These are based off an extant pattern found in Stepping Through Time dated to about 1340. First I stretched and stitched the uppers to the sole on the last, disassembled them, did the open work, dyed the uppers, and restitched the shoes with the heel stiffener.
The dye is a natural dye made of white vinegar and steel wool
Knife Scabbard Made January 19, 2009
This knife scabbard is made of 4oz leather. I wrapped my knife in plastic wrap and wet the leather and wrapped it over the blade and sewed it together with a seem running down the center back of the flat of the blade like most historical examples. I stamped and insized the design in the leather; the design is based off of 14th and 15th century examples. My stamp was made of wood and did not give a good solid effect so next stamp I will make out of metal.
Tudor Shoe January 7, 2009
This shoe is based on an extant example in "Stepping Through Time" on page 226 and is decorated to match a pair of the same shape worn by Henry VIII.
These shoes are constructed with a welted sole. The heel is in two pieces to curve with the back of the heel and has a reinforcement in the heel as well as a piping at the top. The reinforcement is done with a tunnel stitch so the stitch does not show on the outside and the piping is first flesh edge stitched to the top of the heel and then tunnel stitched to the inside of the leather. A piping extends into the vamp and is tunnel stitched to it to strengthen the opening.
Currently the shoes do not have the second sole attached:
Romance of Alexander Purse August 2008
This pouch is based partly on MoL 1701 and on other purses found in Purses in Pieces. It is a common shape found in the Romance of Alexander (1340s). It is constructed of 2oz goat skin leather and the metal fitting come from Billy and Charlie's. The closure at the top is a leather thong binding common among larger purses.
The paper pattern shown is for a large 15th century purse that is about 90% bigger than the red one. The pattern is not up scaled; many later finds range in the ten inches by ten inches size.
Late 14th Early 15th Century Round Bottom Purse July 2008
Based off a combination of artwork and extant finds in Purses in Pieces. The closure at the top is a leather thong binding common among larger purses.
15th Century Sandals July 2008
These sandals are based off a pair in "Stepping Through Time" from the 15th century. Sole is three layers of 6oz oak tanned leather; the bottom layer has a groove in it so the linen lacing is inside the leather and not on the ground where it will break.
The sandals are simply laced together no glue added. The brass buckle is sewn down on the side on the upper which is common in many shoe and patten finds.
14th/15th Century Wood Pattens July 2008
This is a typical split hinge patten from the 14 th and 15 th century. The leather strapping is taken from another extant patten and not the split hinge patten; the design used looked like it would hold up well. The buckle and strap is passed through a slit in the upper leather and is tunnel stitched to the upper so no stitching shows on the outside of the leather. The strapping and upper leather is 4oz or 6oz oak tanned leather depending on the part. The wood is poplar; next time I will use alder as it is more common and a harder wood; poplar tends to spit too fast.
14th/15th Century Leather Pattens July 2008
These pattens are a composite based off a pairs in "Shoes and Patten" "Stepping Through Time" and Material culture in London in an age of transition: Tudor and Stuart period finds c. 1450 - c. 1700.
The sole is four layers of 6oz oak tanned leather with an 8oz oak tanned bottom and two heel lifts of 8oz leather. The heel lifts are tapered down where they end in the center to prevent any lumps. The bottom layer has a groove in it so the linen lacing is inside the leather and not on the ground where it will break. The strapping is 6oz leather sewn sandwiched between the layers of the sole. They whole thing is sewn; no glue was added this time.
The last pair was glued; when worn at Pennsic the combination of being wet, compressed from wearing, and heat caused the glue to harden and now the original leather patten on this page is unusable because it is solid as a rock and the glue makes it impossible to repair.
15th Century Poulaines June 2008
Based on a pair in "Stepping Through Time" and many painting from 1460. The sole is 8oz leather and the uppers are 4oz. There is a heel stiffener tunnel stitched into the shoe; the edges are tapered to prevent discomfort when wearing. The long toe is sewn from the outside like most longtoed shoes; the process is described in "Shoes and Pattens"
14th Century Pouch Based on find 1701 made June 2008
Here is an updated pattern for a 1701 pouch. The size and construction is the same as the original find with one difference being the lack of metal decorations on the outer flap.
Larger version, typical purse size, of the same purse with leather thong binding closure at the top common among larger purses. Made from 2oz veg taned goatskin.
Leather Case made May 2008
This case made by James is small and meant to hold vial pins and sewing needles. The inner compartment is 8oz leather and the outter layer is 4oz leather. The designs were insized with a knife. Pattern based on multiple examples and information in Purses in Pieces. Cases like these are found from at least the 13th century on.
16th Century Pouch made May 2008
This purse made by James is inspired by historical remains and the drawing "A Nuremburg woman in house dress" by Albrecht Dürer, c. 1500-1501. The backing is a 4oz cowhide, the front of the pouch and pouchlets are 2 oz goatskin. The leather was embossed by hand.
Open Work Shoes; Early 14th Century made May 2008
These are based off an extant pattern found in Stepping Through Time. The images shown are of the upper with the cut work before dying and assembly:
Shoe inside out before turning:
Shoe turned, worn, and extant example:
Pouch Based on find 1701 in Dress Accessories made May 2008
The red leather pouch below is made based on a small pouch find #1701 found in Museum of London 's book Dress Accessories. I also have pictured a black pouch of the correct size and shape as the extant find which when folded is 4 inches by 4 inches. It was too small when compared to manuscript images so I made the larger red version.
