.
Step 2: Stitch the Pouch
To begin sewing your leather into a pouch, fold it so your seams will be on the inside. Leave about 3/4" space behind the fox face so the front flap can be more easily opened and closed when the bag is finished.
Sew each side evenly, with tight, straight stitches. Again this is easiest and quicker on a sewing machine, but can certainly be accomplished by hand as well.
The finished result when you are done stitching will look like a "backwards" bag, with the fox's head facing in the wrong direction. Don't panic, because once you turn it right-side out (as shown in the 4th picture), it will be correct!
Step 3: Add the Strap
Adding the strap to this style of pouch is easy and requires absolutely no stitching! Using a pocket knife, cut two slots through the leather on both sides of the bag, close to the top edge. Lace your thin leather strips through each slot, and use them to securely tie the strap in place. The result will have a nice, traditional "fringed" look.
Use a good, tight knot to ensure it will not slip out especially when items are being carried in the bag.
Step 4: Finish!
Now that your pouch has been sewn and the strap tied on, it is ready to carry your belongings in unique style! Using this general pattern, you can experiment with different types and combinations of leather and fur to make your own one-of-a-kind creation. Bags and pouches like these are a lot of fun to carry around at renaissance fairs, festivals and conventions, and are sure to start some conversations!
Thanks for reading this tutorial, and be sure to check out more examples of my work at www.FrontierFurs.com !