Reading a more recently published book, Purses in Pieces, I figured out how the parts go together. The purse is a two compartment purse; on compartment is fully leather with a slash to open the compartment and the other is leather edged cloth. This was a common practice in the late middle ages. I added the double stitching row with the punch work and embroidery to the pouch; it is not in the extant example.
The purse is made of 2 oz goat skin vegetable tanned leather; this was common leather in used in purse making. The seams are hand stitched with waxed linen thread. There are no straps found with this purse find; a good number of 14th and 15th century purses did not have straps; some designs would make straps impossible.
Black version with some mistakes; made in summer 07
Turn Welt Shoes (March 2008)
I made this pair of shoes based off a pair in the museum of London book Shoes and Pattens; it is a combo of pattern 98 and 99 with an added turn welt, additional sole, and heel stiffener all available in the 15th century but not original to the pattern.
The uppers are made of 3-4oz vegetable-tanned leather and the sole is 9-10oz leather. The leather is finished with an oil dye and then a combo of neatsfoot oil and wax made into a paste to help make them water resistant
This style of shoe is seen commonly in paintings from the time
Pouch (February 2008)
This pouch is based off a design in Olaf Goubitz's book Purses in Pieces: Archaeological Finds of Late Medieval and 16th Century Leather Purses, Pouches, Bags and Cases in the Netherlands. It is dated to the 15th century.
The inside of the outer flap was a textile pocket in it and the bottom flap has a slit on the inside as well as two small draw string pouches. Like the original the straps to hold it together wrap around from where they are sewn on at the top.
Viking Shoes, made on 10-24-2007
James and Kimberly both made a pair of these shoes found in Hedeby based off the pattern and picture on the Vikings UK shoe page it is pattern number four. We used 8oz veg tanned cow leather for the bottom and 4oz for the uppers. We finished them with neatsfoot oil and and final coat of 60% neatsfoot oil and 40% beeswax to help protect them from water.
Stepping Through Time and Die Lederfunde von Haithabu have several pairs of boots from the Hedeby finds in them; James made this pair based off one of the patterns and wore it boar hunting at the Norstead grand opening. James used 8oz veg tanned cow leather for the bottom and 2oz veg tanned goat skin for the uppers. The toggles are made of 4 oz cow leather. He finished them with neatsfoot oil and and final coat of 60% neatsfoot oil and 40% beeswax to help protect them from water.
Stacked Leather Pattens made June 2007
These stacked leather pattens are based off of several different pairs in Shoes and Pattens: Finds from Medieval Excavations in London and Material culture in London in an age of transition: Tudor and Stuart period finds c. 1450 - c. 1700 from Excavations at Riverside sites in Southwark. The patten is five layers of leather with two extra layers in the heel. The three center layers and the two heel lifts are sewn together with waxed linen thread and the bottom layer is nailed on with hob nails, several examples from the 13th to 15th century have hobnails. The top layer is glued down to protect the stitching and the foot from the clinched hobnails. The straps are sewn in-between the whole layers in the middle. This design will work for the 14th and 15th century.
The sewn together layers only:
The bottom layer is glued on and the hobnails added:
The top layer was then glued on to cover the stiching
Next the patten was dipped in water for one minute and then the edges are burnished.
Only step left is to oil the leather:
Poulaines made June 2007
Update 5-8-08 - These shoes remain unfinished; I am unsure of the pattern and I am not sure when I may have time to come back to them
These shoes are based off a pair in Shoes and Pattens: Finds from Medieval Excavations in London. I used a similar cut work pattern as the originals but I did not exactly copy the original cut work. The next step is to dye and then sew the shoes.
Boots (Early 2007)
I made this pair of boots based off a pair in the museum of London book Shoes and Pattens. The uppers are made of 3-4oz vegetable tanned leather and the sole is 9-10oz leather. They are made with the same stitching as the original and are stitched with waxed linen. It has reinforcements on the side openings with the lacing holes and a heel reinforcement. The heel stiffener is also stitched with a proper binding stitch that does not pierce the outside of the leather (you can see the stitching in the 3rd and 4th images).
I finished the boots with 8-10 coats of neatsfoot oil added two coat a day in order to not oversaturate the leather. I finished them with a neatsfoot oil and wax paste to help make them water resistant.
Roman Pouch 2007
A drawstring leather pouch found in Bargercompascuum (Netherlands) in the 1950s. Martin Moser on the Roman Army Talk Forum posted pictures and the reference for this pouch and I made a copy for myself.
Literature: Schlabow, K. Der römische Münzschatz von Bargercompascuum (Drenthe). II. Der Geldbeutel. Palaeohistoria 5, 1956: 81-87.
Drawings of the Original
Shoes from 1200 made in 2005
These images are taken in July 2008 of shoes that are nearly three years old. I have worn them to three Pennsics and the reenactment of Hastings in 2006 as well as many other events. They have been in six inches of mud, stepped in horse dung (Hastings 06), and have been repaired a couple of times over the years.
The leather is 8-9oz on for the sole and 2oz calf for the upper. Both leathers are oak tanned and the leather is just oiled. They are based off a pair of shoes in "Shoes and Pattens"